Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm a Stranger Here Myself

Bill Bryson was born in America and then went to Europe. While over there, he got married and started a family and then decided to move back to his home country. His 288 page book pokes fun at everything American. Everything.

Post Office Appreciation Day: A day where they serve their customers bagels and coffee as a thank you for your business. The other 364 days out of the year, the mail is slow and cannot or will not or just simply refuses to deliver your mail correctly.

Going shopping for those things that you have no idea what they are called: I do this and I have lived in this country all of my life. This is especially true in a hardware store- "I need something to fix this"- as I show them a mangled, ripped up piece of metal. Who knows where this piece of metal came from- all I know is that it is broken and I need to fix it. I cannot imagine trying to explain to a sales person what those things are that prevent the nail from ripping holes in the walls.

How people injure themselves by sitting: Bill has this fascination with statistics. He likes to rattle on that XXX people get injured in couches, sofas or getting in/out of bed. This number is staggeringly higher than those XX people who died engulfed in flames last year. Or those XX hospital visits due to office supply injuries is double the number of people who got hit by lightning. His comparisons in statistics is hysterical and makes you think- "What the hell are these people doing, that they are injuring themselves on a sofa?"

Putting up Christmas decorations: Bill has this love/hate relationship with Christmas. He dreads getting ready for this holiday. His dramatic tale starts with getting half stuck in the attic and ends with those damn pine needles that you end up finding in your house on Easter. 

Going to a baseball game: New baseball stadiums are no fun. The old ones smell old, have hundreds years of goo on the floor and the seats are busted- this makes it nostalgic- right?

How many cup holders do we need in our car?
Where do diners get all of their paraphanelia?
Why do people drive to visit their next door neighbor?
Why are odd roadside attractions so much fun to visit? (The giant ball of yarn- anyone?)
Does dental floss really need a hotline number?
What's the difference between a hotel and a motel?

Bill addressess all of these questions and many more in his laugh-so-much-you-cry book. Bill could write about dental floss for 100 pages and I would read it because it would be so funny. (So there are not 100 pages about dental floss in this book, but he does have a lot to say about the subject).

Seriously, read it!


  1. Received this in my inbox: "Yesterday I finished "I'm A Stranger Here Myself" and was not overly
    impressed with it. It was cute, humourous and I laughed a couple times; all in all it was a bit mild."