Culturally Discombobulated

America Comprehended: Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

NATHAN’S HOT DOG EATING CONTEST: Held every Independence Day on Coney Island and broadcast on ESPN, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is the Wimbledon of gross overconsumption. Great sporting events should move the heart, the only thing moving at this event are the competitors’s bowels.


America Comprehended: The Liberty Bell (military march)

THE LIBERTY BELL (MILITARY MARCH): Patriotic American military march now more recognizable as the theme tune to Monty Python’s Flying Circus; British payback for the American appropriation of that paean of British patriotism Pomp and Circumstances being used for American kindergarten graduations.

America Comprehended: Taco Salad

TACO SALAD: Two words that are utterly incompatible with one another (cf. Jello Salad).

America Comprehended: Check

CHECK: A bill of exchange, but more notably in terms of this entry, “check” is the US spelling that I find myself most resistant to. I can now – and just as easily as people who spent each school morning pledging themselves to flags – erase the “u” from color and mold, the “o” from mustache, and the “h” from yogurt, yet “check” remains the step too far, the difference that gets the back up, and so resolutely and defiantly remains – and must remain – cheque. Yet considering cheque’s suspiciously Frenchified flourishes, the way in which it has arranged itself positively reeks of garlic, it seems an odd word choice at which to draw the line.

America Comprehended: Flag Day

FLAG DAY:  Because inanimate objects need their own days too.