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If the Brits could only see us now… my first time back home in America in 4 years (!!) and we are probably reinforcing almost every stereotype that Brits and Europeans hold against Americans:

Every American a Cowboy…

Yep, my folks live on a ranch in Texas, which in and of itself probably lives up to about 85% of the European stereotypes circling around about America.  From what I understand, Europeans expect to go to America (to any city really) and catch a bunch of dudes in cowboy hats and shit-kickers on horseback rounding up herds of buffalo (you know, to process into America’s favorite food after McDonalds: buffalo wings!).  America’s really not like that, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from our example while visiting my parents on their Dude Ranch:

Bren feeding the HorsesRiss feeding the ass

Don’t worry, there’s free-range cattle and chickens to herd too…

Feedin' the ChickensHave a Cow

Trucks: the American Way…

The ultimate symbol of American superiority?  A big, honkin’ 10-mile-per-gallon pick-up truck with whale-skin hubcaps.

Big Honkin' Truck

And upon closer inspection: behind every big honkin’ truck lies a faithful big honkin’ tractor!  It’s never too early to start learning how to negotiate our 1-lane roads (that are 3-lanes wide) either… You have to teach them young so they’re fully prepared for the task when they turn 16, right?

Learning To Drive

And then someday they can fit into American society without embarrassment and pull into the local liquor store (such as the one pictured below) loud and proud with their American pick-up truck.  This is just one of many parking lots sans sedans that we came across.

Texas Parking Lot

The Right to Bear Arms… a lot of Arms…

Europeans continue to be in awe that you can walk into a store and, within 30 minutes (with a background check), walk out with a gun.  Of course, I think this is viewed with a slight negative spin outside the US… but when you hear of these horrible shootings and massacres, the last time I checked it was by people who illegally obtained the weapon.  Ban them?  I’m sure people that want to use them illegally will find a way to obtain them regardless.  Personally, I am glad that we have the freedom to bear arms.  Provided it’s responsibly taught and handled, I think it breeds a respect and reverence for not only the firearms, but for life.  Whereas if you’re never exposed to it, you have an unfounded fear of coming near them and a lack of safety from ignorance… ultimately, that’s when accidents happen.

Teaching Shooting

So in all honesty, measured exposure to guns is a good thing.  And what a perfect place to begin to teach that respect and safety at the Dude Ranch.

All You Can Eat…

Yep, we have that too… but America isn’t the only country with overweight people out there.  I’ve seen plenty of overweight people in Britain.  Though I must admit, I think America’s overweight, on average, is twenty or so pounds heavier than the other countries’ overweights that I’ve seen.  Fortunately, that issue doesn’t plague our family right now… or does it?

Fat Snakeye

Have a Texas-sized Merry Christmas!

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