"You are pretty nice for an American."
I have actually had people say this to me before. I'm really not quite sure how to take it. Do I sell out my countrymen and say "thanks?"
They usually continue on to tell me things that paint "most" Americans as the brash, culturally insensitive, my way or the highway, cowboy, capitalist pig type.
Fueling this misconception is the fact that much of what they learn about us is through the TV or bigscreen. On one hand they think that we are the gun-toting models they see in the movies and on the other, thanks to the US's two most worldwide shows - Jerry Springer and COPS - they think we are toothless, obese strippers who are married to our cousins. I like to think we are somewhere in between.
This thought stream was brought on by a recent post on worldhum.com about two girls from Wisconsin that are selling ad space on their foreheads while they travel around the world. If there goal of $1 million in ad sales is met they will easily be able to fund their 80-day around the world trip. I know what you are thinking, "Capitalist piglettes." But wait. Some of the money will go to charity.
While I admire their desire to travel and their fearlessness in the face of humiliation, I can't decide what I would have them temporarily tattoo on their foreheads. I've narrowed it down to: I'm with stupid, Kick Me, Proud to be an American Entrepaneur, Bet you wish you'd thought of this, or simply a picture of the Canadian flag.