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Wednesday, 17 November
USA! USA! USA!

As the trip to Europe comes closer, it dawned on me today that it was time to shop for tiny things. It's no good when traveling to pack a giant can of shaving cream, or the standard-issue tube of toothpaste, and certainly not a big tin of Band-Aids. For one, it's just not practical to cart that shit around. And for another, it's just insulting to the Europeans. This is a place where people drive tiny cars--if they drive at all--and eat tiny portions and sleep in tiny beds. In short, Europeans are tiny, scuttling pygmies, but they are proud pygmies, and resent stout American traditions like buying every possible product in such quantity as to suggest that at any time we may suddenly be plunged into a famine. America is the land of plenty, which is why we are the only people on earth who buy tube socks in twelve-packs.

I learned all this to my pain on previous trips to Europe. I remember one night in France at a restaurant, and I asked the waiter, "What's the soup du jour?" He told me what it was--I don't remember exactly, but it sounded good--and I said, "That sounds wonderful. Bring me a big fucking bucket of that shit, and a ladle." The waiter stared at me a moment, and then politely explained that the soup came in a perfectly modest portion that he thought I would enjoy. I set him straight. "I'm an American," I said through my big-ass American teeth, "You bring me that bucket and ladle. I'm gonna suck down that swill like an asthmatic moose, only noisier. I'm gonna grunt like Monica Seles having a sigmoidoscopy. I'm fucking Falstaff squared, okay?" Europeans respect Americans who simply know how to shoot straight, and true to form, the waiter was nothing but helpful from that moment forward, particularly after I shot him in the ankle for forgetting to refill our wine glasses.

But when it comes to most other things, we try to play it cool, and hence the shopping for tiny things. So today I bought a tiny little thingie of deodorant (my cavernous American armpits tingled with dismay), a tiny little tube of toothpaste (my tobaccoed American teeth laughed riotously and rubbed their teeth-hands together in anticipation of a smoke-friendly culture), a tiny little packet of ibuprofen (my giant American brain quivered with enthusiastic American endorphins), etc. Presently, a clerk approached me.

"Finding everything?" she asked.

"I think so," I replied. "I like these tiny little combs. They're absolutely spot on for my pubic hair, which does get really unruly. Do you have tiny little tubs of hair gel?"

She adopted a worried look, but remained helpful. "We, ah, have these small cans of hair spray. Would that work?"

"I don't think so," I replied. "I'm a smoker. One goddam stray coal and my dick is a Roman candle."

Her hands fluttered slightly in an unconscious semaphore indicating MADMAN to anyone who might be nearby.

"It's cool," I said soothingly. "Listen, do you have any tiny little pistols? Something good for travel? I might need to discipline some snotty waiters while I'm on vacation, and you have a Christload of tiny little things. Like a derringer or something? I don't need a fucking Buntline Special here."

She gave me a watery stare before responding. "Have you tried Safeway?"

Lord. This country is just in the dumps. It'll be good to get away. We'll be there soon, Europe! I know you just can't wait.

Roam | Skot | 17 Nov, 2004 |

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

the thing is, i never know anymore what actually happened and what you made up, skot. as a highly educated professional in the field of psychology (read: senior psych major), i think you may be taking a tiny jaunt down the road of psychosis.

keep it up!

Comment number: 004689   Posted by: candice on November 17, 2004 09:58 AM from IP: 199.106.86.2

See, I don't knwo what makes me happier - that we are ridding ourselves of your lunatic self, if only for a while, or that we are inflicting you upon the Europeans.

Have you thought of immigrating to Europe entirely? Those French and German bastards would BEG us to take you back.

Hey, next year go to the Middle East. THAT'll fix those terrorists

Comment number: 004695   Posted by: Jado on November 17, 2004 10:58 AM from IP: 208.247.148.12

Don't stay in Europe Skot. If you do, we'll have to make another "sorryEverybody.com" website - i wonder if "sorryAboutSkot.com" is available?

Comment number: 004696   Posted by: MojoMark on November 17, 2004 11:04 AM from IP: 192.65.41.20

As one of your tens of Middle Eastern readers, you are welcome to visit us any time.

Whilst you may need to bring your small toothpaste, etc., you do not have to bring your tiny guns.

An assortment of giant guns would show more respect for our cultural heritage.

Comment number: 004697   Posted by: Naomi on November 17, 2004 12:31 PM from IP: 212.235.37.229

Another excellent post. I give it 8.5 Skots.

My favorite line? Oh, it was, "Her hands fluttered slightly in an unconscious semaphore indicating MADMAN to anyone who might be nearby."

Good stuff.

Comment number: 004698   Posted by: Mike on November 17, 2004 04:04 PM from IP: 206.170.148.183

"rubbed their teeth-hands together" is clearly an immortal contrib. to the revered canon of Eng. Lit.

It makes me writhe in discomfort.

Comment number: 004701   Posted by: mike on November 17, 2004 11:58 PM from IP: 216.173.212.238

Holy mixed metaphor, Skotman. Moose are American, but Falstaff was English, and Monica Seles is some sort of multi-national entity residing wherever one resides to dodge taxes, I reckon.

Anyway, I only mention that so it won't sound like I'm sucking up when I note that IP's second anniversary is hard upon us, and you shouldn't be able to escape notice of that by a cheap trick like going to Europe.

Comment number: 004702   Posted by: Pesty on November 18, 2004 06:13 AM from IP: 162.130.1.220

Hope you picked up a set of tiny jumper cables (or credit card batteries) cause the dollar is so weak in Europe right now you're gonna need to charge up your wallet every hour.

Comment number: 004704   Posted by: bluepoppy on November 18, 2004 01:00 PM from IP: 12.105.87.36

In reference to those Euro's tiny cars, tiny beds but not so tiny bods, check out this article: THE HEIGHT GAP
by BURKHARD BILGER
Why Europeans are getting taller and talleróand Americans arenít.
Issue of 2004-04-05
Posted 2004-03-29

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040405fa_fact

Just found it interesting . . .

Comment number: 004711   Posted by: megan on November 20, 2004 05:32 PM from IP: 24.239.137.3

Mind the gap

Hey Pesty: Moose are Canadian too...

Comment number: 004713   Posted by: Lauren on November 21, 2004 05:28 PM from IP: 216.209.223.28

Australians are worse. We know about the tiny thing because we were born and grew up in a secret, invisible pod called COMMMANDOWORLD where all the women are nurses and men can replace fan belts with snakes knotted together with fencing wire.

So an Australian backpack is full of midget stuff. It's just that we believe in such an EXPANDED RANGE OF THINGS THAT CAN GO WRONG.

You want that specific hook thing that allows you to pull three foot parasitic worms out of your leg muscles? Ask an Australian with a back pack.

A tiny battery powered cutting tool specifically to open the side of a burning aeroplane once it has skidded to a halt in a swamp? Left side pocket.

A yoyo to entrance the crocodiles snarling at the end of the firesoftened wings? With a backup halogen light as well...

I could go on but I have to clean my keyboard with this weird little mobius brush thing cleverly adapted from a toothflossing handle, and mounted in the end of my backup boomerang..

Comment number: 004732   Posted by: David Tiley on November 26, 2004 11:49 PM from IP: 150.101.148.205

Ooohw my God!! You're coming this way? Please tell me when so I can go and hide.

Comment number: 004760   Posted by: Anna on December 8, 2004 12:37 AM from IP: 212.136.78.25

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