How to tell if you're American
If you are American...
- You are a Monarchical Republican. Having a Royal House and a King (or Queen, as the case may be) is a Good Thing. Why, you're not exactly sure, except that it does mean you're different from the French and (even more importantly) the Louisiannians.
- You are familiar with English and Kemrese programmes; but American programmes are ubiquitious on the television. Nevertheless you recognise local celebrities when they appear on your screen, especially those who have passed the test of time. Local television has its own range of soap operas, darkly fantastic classics played after 7:30pm, comic serials, science fictions and a variety of other types.
- You read Dandy magazine at least now and then, but claim you only read the articles, merely glancing at the pictures.
- You know at least the basics of one of four games: Rugby, Football, Cricket or Basketball. If you're male, you probably know the rules in great detail of at least two games and can name the players who should make up the national team. If you're a woman, you say things like "Isn't rugby the one they play with that little stick thing?" You know better than that, but its funny to see men's reactions.
- If you are Native, you know all about chunkey and have probably lost money betting on it. If you are Newcomer, you probably don't understand all the fuss over chunkey.
- You count yourself fortunate if you get four weeks of vacation a year.
- Your parents probably think of opera and ballet as rather elite entertainments; but attitudes are changing. It's likely you see a few plays at a local theater or municipal stage. Unless you live in Niew Amsterdam in which case theatre is very popular (never seeing a Broadway show would be mildly tragic).
- Christmas is in the winter and lasts twelve days (unless you're Eastern Orthodox). Unless you're Muslim or Jewish, you spend it with your family, and put up a tree. Presents are given at December 25th after church.
If you died tonight...
- You have a distinct belief in God. Apart from Mormons and manic street evangelists few people have ever asked you if you believe in God. Creationism is an issue in some places, especially the border provinces (Mobile, Les Plaines, West Floridaetc.).
- You think of fast food franchises and takeaways as cheap, sometimes good, food.
- You probably own a telephone and a TV. Your place is heated in the winter and has its own bathroom. You do your laundry in a machine. You don't kill your own food. You don't have a dirt floor. You know some people who do have dirt floors and no laundry machines. You eat at a table, sitting on chairs.
- You don't consider insects, dogs, cats, monkeys, or guinea pigs to be food. Deer meat is sold in many, if not most, groceries.
- You refer to the smallest room as "the loo" or "lla duileth"; it's almost never out the back door anymore, even in the country. A bathroom may contain a toilet along with a sink, a bath or a shower unit. If you need to go, ask for the toilet.
- You expect, as a matter of course, that the phones will work. Getting a new phone is routine. You will consider getting a bycopel (a network terminal) once the network extends to your town. You probably don't really understand what it involves, but your impression is that it will be really quite neat.
- The train system is very good. Usually. Even local trains are faster than going by car; for long trips, you're better off taking an airship, though the TGVs are a reasonable alternative for travel in the east or between major cities.
- It seems natural that the telephone system, railroads and power companies are at least partly publicly owned. You probably have mixed feelings about the Public Broadcasting Network. Airlines and car manufacturers can be privately owned but not all are. If you are old enough you can remember when you got proper service for your shilling.
- Colour of skin is not an important identifier. Most people are Newcommers: folks from Europe and Asia mostly, some from Africa; quite a hefty minority of the country are the Natives: the folks who were here first.
- Intermarriage is, if not the norm, very common. Thus multi-cultural names are pretty ordinary (a Native middle name like "Black Wolf" or "Running Horse" for example, or various versions of first names, Gwilliam for William being one example).
- You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.
- You take a strong court system for granted, even if you don't use it. You know that if you went into business and had problems with a customer, partner, or supplier, you could take them to court. Your lawyer will wear a finely crafted horsehair wig and a black gown; the judges will wear long curly wigs and black gowns.
- You'd respect someone who speaks Spanish, German or Japanese, but you very likely don't yourself speak them well enough to communicate with a monolingual foreigner. Your fellow Americans speak Comroig, English, Scots, Castillian, Native (usually Algonquin), Kerno, Swedish, Ladino and (sometimes) French. Comroig and English are the most common interlanguages. You yourself speak at least two languages well enough to be understood day to day.
- You probably think that a tax level of 30% is high, if you are in that tax bracket.
- School is free through high school (private schools are an option). College is subsidised but is becoming more expensive.
- College is (normally, and excluding graduate study) four years long. If you want to be a doctor, you need to get a master's first.
Everyone Knows that
- Mustard comes in jars. Shaving cream comes in cans. Milk comes in bottles or in cardboard boxes. You can get fresh milk, yogurt and cheese delivered to you.
- Dates are in the DD/MM/YY format.
- The decimal point is a dot, certainly not a comma.
- Great War II was a just war, and (granted all the suffering of course) ended all right. You're proud of your country's assistance to the Allies.
- You expect marriages to be made for love, not arranged by third parties. Many marriages happen in church, some in registry offices. You have a best man and a maid or matron of honor at the wedding -- a friend or a sibling. And, naturally, a man gets only one wife at a time. You've heard that Mormons get more, and have always wondered about that. If you're male of Kemrese descent, you may have worn a towein at your wedding.
- If you speak Brithenig, you use the informal ty only with persons you know well, which usually means that you can address them by their first name, or with fellow students. If you speak English, you usually address everyone as tha (or thou) unless you're really trying to be formal.
- If you're a woman, you might go to the beach topless. But there are plenty of beaches where that would cause quite a stir.
- An upmarket hotel room has a private bath, a cheap one has a bathroom in the corridor.
- If you're a man, you probably think that if a man has sex with another man, he is an homosexual. If a woman has sex with another woman, she is probably bisexual.
- If you are a woman, you probably think that if a man has sex with another man he is probably bisexual. If a woman has sex with another woman, she's homosexual.
- You'd rather a moving picture be subtitled than dubbed (if you go to foreign films at all); most moving pictures you're likely to see are in English or Brithenig anyway.
- You seriously expect to be able to transact business, or deal with the government, without paying bribes.
- Just about any store in an urban area will take your credit card. Cash is king; travellers should never leave home without their American Express travellers cheques.
- A company can fire just about anybody it wants, though might have to undergo aritration for just cause.
- You've come across crispy bacon, tender bacon, Ontario bacon, Appalachian thick slab bacon and love it in all its forms (unless you have a religious taboo against it, in which case you probably have tried one of the newfangled vegetarian equivalents).
- Labour Day is Calen Mai. It's a national holiday.
Contributions to World Civilization
- You have probably seen Rescue of Soldier Ryan and you thoroughly approve of Breuckelen, Chicago and Atlanta's efforts in presentation of history.
- You know the canon of popular music particularly Fuzió, Zidico and Qvelbe. Bands you recognise include ABBA, NoMoreEagleZ, Prwyster Gweresydaed an Caemyn, and Taely. You know of course that America gave the world Jass and Elvis Pressler. You think Angelita Diaz and Teoria Hibrida are western North America's main contributions to the musical canon.
- If you were born before a certain age, you probably think of nu jass as the pinnacle of the NAL's cultural melting pot. You're always amazed at all the diversity and how it unites youths of all ethnicities, sexualities and genders. Of course, as per Less Is More, you think the best MCs are always the ones who lead humble existences at the local jass clubs.
- You can count on excellent medical treatment, provided you can get it. Medical treatment is anything but cheap, but qualifying for Medi-Cov is tricky. If you've just got something minor but painful, you can expect a not-too-long wait at a clinic or a long one at a metropolitan emergency room, unless you go private. You know you're not going to die of cholera or other Third World diseases. You think dying at 65 would be a tragedy. AIDS genuinely frightens you.
- You measure things in feet, pounds, and gallons. You think the Louisianan system of measures is dumb, and you never quite trust any of their exports, because you don't really know how much you're getting. This reminds you of comic MP Geoffrey Sessions, who's always railing against Louisianna and their ungodly "decimated metricks".
- You went over American History at school, as well as the history of the Federated Kingdoms, and some European history, especially the bits about Brecryg and Hessler; not much Asian or African stuff, but much more on Louisianne and Tejas.
- You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics. You may not be able to name any of the heads of the armed services. You know there are five services.
- Your country has never been invaded by foreign conquerors, but early on managed to stuff a would be invader back across the Mississippi River (you know this as the 1828 War).
- You're used to a wide variety of choices for almost anything you buy.
- You are probably not a farmer, though there are many in the country.
- Comics come in three forms: newspaper comics, serial (usually super-hero) and hardbound books.
- The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, authors, or rather strange individuals. Certainly not, say, politicians.
- You drive on the left side of the road. You stop at red lights even if nobody's around, unless you live in Nieuw Aamsterdam -- there you take your life in your hands every time you step off the curb. If you're a pedestrian and cars are stopped at a red light, you will fearlessly cross the street in front of them. Once again, unless you live in Nieuw Amsterdam. On the other hand, pedestrians in that city also have a habit of kicking and pounding the bonnets of cars stopped at red lights and shouting all sorts of abuse at drivers, especially if they try to move a little bit.
- In a way, you are part of the Federated Kingdoms which is the centre of the world. Everyone knows to look to the Federated Kingdoms because the FK is a fusion culture. You know that your country has contributed much to the greatness of British culture and are proud to be a member nation of the Commonwealth.
- If you don't see the FK as the centre of the world, you probably view the Scandinavian Realm as the centre. If not one or the other, you very likely don't consider any particular spot the centre and think that a typically nutty European idea.
- You consider the Volkswagen Beetle to be a small car; but most cars aren't much bigger.
- The police are armed. If you are a rural, you (by definition) have a hunting rifle. If you live in town, you might own a gun or at least know someone who does. You think that firearms should be controlled by the state; but fear overcontrol.
- If a woman is plumper than the average, it doesn't improve her looks.
- The biggest meal of the day is in the evening.
- Americans make jokes about everybody -- but you know that this is OK, because everyone is already here and are part of us!
- There's parts of the city you definitely want to avoid at night. Again, especially if you live in Nieuw Aamsterdam.
- You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Philadelphia.
- You wouldn't expect both inflation and unemployment to be very high (say, over 15%) at the same time.
- You don't care that much about what family someone comes from, unless they come from Louisianne.
- If a politician has been cheating on his wife, you consider this very bad form, but probably is not reason enough for him to resign. It will influence your vote next time around, though.
- The normal thing, when a couple dies, is for their estate to be divided equally between their children.
- The church was never very powerful, but has always been influential. Sometimes very influential. Here, anyway.
- Taxis are generally operated by SNORists who entertain you with their quirky views on immigration and penal policy. They do know the city, though.
- You think that the Welfare State is a necessary part of a civilized society; though feel that the provinces and local social organisations should do the lion's share.
- You'd be hard pressed to name the leaders of all the nations of Europe. There really are too many of em, and you have enough difficulty not laughing at the antics of your own vaudevillians over in Louisianna and Tejas. The capitals you could probably find on a map.
- You find a multi-party system natural, and can hardly imagine another fair way to run a country. You have several major parties and a number of smaller ones and you're used to two parties forming the national government. You find parliamentary systems with an entire left to right scale of parties normal. You find nothing at all strange about living in a republican monarchy with multiple crowned heads.
- There sure are a lot of lawyers (to say nothing of accountants!) Barristers wear gowns and wigs.