Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dial "M" for 'Murica

Yesterday I saw a golden oldie of the Internet pop up on my IRL Facebook page.

It's a valid point. And a popular one.

I mean, a really popular one.

I just don't think there are many memes
that bring together John Wayne and Liam Neeson
in a spirit of intolerance and xenophobia.

What the heck do people think will happen if they press "1," anyway?

Maybe Benedict Cumberbatch will appear on the back of a unicorn dressed as Batman?

Of course I meant the unicorn.

Nah. That can't be it. These people seem upset, after all.

Clearly, having to "press '1' for English" is a portent of terrible evil in the world, and by "the world," of course I mean America.

And by "America," I mean patriots. And by "patriots," I mean people who spend a lot of time complaining about what a terrible place America is.

And by "terrible," I mean why can't white people just be in charge of everything, the way we were when we first slaughtered our country's indigenous people because they were living on our future cul-de-sacs?

What do you say we put the community pool
right about here, Roy?

My point is, as a dedicated public servant of the blogosphere, I'd like to volunteer myself as a guinea pig in a great social experiment.

An adorable guinea pig in a little hat, preferably.
I'm willing to submit to whatever horrifying consequences might ensue if I'm forced to press "1" for English on a telephone voice menu. Even if it means growing a third arm or beginning to hear coherent ideas when Rush Limbaugh speaks.

I'm willing to take that risk. Because I love you guys. And America. And experiences that have the potential to result in gratuitous limb growth.

Here's all I need: A working phone number to any legitimate company in America that conducts business primarily in English and has a voice menu instructing callers to "press '1' for English."

So no, not the local quinceanera store or Korean church. They are legitimate culture-specific entities that shouldn't have to answer their phones in a language not spoken by most of their customers.

I mean the type of business that typically has those voice menus to begin with. A bank. A pharmacy. A utility company. A department store. A hospital. The cable company. A software tech support center.

I'm willing to call them all, actually. Just send me the phone numbers of the ones that actually feature "press '1' for English" in their menus.

I'm sort of excited to see what happens. I'm pretty much your average American, except that I don't eat a lot of bacon and I vote on a regular basis. If there are horrible consequences to be had from a regular hard-working American pressing "1" for English, they surely will befall me the moment I do so.

Maybe I'll sprout a cane and a beard and make
comically irritated expressions.
As I said, all I need are phone numbers. Send 'em if you've got 'em.

Surely no one would get so worked up over "Press '1' for English" if it were just a right-wing urban myth, right?


  1. But you people don't speak English! You speak Americanish, a related but distinct language with different grammar, spelling and idiom, not to speak of separate meanings of words like "football" or "fanny".


    Meanwhile, over here, it will be the worst case scenario going by current trends.

  2. Clearly I've been calling all the wrong numbers. At most of them all I have to do to hear English is continue to listen. If I want to listen to or speak to someone in another language I have to press another number, usually "2".

    And why have all other languages been given the denigrating status of "number two"? BECAUSE 'MURICA! Let's all be grateful for the heroism of patriotic, upstanding American citizens like John Wayne and Liam Neeson.


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