The son has finally made it big in the US of A. Everything appears bright and beautiful although Xmas is almost a whole year away! He is bitten by the ‘New Immigrant Bug’ or NIB – the more popular acronym. For the uninitiated, by and large, NIB is a harmless bug that is known to affect a sizeable percentage of all new immigrants to the grand old US of A!
Some of the classically observed symptoms are – sheer awe at all things in the US – both big and small, the blond, bald and beautiful and the not so beautiful, literal hero-worship of the loud-mouthed politicos despite their international bullying and the list goes on and on. Usually most of the symptoms clear-up within a year or two when either the escalating taxes and/or the crime rate take their collective toll. But there are exceptions to available stats and in some extreme individuals, the symptoms are known to last a lifetime and more. It’s a tad too early to say in which category the son falls into. As of now, all we know is that he has a touch of humor!
Little wonder than that he is awestruck by the apparent lucre that lines the sidewalks right from the East Coast to the West! Sheer rote and hobnobbing with the Americans has seen the word ‘awesome’ being ingrained into his otherwise sparse vocabulary. But that’s changing, coz of late; almost everything from the Oprah Winfrey show to even a morsel of Sushi can’t be anything else but awesome! The conclusion – everything is hunky dory and awesome in the US – right from the buxom blondes showing their wares on some sun-kissed beach to the latest flavor of dubba-bubba bubble gum to the Presidents shock-and-awe campaigns in Iraq! It’s all awesome indeed!
It’s the festive season and his mood is upbeat as he has just done some stock-taking and boy, the conclusion is awesomely wonderful! Perfect time to gloat and dash off yet another of his eulogies about dearest old US to dear mom by way of a rare letter that goes thus:
Hey Mom, (I know that it should have been "Dear Mom", but out here everybody says "hey" for everything.)
How are you? I have finally made it to the US and made it big too! It’s a new place and a new beginning. It’s an awesome feeling to be in America. And I have just begun the process of streamlining myself to meld with the American ethos amidst this perpetually boiling cauldron of humanity.
Yo mom, it’s not been easy despite your prayers for my near-retarded mind. But then, anything works out here and I’m living proof! Know why, momma? Coz I speak their lingo much better and that too in their own backyard! So much so, that I have filed a patent (in Texas of course!) for my accent and it should be through by the time Bush gets the boot. Now, that’s awesome, aint it mom? Ha Ha! Should people ever try and imitate my accent without paying me royalty, I can sue them, you know?
Now for the itsy bitsy details that wouldn’t interest you much, but gives me immense pleasure to recount. Remember momma, when I was this little and we used to pray, you always used to instill in me this need to count my blessings – everyday and that too ‘one day at a time’? Well, so here I am being the dutiful son and doing just that for you!
See mom, I drive this huge stretch limousine – the size of one of those 5 number buses back home! It’s even got a Fridge TV, bathroom and a Jacuzzi, the kind that we could only dream of back then. The dashboard CD player has a Dish-Washing function too, or at least that’s what the Users Manual says. Bozo, my West Indian chauffer vouches for it too and claims to have used that function too! Even the Star Wars spaceship didn’t have all of that, mom. The Columbia Space Shuttle doesn’t have it either! I know momma, coz I wrote a lot of code for NASA!
I have this huge 6 bedroom fancy condo from which I can see the Statue of Liberty almost winking at me by way of congratulations. On a clear night, she even gives me a thumbs-up, or at least that’s what my perpetually stoned neighbor says, momma! I’m so thankful that you gave me a chance to sweep the floors back then, coz out here; I need a rake to collect the mega loot that I make every month. I’d ask Lizzie (Bozo’s wife) to help me out, but then, one should be careful with the hired help – right mom? So for that menial task, it has to be me, myself and I. Oh momma, that’s just a job hazard for being a huge cog in the American wheel.
By the way, how are your arthritic knees, mom? I would have brought you out here for some cutting-edge arthroscopy. However, the piled-up snow in winter, the perennial French fries, Bacon and Pepsi diet would negate my good purposes and ruin those fragile, ailing knees some more. Besides, you’d have absolutely no company while recuperating! I know you love partaking in those verbal uploads and downloads from all and sundry, momma and hence a word of caution. My immediate neighbor, Mr. Papadopoulos – he is Greek, a shipping tycoon and wouldn’t understand a word of what you speak should you be in the mood to yak 24 x 7! Whenever he isn’t minting money by yelling into his cell phone, he is busy snorting with his well-endowed blondes. So darn busy that he doesn’t even give even me the time of the day whenever I forget to wear my brand new Rolex.
Hence on second and tertiary thoughts, it’s better that you stay wherever you are, momma! But do take care of your joints though. They are always in my thoughts coz I remember them whenever I’m on bended knees counting my megabucks including the loose cents. Oh, speaking of such trivia, I’ll send you some, mom, once I settle my taxes! So if the amount is only a few rupees equivalent of even fewer dimes, you know why – taxes! Oh yeah, all of us pay our taxes on time as we have to keep this great nation and two wars running at all costs. Mine included!
As a people, the American’s are awesome mom! They can never take a ‘NO’ for an answer for anything. Methinks that’s why they suffer from obesity and constipation! (That’s my pet theory and no mom; I haven’t filed a patent for it as yet! I’m still waiting for the earlier one on my accent, you see!) Anyway, they have this penchant for excesses and love to spend borrowed money. Their entrepreneurial skills are legendary. The bankers love to borrow money from any impoverished third world country or even the fourth dimension for that matter! It just doesn’t matter a plugged nickel to them! After all, greenbacks thrive when borrowed and boy, they sure speak volumes, mom! That’s America in a nutshell for you!
The US of A is an awesome place to live in mom! The forefathers of this great nation fought harder than they worked to keep their land. When their ailing joints and sagging beer-bellies couldn’t take it any more to do battle, let alone work, they brought in Negro slaves to do their dirty work! When party-time ended and they couldn’t any longer get away with getting their dirty work done for free, they fought amongst themselves. That kept them busy for a while. And when it all ended, they shook hands, became buddies again and the victor declared the slaves free.
But party time came again. You see, some of those programming klutzes in the 70’s and 80’s forgot to include sufficient zeroes in their primitive code. The IT gurus called it the Y2K bug and prophesized that if it wasn’t rectified by the end of the millennium untold catastrophe would result. Voila – that’s all that was needed coz some bright chap came up with this bright idea of mass immigration in a big way. The idea was for them to put more zeroes in the code in return for peanuts! Now you know where the truism, ‘pay peanuts and you get monkeys’ comes from! Maybe that explains why I hanker for my Green Card – so that I can truly be a part of this great nation! ‘Woof’ agrees Fido, my pet Dalmatian! That’s hope for you, momma – something that’s never in short supply out here even though ones ass is grass without the mega$$!
The key to success is to dream and dream big! And if one can’t accomplish that by mere dreaming, two hoots and not to worry. There is always the weed (220% organic and biodegradable), LSD, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, uppers, downers and whatnots! The choice is amazing and the euphoria awesome! You can even choose the flavor – be it menthol, mint, vanilla, orange etc. The Columbians will vouch that none of it is genetically modified no matter what the anti-genetic-modified-lobbyists harangue on TV! Everybody has dabbled in some kind of dope or the other, mom. Why? Even our erstwhile great Presidents and the current aspirant’s have confessed to smoking at least a bit of pot while being grilled on the pre-election campaigning trail! Whenever required and suitable, our politicians can be awesomely truthful, momma. The world has to learn many a lesson from them. Long live America!
Oh yeah, we have a great history, mom. And who says wars aren’t good? We have fought our fair share of wars and whenever we’ve gotten bored (which is often), we’ve butted into others wars. Sometimes, we have started some just to give our troops some live-ammo exercises! Our butts have been shot full of lead by even the Vietcong’s muzzleloaders and we had to pull out our stoned troop’s and nationals when they got septic. But, being eternal optimists, we realized that our victory was in the ignominy of defeat coz that was great for logistics, momma! Some bored Airman Basic (A.B.) who was counting the number of choppers, flights etc got even bored after the evacuation and wrote a book on that. He became a management guru overnight! Subsequently, several others followed suit on different topics and became millionaires overnight!
Now that those veterans were back and homicidal, what did we do? After the customary debriefing with free enemas, we gave them various medals of Honor, pensions, psychiatric counseling, rehab, jobs etc. Some of them were just grown-up babies and needed baby-sitters! The more serious chaps needed nurses, doctors and shrinks by the ton. We built our magnificent health care economy on that alone and the competition is eons away! With Iraq and Afghanistan in the loop, we hope to do even better. Two hoots for the impending recession, mom! And if Superman Bush has his way and decides to get into Iran’s drawers during the last legs of his tenure, our coffers should keep flowing until Kingdom’s kingdom Come!
The Legal system out here in incomparable, mom! Anybody can sue just about anybody and everybody and it will be aired too! It’s only in America that you’d find a televised hearing that involves a dog-sitter asking a dog-owner for reparations for a mongrel peeing all over a flower bed. Our legal system is foolproof and nobody can say ‘no’ to us! See how we have forcibly invited those chaps who were not even convicted for anything to an all expenses paid vacation at Guantanamo Bay! The Human Rights Watch claims that the worst that most of them did was watch CNN/BBC/ABC etc telecast those 9/11 bombings – that too live on their neighbors TV! But never mind what they say mom! Bush knows best and nobody can say no to us you see!
The Americans are smart, momma! The other day on a live show on TV, somebody when asked which was bigger – the moon or an elephant, answered ‘elephant! Where else but in the good ole US can you order a pizza that arrives before an ambulance? And the shysters – they are so enterprising that they even chase ambulances and sign-on client’s en-route! The paparazzi are in a class of their own and boast having their own satellites just click pictures of celebrities. That’s transportation and telecom out here for you. It’s truly awesome, mom!
Yes mom. The US of America is simply awesome and a land of great and equal opportunity. It’s just that some, by default, are more equal than others. We can only pray that all that all of these awesomely precious things the American ancestors fought for won’t be taken away from us. Perish the thought! I couldn’t even dream of wanting to work and live anywhere else. Why on earth should I sacrifice my right to have equal compensation for unequal contributions, eh? Momma, you’re an awesome peach and I simply love you almost as much as I love the US of A. God bless America and bless you too – all over again.
Hey mom, I’ve got to rush! Fido’s yelping coz she just wet her diapers and I’ve got to change them before she develops a bad nappy rash! I’d love to write more but wouldn’t want some snoop from the People from the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to sue my sorry butt! Can’t have Fido spilling all on Oprah’s show, can we?
So, got to rush! Ciao mom! Will write you more soon. Until then, do take of your arthritic knees, hear?
Author: Chris Rego- UAE