America the comical
It seems that America-themed parties are all the rage in Europe, according to a recent Yahoo News item. My first mental image of this involved people dressed in Colonial-era clothing, perhaps saluting the Stars and Stripes, playing a rousing game of Name the Founding Fathers or tossing tea bags in a punch-bowl "harbor."
Sadly, that's not the America they mean. Instagram pics from various parties abroad display Old Glory upstaged by party guests in basketball jerseys, baseball caps and T-shirts bearing commercial logos. Everyone seems to be eating sloppy joes and popcorn and carrying around those red plastic drink cups you get in the grocery store, considering them an essential nod to the land of the free-flowing beer.
What a classy impression we've made. However, it could be worse. Much, much worse. Honey Boo Boo worse. Or they could dress in shorts with black socks and sandals, drive monster trucks and gorge on the 1913-calories of Outback's Aussie cheese fries.
My very proper Aunt Virginia once told me that you should always be on your best behavior because you never know when you'll run into someone you know. She just meant, like, at the mall or something. Now, thanks to the Internet, the whole world is watching.
Hanging up your troubles
Baby crowding you? Well, put it in a cage and hang it from the window of your multistory apartment building. Problem solved! Apparently these open-mesh cages, frequently appearing on lists of "worst inventions," were a space-saving solution for city-dwelling parents. The idea was patented in 1923 in, yes, the U.S. As with sloppy Joes and red drink cups, it became popular in England, touted as providing fresh air and sunshine to infants while freeing up the living room. Truly a win-win.
Of course, such risky, primitive contraptions would never be tolerated today. Unless maybe you put an iPad in there.
A flap arose last week between child advocacy groups and the Girl Scouts about the Scouts' use of Barbie as a role model, providing a Barbie-themed activity book, a website, and even a Barbie participation patch that Scouts can earn for their uniforms. Another case of good ol' American ingenuity, I say. However, I'm not sure what the girls would have to do to earn a Barbie patch. Style each other's hair?
Sad news: The dog named Bigfoot I wrote about a couple of weeks ago -- the Rottweiler who used to hang out at a storefront in downtown Oakland and needed some serious surgery -- has gone on to that big backyard in the sky. His companion, Lisa Gomez, thanks those who offered financial help. Run, Bigfoot, run.
Contact Angela Hill at email@example.com.