Shop the MH Superstore!

Order the book One Nation, Extra Cheese


Still intimidated by American customs? Don’t be. For the most part, U.S. residents are understanding, good-humored people. Unless you surprise them, of course, in which case you will be shot.

Recently American paper currency underwent a redesign — the drab “greenbacks” of old have been replaced with drab new high-tech bills. Decades in the making, these bills have such intricate artwork that counterfeiters would need access to some sort of “digital scanner” or “color Xerox machine” to duplicate them. Still, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with American money to avoid being swindled. Can you guess which of these is not real U.S. money?

1. U.S. currency; 2. Probably U.S. currency; 3. Not U.S. currency;
4. Valid currency only in New York City; 5. Not U.S. currency

In America, caste is not easily determined by clothing. Is that lip-pierced woman with dreadlocks, dirty leather jacket and Misfits t-shirt a street person or a college student? Is the twenty-something man in the Exxon jacket a gas station employee or a record store clerk? Is the suave gentleman in the three-piece suit an executive, or a cocaine-crazed axe murderer who keeps the severed limbs of his victims in a climate-controlled box hidden under the floorboards of his pricey SoHo loft?

These are extreme examples. The great majority of Americans tend to favor loose-fitting casual clothing such as t-shirts and sweatpants. This, of course, is because they are monstrously obese. For Americans with jobs, however, attire tends to be more formal.

Many American businesses designate the last day of the week as “Casual Friday.” This is a morale-building exercise where employees are encouraged to “let their hair down” by wearing khakis instead of a business suit. Keep in mind, if one is meeting with a client, more business-like attire may be expected.

Americans love to drive. They don’t care much for their own kind, and certainly don’t like the idea of getting on a crowded subway train full of dirty, thieving, smelly strangers. Instead, each American drives his own vehicle — the larger and less efficient, the better.

The most popular American automobile is the Sport Utility Vehicle. In your country, they are known as “tanks” or “anti-personnel vehicles.” Besides allowing motorists to sublimate their fears of penile inadequacy, SUVs are great for “off-roading” — that is, when their narrow wheelbase and high center of gravity tips them off the road and over an embankment, they can roll and roll with minimal damage to the outside of the vehicle.

It is important to note that driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in America. Americans looking to cause car accidents instead use their cell phones and change CDs in the player while driving.


Americans hate hearing vulgar language on free television, so networks replace crude swear words and offensive phrases with clever euphemisms. These expressions can be very confusing for non-natives. We have compiled a glossary of these “clean” phrases with their saltier equivalents.

CATCHPHRASE: “Sit on it!”
TRANSLATION: “Fuck you!”

CATCHPHRASE: “Up your nose with a rubber hose!”
TRANSLATION: “Fuck off!”

CATCHPHRASE: “You are the weakest link. Goodbye!”
TRANSLATION: “Fuck you sideways. Dickwad!”

CATCHPHRASE: “Kiss my grits!”
TRANSLATION: “Kiss my ass, fuckface!”

CATCHPHRASE: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
TRANSLATION: “I received a hummer.”

[ Chapter 1 ]

In Chapter 3:
A Visit to the great Midwest

Pre-order the book
One Nation, Extra Cheese

Copyright 2011 Modern Humorist, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Modern Humorist is not intended for readers under 18 years of age.