King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Monday, October 1

The beginner's guide to the North Americas

Ricardipus is on a mission. A mission to upset Londoners*. So, being patriotic, I thought I'd subject him to his own medicine. So, here for your entertainment is a guide to North America.

1. Street names are mostly completely impersonal. 1st street runs parallel with 2nd street, and that in turn leads to 3rd street. Occasionally someone will actually think a road is worthy of a real name, probably whilst in a drunken stupor. This means that 36th Avenue now becomes Dandelion and Burdock Lane. And being a lane, it is not quaint, olde English, or narrow, but the usual 6 lane behemoth with Capability Brown landscaped greenery running down the middle. House numbers are a lottery, with new numbers being invented by throwing a dice 5 times.

2. Finding addresses in North America is easy. Just find the street or avenue closest to the number you are looking for, then try to get the next road over. Once you accidentally enter the interstate, have driven 6 miles (10km for Canucks) , gotten off, got back to where you were originally, asked the fat bloke sat in a chair on the corner of a block, gone down an alley in the style of Starsky and Hutch, avoided the war veteran with the "Will work for food" sign, and turned left then right, the wrong way up a one way street.

3. Everybody wants to know your zip code. Why is it called a zip code? Does it have teeth? Does it get you there faster? Is there any method into taking a guess as to the zip code you might be looking for. Once again, if you need a zip code, the best advice is to dig out the dice and throw it 5 times. It is not advised to give the same zip code as your house number, or in fact it is not considered funny when you swap them around as a joke.

4. Hospitality is easy. As long as you have a fat wad of cash in your wallet, everyone will welcome you like their long lost brother/sister. Food will be plentiful, drink will be even more plentiful, and maybe if you're really lucky, handguns will be plentiful as well. If you need to stop and find somewhere to stay it's easy. Just pull up at any residence, ask if you can use their bathroom, and sleep in their bath.

5. Public transport seems to be a bit of a gamble. For you to travel, you should have a timetable, tickets, money, travel insurance, life insurance, public liability insurance, your will, a spare timetable for a different travel method, spare tickets, a recognized credit card, a mobile phone, your passport, your driving licence, and a bag of Werther's Original to get rid of the stench of the overused seats, now festering up your nose. The choice of travel is by air. This is because a) everything is so far apart, and b) there's bugger all in between. This can be carried out on the latest Boeing 727, or (more then likely) on a 30 year old crate recently repainted with Home Depot's budget paint. Those people who want to spend a little more time travelling can get the bus, which is actually a coach, or the train. The long distance bus is used by old people knitting and showing you pictures of their webbed feet grandkids, or students. The train is used by middle aged self employed sales executives who want to do nothing but sit in the bar and get drunk, or couples who are married. Just not to each other.

*I also hate London, but any port in a storm...