IJMC How I'll Become an American

		     IJMC - How I'll Become an American

Wow, I'm halfway to being an American already...hmm, half of 38 is 19, 
uhm, I guess I'm a few years behind...hmm, more buying! More selling! 
More of that, uhm, well, I can't say it here, but he does...enjoy! 

   Miklos Vamos is an Hungarian writer who spent last year at the Yale
   School of Drama.
   I have been Hungarian for 38 years. I'll try something else for the
   next 38. I'll try to be an American, for instance, North American, I
   mean. As an American, I'll speak English fluently. I'll make American
   mistakes instead of Hungarian mistakes and I'll call them slang.
   As an American, I'll have a credit card. Or two. I'll use and misuse
   them and have to pay the fees. I'll apply for other cards right
   away. Golden Visa. Golden American. Golden Gate. And I'll buy a car, a
   great American car. Then I'll sell my car and buy a smaller West
   German car because it's reliable and doesn't use so much gasoline.
   Later , I'll sell it and buy a smaller Japanese car with a computer
   aboard. Then I'll sell it and buy a camper. When I sell the camper
   I'll buy a bicycle.
   As an American, I'll buy a dog. And a cat. And a goat. And a white
   whale. And also some big stones as pets.
   I'll live in my own house. It will be mine, except for the 99 percent
   mortgage. I'll sell my house and buy a condo. I'll sell my condo and
   buy a mobile home. I'll sell my mobile home and buy an igloo. I'll
   sell my igloo and buy a tent. As an American, I'll be clever: I'll
   sell my igloo and buy a tent when I move to Florida from Alaska.
   Anyway, I'll move a lot. And I'll buy the best dishwasher, microwave,
   dryer and hi-fi in the world - that is, the USA. I'll have warranty
   for all - or my money back. I'll use automatic toothbrushes, egg
   boilers and garage doors. I'll call every single number starting
   I'll buy the fastest food I can get and I'll eat it very slowly
   because I'll watch TV during the meals. Of course, I'll buy a VCR.
   I'll watch the taped programs and then retape. Sometimes, I'll retape
   As an American, I'll have an answering machine too. The outgoing
   message will promise that I'll call you back as soon as possible, but
   it won't be possible soon.
   If I answer the phone as an exception, I'll tell you that I can't talk
   now because I have a long-distance call on the other line but I'll
   call you back as soon as possible ( see above ).
   And I'll get a job. I'll always be looking for a better job, but I
   won't get the job I want. I'll work really hard since as an American I
   wanna be rich. I'll always be in a hurry: Time is Money.
   Unfortunately, my time won't be worth as much money as my bosses'
   time. Sometimes, I'll have some time and I still won't have enough
   money. Then I'll start to hate the wisdom of this saying.
   As an American, sometimes I'll be badly depressed. I'll be the patient
   of 12 psychiatrists, and I'll be disapointed with all of them. I'll
   try to change my life a little bit. I'll try to exchange my wives, my
   cars, my lovers, my houses, my children, my jobs and my pets.
   Sometimes, I'll exchange a few dollars into other currencies and I'll
   travel to Europe, Hawaii, Tunisia, Martinique and Japan. I'll be happy
   to see that people all over the world are jealous of us Americans.
   I'll take at least 2000 snapshots on each trip. I'll also buy a video
   camera and shoot everywhere. I'll look at the tapes, photos and
   slides, and I'll try to remember my experiences when I have time and
   am in the mood. But I won't have time or be in the mood because I'll
   get depressed again and again.
   I'll smoke cigarretes. Then I'll be afraid of cancer and I'll stop.
   I'll smoke cigars. And opium. I'll take a breather and then try LSD
   and heroin and cocaine and marijuana. To top it all off: crack. I'll
   try to stop but I won't be able.
   I'll call 1-800-222-HELP. If nothing helps, I'll have some gay
   experiences. And swing. And if I am still unhappy, I'll make the final
   effort: I'll try to read a book. I'll buy some best sellers. I'll
   prefer James A. Michener. My second favorite will be the "How to Be
   Rich in Seven Weeks". I'll try to follow this advice in seven years.
   I'll always be concerned about my health as an American. I won't eat
   anything but health food until I get ill. From time to time, I'll read
   in the paper that I should stop eating meat, sugar, bread,
   fiber, grains, iron, toothpaste, and that I should stop drinking milk,
   soda, water, acid rain. I'll try to follow this advice, but then I'll
   read in the paper that I should do it the other way around.
   I'll be puzzled. "Hey, I don't even know what cholesterol is!". Yet,
   I'll stick to decaf coffe, sugar-free cookies, salt-free butter and
   leadfree gasoline. I'll believe that proper diet and exercise make
   life longer. I'll go jogging everyday until I am mugged twice and
   knocked down three times. Then I'll just exercise in my room but it
   will also increase my appetite. I'll go on several diets, and little
   by little I'll reach 200 pounds.
   As an American, I'll buy a new TV every time a larger screen appears
   on the market. In the end, the screen will be larger than than room.
   It will be difficult to put this enormous TV into my living room;
   thus, I'll put my living room into the TV. Anyway, my living room will
   look very much like the living rooms you can see on the screen. My
   life won't differ from the lives you can see on the soaps: nobody will
   complain. I won't complain either. I'll always smile.
   After all, we are Americans, aren't we?

IJMC July 1996 Archives