Saturday, 4 July 2009

Time to Celebrate

I was over at Bee's blog earlier, and she mentioned that she and some of her fellow colonists on the other side of the Atlantic were having some kind of celebration today, which prompted me to check my calendar to make sure she wasn't having another hallucination.

It is of course the 233rd anniversary of the day that America ceased to be Britain's problem. According to Wiki, this actually happened on July 2nd, but Wiki's not always reliable, and 300 million Americans can't have got the wrong day, surely? That would be rather embarrassing.

You'd have thought that the British would be celebrating, but sadly we don't get any time off. To be fair, if we had a holiday for every piece of the Empire we'd managed to get shot of, no-one would get much work done. Nevertheless, I thought we should have a review of the many achievements of that very young nation across the pond.


Invented by the Greeks a couple of millennia ago, and adopted by the British in the 13th Century, the American version is of course bigger and better. It takes years to elect a president (we only have 4 weeks to elect 650 people), and everybody gets a say - even little bits of paper. Al Gore lost the 2000 election by failing to win over the highly influential minority group of pregnant chads.

Voting US style.
We make do with a piece of paper and a box.

Electricity and the Hard Sell

Of course, no-one invented electricity, but it was an American dentist who came up with one of the most sadistic uses for it - the electric chair. This was a great success. The Ethiopians even spent a fortune on one in the 1890s, and their King ended up using it for his throne since (a) it was the most expensive chair in the country and (b) they didn't have any electricity. The New York salesman almost talked them into buying the Brooklyn Bridge, but they'd already gone bankrupt paying his comission on the chair.


These were developed by the Germans, but it was American know-how that flooded the planet with cheap Fords and helped cause Global Warming. On the plus side, horse driven carts were driven out of business and so our streets are no longer full of shit.

An 1885 Merc.

Our friends took this British World War II invention and installed Windows on it. Thanks, guys!

The First Computer

German Cuisine

Frankfurters and Hamburgers have hit the global big-time thanks to US fast food chains, something that I'm vary grateful for - even if eating them is probably going to kill me in the end.

American Cuisine

I've saved the best till last. Three magic words describe the greatest achievement of the loudest nation in the world. Green Bean Casserole.

Happy Fourth of July!


Jean Knee said...


Jean Knee said...

aww Brian, what a nice tribute.

I'll be sweating all day and all night long. I just hope the brownies are good

Brian o vretanos said...

Without air conditioning I'm probably sweating more than you, even though I'm just sitting around. Feel free to send me any left-overs.

Jean Knee said...

we were assigned an easy dish: S'mores. so I don't have to prepare anything

I will be in the air conditioning until later this afternoon and then it's sweat fest.

Bee said...

"The United States Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states, and thus no longer a part of the British Empire. Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration is a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The birthday of the United States of America—Independence Day—is celebrated on July 4, the day the wording of the Declaration was approved by Congress."

Happy Fourth! Oh, I also am now GBC fan.

Brian o vretanos said...


So the Wiki is wrong? That's no surprise...

I hope you're enjoying the day. Less than 5 months to go to GBC Day.

Jean Knee said...

I ate one bite of GBC because we found it after I stuffed myself with huge amounts of other things.

I thought of you both

Brian o vretanos said...

GBC and s'mores??? That must have been some party, Jean Knee.

Chris Wood said...

A very moving tribute. The loudest nation on earth? Oh yes.

Rhonda said...

Someone messed up that green-bean casserole. There is supposed to be french-fried onions all over the top!

Brian o vretanos said...


Once when I was in the US, I read some advice for Americans who were considering going abroad. According to an article in the Baltimore sun, in order to avoid terrorist attacks they should apparently refrain from visiting fast food places and try not to be loud.

It didn't mention anything about wearing baseball caps the wrong way round.


I messed up. You can't get french-fried onions here, and I wasn't about to set my flat alight trying to make them, so I settled for soggier fried onions. These days I tend to put in crispy salad onions, which are closer to the french-fried variety...