New entries from the American Handbook™, ultimate lexicon of the American lifestyle!
Box store: A cavernous corporate-owned structure filled with name brand products arranged on shelves and available for purchase. A nice little Saturday in America typically includes a trip to at least one, but preferably six or eight, of these wonders of modern consumerism. Often bundled together into convenient concrete and asphalt abominations called “strip malls,” box stores alleviated the tedious need for easily winded Americans to visit multiple small independent businesses operated by their hard-working fellow citizens. Americans now thrill to the experience of strolling down a box store’s expansive aisles, thoughtfully constructed wide enough to accommodate most American consumers’ considerable girth. Fast food kiosks strategically placed throughout the store offer fried snacks and sugar-laden beverages to counteract the physical exhaustion associated with choosing and purchasing products. The genius inherent in the box store concept is the implicit understanding that what Americans want above all is for everything they desire to be within their pudgy arms’ reach wherever they go. The box store offers consumers much more than a place to buy both toasters and toilet paper. It also nourishes their cravings for high calorie foods, provides their ill-mannered offspring with mindless entertainment, and comforts them with the familiar warm embrace of all their favorite corporate brands.
Theme restaurant: An eating establishment, often corporate-owned, where an overt guiding concept takes precedence over food quality. In these restaurants, the experience of being entertained is what matters, because at a basic level, Americans have a slavish need to be entertained at all times. And let’s face it, restaurants are boring. There’s nothing fun about sitting down at a table with your family and friends and eating weird food brought to you by some dull waiter. But dress that waiter up like a pirate or a clown, and suddenly the air is charged with the electricity of fun. As an extreme example of this, there is an American restaurant chain called Dick’s Last Resort where the wait staff is trained to be purposefully obnoxious and patrons arrive expecting to be verbally abused and placed in awkward situations. There is nothing better than a day of wandering the aisles of your favorite box stores followed by a delicious meal at Dick’s, where the waitress ridicules your bald spot and pours cream of cauliflower soup in your crotch. This right to pay for bad food paired with public humiliation is a cherished feather in the American Freedom Cap™, and that’s why communism was such a disturbing threat.