Earlier this year, I went on a long awaited and much anticipated trip to Orlando, Florida. Every moment of it was amazing, from the theme park rides to the ridiculous food and even the traffic coming back from Disney Springs (because I wasn’t driving and so I could have a nap). However, there are some things about America that utterly baffled us. OK Americans, I have a list. Could you please explain to me…
- Why are your TV adverts so terrifying?
We’ve all seen the parodies on TV of American health care adverts, but after a week of seeing actual American TV, I’m forced to believe that no, American adverts are actually like that. Every health care advert seemed to insinuate that you were going to die unless you used their product, and that if you didn’t, you were a selfish bastard who was going to force your family to bury you in a pauper’s grave. Also, there was the advert where you literally ordered a box you could take a dump in, then send it back through UPS to find out if you have colon cancer. That’s a thing. I’m not making it up.
- Why do your crosswalks yell at me?
Ok guys, I get that you don’t really walk anywhere. Your country is massive and your nearest store is probably miles away. However, must your crosswalks punish me for daring to use my own two feet? When you start to cross, they actually start a countdown and bellow it across the street, causing widespread panic. Also, thanks to the ‘you can still turn right when at a red light’ rule, while all this is still going down you’re likely to be mown down by an impatient motorist. I truly thought I was going to die on those crosswalks. Please stop.
- Why is your food neon?
I have a deep and unnatural love for American junk food. It’s disgusting, full of E numbers, and absolutely delicious. I spent the week picking up new and exciting junk food to munch in the hotel room, and packed half a suitcase full of Pop Tarts. What worried me, though, was how much of that food was bright, neon colours. Are you guys colouring your food with nuclear waste? Thanks to my love of blue raspberry flavoured stuff, I’m fairly sure my insides glow, now.
- Why is the junk food so scarily cheap?
On the subject of junk food, the reason I could buy so much was because it was dirt cheap everywhere we went. I literally left Walmart with armfuls of Pop Tarts and Oreos because I could buy them all for a couple of dollars each. Guys, this is not good for you. Discount the fruit. It’s not neon, for a start.
- Is no one checking what goes in the toy aisles?
While trawling Walmart and Target (oh yeah, we know how to have the best holiday), I was rather disconcerted to find ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ merchandise in the toy aisles. It makes sense in theory, as the characters are all Chuck E. Cheese’s style cuddly mascots. Who doesn’t want a stuffed bear or a chick wearing a bib? However, five seconds Googling will tell you that Five Nights At Freddy’s is a terrifying horror game where aforementioned mascots stalk you and kill you if you don’t keep your guard up. Guys, check what’s going on with the toys, yeah?!
- Why you keep making app games into arcade machines?
Ever wanted to play Candy Crush Saga on a massive, glowing machine? How about Angry Birds, or Temple Run? We found all of these and more in the arcades. I get that these games are popular, but they’re popular because you can pull them up on your phone at a minute’s notice and while away the time at the bus stop. No one wants to pay stupid money to fail miserably at Angry Birds in an over lit Dave and Busters.
- The Holy Land Experience theme park.
How. What. Why?!
Other than these issues, America, you’re pretty great. You took a swamp and declared, ‘LET’S PUT A THEME PARK HERE’, and now there’s a whole city built around the idea of luring tourists in. No one else would have the bloody nerve, and for that I applaud you.
Siobhan Harper is a freelance writer living in Birmingham UK. She strongly believes in figuring things out as you go along, but only because she's pathalogically disorganised. You can follow her adventures in writing at http://wingingitsiobhanharper.blogspot.co.uk/, or her thoughts on early mornings and dogs on Twitter at @Beatrix_Plotter.