Breakfast In America


Almost from the very moment that I was tugged and pulled from out of my poor Mother with the aid of a large pair of forceps, kicking and screaming, puce with rage, I have had a steady drip feed of American culture via TV, films, music, literature, and art.

From the second I could sit up I loved watching cartoons on the TV and without a shadow of a doubt, all my favourites ones were American.

My Mother adored Elvis. She used to sing his songs about the house and the day he died, (which coincidentally was the same day our dog passed up, and away into Abraham’s bosom) must have been one of the saddest days ever in our household. I think it was the first time I saw my Mum cry and I was really quite concerned that with this dramatic outward show of emotion, she may secretly have loved Elvis more than my Dad.

One of my happiest childhood memories is creeping away from the kitchen table after Sunday lunch, stuffed full of food and lying on my Grandma Oma’s bed watching slushy black and white American matinees. I thought they were beautiful and I was captivated by the Hollywood glamour.

My first trip to the cinema was when I was aged 5. I was taken to see The Jungle Book, Disney of course and I can almost name the exact date that I had my first ever can of Coke. I was 8 years old! That first taste was so delicious and so unexpected that it made me do the biggest, loudest burps ever. I remember the Coke being so filling that I struggled to finish the can. The sweet, brown, tooth rotting, carbonated liquid tasted like nectar to me then, and it still does.

As I’ve grown up (sort of) and the years have passed by, it’s not just American TV, comedy and films that I have a great attachment to, but American art, music and literature. Patti Smith is my hero, Blondie is my idol…. Andy Warhol, Rauschenberg, Pollock, Sherman, Man Ray, Lichtenstein…on, and on, the list doesn’t stop with just them.

I’ve been checking out some of my favourite writers and would you believe it, at least 70% of them are American.

So, guess what? I arrive in America for the first time 2 days ago and it is as if I have been here a 100 times before. The instant I walked out of JFK I felt an absolute sense of déjà vu. Surely I’d seen that taxi? Surely I’d heard that train toot? Surely I’d heard those police sirens before? Everything has felt so comfortably and reassuringly familiar that I’ve had to pinch myself more than once to remind myself of the fact that I have never actually set foot on this soil before. Even the taxi driver who took us to our hotel looked the dead spit of  Jeff Garlin from Curb your Enthusiasm.

Here’s a list of all the things that have made me smile so far.

The Lavatories.  – I have never visited a country before where there is so much toilet paper available and where the lavatories are so clean! You don’t even have to flush, no sooner has your ass lifted off the seat – bingo! It flushes all by itself. There are even neat seat covers if you don’t want to put your flesh where others have been before you. (I haven’t yet used them yet as I’m always in such a desperate rush to pee that if I started putting seat covers down, I’d have done it in my pants by the time I’d got the darn thing fitted)

People’s names. – My eyes nearly popped out of my head the first night here whilst watching the TV in the hotel bar. Only America could have names such as Ernie Mushburger, Herb Winklesniffer, Newt Gingrich… apologies if I haven’t got them totally right but I had to scribble them down quick…

Food. – I have NEVER EVER seen so much food on a plate in my life. I think I may have died and gone to heaven already. I have also never eaten a salad anywhere in the world that has more calories packed into it than over here. The burgers are totally divine and I am itching to try out the pancakes. If I lived here I would be HUGE.

I can’t wait to try Sausage and Gravy biscuit for breakfast though it does sound a bit like dog food (the biscuit and gravy bit) and anywhere that you can eat Bar-B-Que spaghetti has got to be worth checking out surely?

Sock-it-to-me-cake is on my wish list too, whatever that is and I am going to have to check out the foot long hot dog even if it does give me a coronary.

)

Almost from the very moment that I was tugged and pulled from out of my poor Mother, with the aid of a large pair of forceps kicking and screaming, puce with rage, I have had a steady drip feed of American culture via TV, films, music, literature, and art.

From the second I could sit up I loved watching cartoons on the TV and without a shadow of a doubt, all my favourites ones were American.

My Mother adored Elvis. She used to sing his songs about the house and the day he died, (which coincidentally was the same day our dog passed away up into Abrahams bosom) must have been one of the saddest days ever in our household. I think it was the first time I saw my Mum really cry and I was really quite concerned that with this dramatic outward show of emotion, she may secretly have loved Elvis more than my Dad.

One of my happiest childhood memories is creeping away from the kitchen table after Sunday lunch, stuffed full of food and lying on my Grandma Oma’s bed watching slushy black and white American matinees. I thought they were beautiful and I was captivated by the Hollywood glamour.

My first trip to the cinema was when I was aged 5. I was taken to see The Jungle Book, Disney of course and I can almost name the exact date that I had my first ever can of Coke. I was 8 years old!

That first taste was so delicious and so unexpected that it made me do the biggest, loudest burps ever. I remember the Coke being sofilling that I struggled to finish the can. The sweet, brown, tooth rotting, carbonated liquid tasted like nectar to me then, and it still does.

As I’ve grown up (sort of) and the years have passed, it’s not just American TV, comedy and films that I have a great attachment to, but American art, music and literature. Patti Smith is my hero, Blondie is my idol…. Andy Warhol, Rauschenberg, Pollock, Sherman, Man Ray, Lichtenstein…on, and on, the list doesn’t stop with just them.

I’ve been checking out some of my favourite authors, and would you believe it, at least 70% of them are American.

So, guess what? I arrive in America for the first time 2 days ago and it was as if I had been here a 100 times before. The instant I walked out of JFK I felt an absolute sense of déjà vu. Surely I’d seen that taxi? Surely I’d heard that train toot? Surely I’d heard those police sirens before? Everything has felt so comfortably and reassuringly familiar that I’ve had to pinch myself more than once to remind myself of the fact that I have never actually set foot on this soil before. Even the taxi driver who took us to our hotel looked the dead spit of  Jeff Garlin from Curb your Enthusiasm.

Here’s a list of all the things that have made me smile so far.

The Lavatories.  – I have never visited a country before where there is so much toilet paper available and where the lavatories are so clean! You don’t even have to flush, no sooner has your ass lifted off the seat – bingo! It flushes all by itself. There are even neat seat covers if you don’t want to put your flesh where others have been before you. (I haven’t yet used them yet as I’m always in such a desperate rush to pee that if I started putting seat covers down, I’d have done it in my pants by the time I’d got the darn thing fitted)

People’s names. – My eyes nearly popped out of my head the first night here whilst watching the TV in the hotel bar. Only America could have names such as Ernie Mushburger, Herb Winklesniffer, Newt Gingrich… apologies if I haven’t got them totally right but I had to scribble them down quick…

Food. – I have NEVER EVER seen so much food on a plate in my life. I think I may have died and gone to heaven already. I have also never eaten a salad anywhere in the world that has more calories packed into it than over here. The burgers are totally divine and I am itching to try out the pancakes. If I lived here I would be HUGE.

I can’t wait to try Sausage and Gravy biscuit for breakfast though it does sound a bit like dog food (the biscuit and gravy bit) and anywhere that you can eat Bar-B-Que spaghetti has got to be worth checking out surely?

Sock-it-to-me-cake is on my wish list too, whatever that is and I am going to have to check out the foot long hot dog even if it does give me a coronary.

10 thoughts on “Breakfast In America

  1. ‘ darn thing fitted’ Two days and already you’re talking the lingo!

    If you ever turn this blog into a book Lotts, instead of some ‘quippy’ title such as Footloose and Fancy Free maybe you should call it something like

    ‘Food, loos and pants & pee’

    Like

  2. I know it’s incredible, I’ve been here just 2 days and i’m already fluent in the language. 2 days!

    Ok Eamon, you’re on, ‘Food, loos and pants and pee’ it is ……

    Like

  3. Amberr! After Indonesian lavatories, the pleasure of clean lavatories with mountainous stacks of toilet paper and not a high pressure hose in sight is indescribably wonderful – 🙂

    Like

  4. As someone about to do the reverse trek (back to China for a week) the bathroom appreciation is something I never take for granted. 15 years ago on my first trip to China I felt truly blessed to have grown up in America after entering my first Chinese toilet.

    Like

    1. YAY!! I’m totally in awe of your ‘Rest Rooms’ here, BUT tonight, I was horrified to have my first experience of having to ‘flush’ all by myself. Weird! after only 2 days, I’ve taken it for granted that I wouldnt need to bother myself with such paltry things!

      Hope you have a great time in China

      Like

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