I’m turning Japanese. Wait, I mean American.

I’ve got to get off my duff and get serious about becoming a modern American.

And that begins with thinking like one.

And that begins first and foremost with the litigious mindset.

I’m woefully lacking on that count; it’s a deficit surpassed only by my big fat zero singing talent.

My problem is my old-school thinking and values. They lead me to not only want but to assume responsibility, practice accountability, seek solutions without thought of the courts and look toward myself instead of others to blame.

That thinking just won’t do in the changing modern America!!

Witness the rats problem. The rodents that reside in the ceiling above my kitchen.

It presented the perfect opportunity to practice the modern American mind. And I flubbed it.

Long story short, I thought long and hard about taking the matter to the city’s health department.

In the end I decided not to.

The failure to rush to the offices of government authorities — and then the lawyers — is no way to accomplish modern Americanhood!

I opted out of that approach for good reasons.

Were they the right reasons? Right, which I intuit and define as “higher road” and “spiritually clean” and “with best intent” and “no intent to do harm” and “right action.”

And all that other crap that has no place in our litigious society.

I can’t answer with a firm affirmative.

But I did what I had to to protect my deposit at a time when it is absolutely needed. Only one thing I need more: air to breathe.

Hindsight’s 20-20. I see where I mucked up the rats situation by thinking like myself instead of a modern American.

In the latter mode, I’d have spotted the rodents as the golden opportunity to snatch that gold ring!! The ring to which I’m entitled! The ring that the world owes me! The ring that the landlords, in their refusal to hire an exterminator, owe me!

The ticket that sets me up for life! And I don’t hafta do a goddamn thing except be offended and blame and fingerpoint and demonize the landlords and make myself the victim!!

Easily accomplished with nasty disease-carrying destructive rodents living above.

Throw in some good solid whining. Charges of centuries of gender inequality … “it’s only because I’m a woman that the landlords didn’t take me and the rats problem seriously” … and I’m home free and rollin’ in the bucks, baby!!


Hey, I’m gettin’ the modern American mentality down better than I expected!

“Screw the deposit!!!!” I shoulda said.

“It’s stupid to protect several hundred dollars when I can get 500 times that … 1,000 times that in a lawsuit!!!”

{grabs the Yellow Pages and starts dialing lawyers’ offices}

That approach never even entered my mind. My bad. Am I a pathetic American or what?!?!

But in my despair, I’m reminded of the wisdom passed on by the sages through time eternal: Recognizing the problem is the first step toward solving it.

And so, in the spirited determination of cultivating the new mindset, soon as I’m done writing, I’m going into the kitchen.

I’m going to seat myself on the cold dingy white linoleum floor. In the lotus position. Loosely interlace my fingers. Close my eyes. Breeeathe. Breeeeeeaathe. Breeeeeeeeatheeeeee.

Gently raise my chin. Open my eyes and fix my gaze toward the heavens. Which also happens to be in the direction of the ceiling behind which the rats reside. And chant: money money money lawsuit lawsuit lawsuit.

Buddahhood Americanhood here I come!!


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karyn @ kloppenmum
    Apr 14, 2011 @ 17:23:02

    Gosh darn it, and I thought all that media stuff about Americans was wrong!
    Sadly, I also go by the ‘accept it or take responsibility for changing it’ mantra…would be so much easier if I didn’t.
    Happy hunting. 🙂


    • allycatadventures
      Apr 14, 2011 @ 18:24:30

      @Klopp – Years ago a book titled “Whiplash: America’s Most Frivilous Lawsuits” came out. It humorously presents true (and typical) suits.

      Like the male stripclub patron who sued after getting hit by a breast. An inmate who sued the state claiming that the grub caused him flatulence. The couple having sex on the train tracks who sued because the train hit them. The McDonald’s suit over a spilled milkshake. The litigants won in every case, natch.

      The book also provides tongue-in-cheek suggestions over arranging your own frivolous suit (i.e., toss water from your b ottle over a store floor in a fitting spot, for example by a wet-floor caution sign, slip and then sue the store).

      I guarantee, whatever you’ve read and heard about the litigious America, the reality’s a gadzillion times worse! Inconceivably insane! Stupid suits are a national pasttime.

      I can say only thank god we don’t live forever!!


  2. Karyn @ kloppenmum
    Apr 14, 2011 @ 22:37:30



  3. Karyn @ kloppenmum
    Apr 14, 2011 @ 23:06:36

    If America is *too* much – perhaps time to jump ship?


    • allycatadventures
      Apr 15, 2011 @ 10:29:50

      @Klopp – As you know (?), I lived abroad for nearly 11 years, so it’s time to spend some time on U.S. soil doing the things that I need to do and need to be done here. Besides, for many private reasons, emigrating at this time is not an option. That said, I’ll admit that quelling the urge to get outta this country is an ongoing act of will! 🙂


      • Invictus
        Apr 15, 2011 @ 13:07:43

        I too am giving much thought to jumping ship on this here nation, not because of the litigious nature of many of its citizens — that’s just a peculiarly American expression of the effort to get something for nothing, which is a human failing — but because America has let the foxes run loose in the henhouse too long, and it’s getting increasingly difficult to believe that the U.S. has the collective sense to right itself. Fear-based ideology, people voting against their own economic benefit, the willingness to let social and religious beliefs take precedence over pragmatic solutions and evidence: even my innate optimism is taking a beating over 21st century America. Problem is, I doubt anywhere else is much better, at least until I can afford my own island.


        • allycatadventures
          Apr 16, 2011 @ 17:29:50

          @B – I hear ya. Fortunately I’m not innately optimistic, leaving nothing to lose on that count. I know you’re not a beachy guy; nonetheless would you consider Costa Rica?


      • Karyn @ kloppenmum
        Apr 15, 2011 @ 13:56:11

        No, I didn’t realise you’d lived away for so long. It’s a fairly big bit of earth over there, if you’re not driving to Mexico/Canada just at the moment – I’m sure you’ll find somewhere populated by sane people.


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