(I’m still trying to get Movable Type set up so that these BUILDING THE IDEAL AMERICAN entries form in their own category heading on the right. Patience, please. Until then, just play along)
Dear Valued Customer:
Congratulations on your decision to Build an Ideal American! By closely following the instructions set forth in this manual, your American should last from 8-10 decades and provide you and your family with endless fun and excitement, not to mention value. Because unlike competing nationalities, your Ideal American will not run, blanche, fade, buckle or collapse during emergencies or everyday wear and tear.
What can you do with your Ideal American? Heck, just about anything! Did you know the fastest animal on Earth is an American? It’s true! The deepest diving animal? American! The highest flying? Americans again!
All the most popular movie and recording stars are Americans. With proper care and feeding, your American will lead the world in the arts, science, the military, medicine and business. And that’s not just an advertising slogan -‘ that’s a fact!
Americans have not only explored the surface of the moon and sent back stunning images of the solar system and the farthest reaches of deep space; they have also tamed continents, connected oceans, won world wars, flown earlier, faster, higher and further than anyone else, made tons more money and had over nine and a half times more fun than our closest competitor, the Ideal Australian. Americans can be found on all seven continents, on and under all the world’s seas -‘ even circling overhead in outer space. They have produced virtually all of the miracles in electronics, modern medicine, advanced research, entertainment technology, agriculture, industry, weaponry and communications -‘ and they’re just getting warmed up!
No wonder even those confused and sad people who don’t want to go to the trouble to actually be an American still secretly yearn to live like one!
Welcome to the number-one brand name in the world!
1.2 WHAT YOU WILL NEED
When you realize just how many things your Ideal American can actually do, you might become a little worried: can the average person actually build a real American?
Don’t worry: you can and you will. That’s one of the great things about Ideal Americans -‘ the best ones are produced by average people, just like you. They’ve been doing it for over 200 years now without any special skills or tools. All you need is patience and pride in your workmanship -‘ the rest is easy if you follow the simple, step-by-step instructions laid out in this manual. Remember, your Ideal American will be based on millions of real-world examples. Other people have done it. So can you!
Throughout the course of this manual, you’ll be provided with lots of easy-to-follow examples from other Ideal Americans. And to make sure you stay on track, we’ll follow the life of one of them drawn completely at random. We call this example the Conforming Prototype, and we’ll refer to the CP (and many others) throughout the course of this construction manual to make a point or illustrate cases where things can go wrong, and how they can be corrected.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
(1) live Homo sapiens.
Size, shape, sex and color are completely unimportant. In fact, one of the reasons Americans are so prized around the world is because of their incredible variety of shapes and coloration.
Particularly bright and loyal large Dogs have been known to make excellent Americans, pulling Timmy from the well or helping defend the fort against Indian attack. But for the beginner, humans definitely work best and produce superior results. It should be mentioned in passing that Cats have shown no interest in becoming Americans, seemingly preferring to remain cats. Weasels and Frogs make particularly unimpressive and poorly-made Americans.
Most Americans come equipped with five senses, although absolutely outstanding examples have been produced from models with four, three or even two senses. However, success becomes unlikely below two working senses: if you find yourself with a visionless, tone-deaf, tasteless, insensate, moaning carcass, you probably will have better luck with our Building the Ideal European Union Bureaucrat, available at finer bookstores everywhere. (Candidates claiming six, seven or more senses have difficulty with reality, make poor Americans, and should be discarded.)
Additionally, you may find that later models are somewhat easier to work with than certain older ones. Certainly any of the 2000 or later models should provide an excellent start and minimal restoration time. Nevertheless, the Conforming Prototype -‘ a 1959 model, white with brown trim, 73 inches long and 179 pounds -‘ has, after some initial breaking-in, produced excellent results. Equipped with the exciting but somewhat unstable optional Y chromosome, the Conforming Prototype looks to provide years of high-paying excitement, highlighted by a life of achievements other nationalities can only dream of!
Corrosion can be a problem -‘ especially with some older models. Corrosive elements such as racism, homophobia and sexism can be found by examining the candidate for cracks. Cracks such as ‘what’s the difference between a dead dog on the road and a dead wetback / nigger / gook / dago / faggot / bitch / kike / honky, etc.” are signs of advanced corrosion and these candidates are probably un-restorable and should be discarded. Of course, all older models will show some road wear, and clean, small-radius cracks are acceptable, such as:
‘A hippie walks into a bar with a parrot on his shoulder. The bartender says, ‘Hey, that’s very colorful! Where’d you get him?’ and the parrot says ‘Berkeley! The place is full of them!’
Mild to moderate corrosion can be repaired by subjecting the candidate to 60’s and 70’s television programming.
Take the case of the Conforming Prototype. Star Trek has proven very effective in reducing -‘ in fact, almost eliminating -‘ the background sexism often found in that particular late-fifties production run.
Begin with the classic episodes where women wear miniskirts and bring the Captain coffee and things to sign on the flashing clipboard. As you proceed, your American will be exposed to women using tricorders, administering medicine to males, fighting and karate-chopping, and even sitting -‘ briefly! — in the Big Chair! With sustained, intense viewing over the space of several months, the subject’s view of women will have progressed from interstellar Hooters waitress to fierce and determined scientist / warriors blowing Borg fleets to atoms with photon torpedoes.
Similar small amounts of inherited racism and homophobia were very successfully treated with repeated viewings of All in the Family, SOAP, and Barney Miller. Archie’s tough, football-playing, secretly gay friend, and Harris with the laced brownies proved remarkably effective in cleaning and restoring the conforming prototype and reducing cracks by an incredible 93%!
1.3 A WORD OF WARNING
While Building the Ideal American does not require any special skills or training, it does take patience and discipline. You may be tempted to cut corners along the way. Don’t do it!
The well-made American is incredibly versatile and powerful -‘ so much so that the very future of humanity depends on his or her reserves of practical intelligence, moral clarity, physical and emotional strength, tough-minded reason, dedication, self-reliance and courage. None of these come easily or cheaply.
While the temptation to finish may be overwhelming at times, remember: no one wants to discover that shortcuts taken in the character, ingenuity and integrity subchapters has left one with the bitter disappointment of having constructed an Ideal Belgian. Stay with the plan. Take your time. Do it right. There is no substitute for the Ideal American.
You may also find people sneering at and mocking you during the construction process. Most of them will likely be Europeans and may safely be ignored, a process that rapidly grows easier with practice. However, you may run into individuals who ‘- incredibly! -‘ will lob disdain and contempt on your American’and claim to be Americans themselves!
You can readily test whether or not this is true by performing this simple experiment:
Counter such a person by saying that they are not a real American. If this produces an immediate stuttering, whining or grinding sound, chances are you have encountered a Liberal, who can also be safely ignored. (Warning: If the word ‘Nazi’ is heard you have stumbled across the rare and highly toxic Progressive. Remain calm. Back slowly toward the nearest exit and call the authorities. Report that you have just encountered a Progressive; this is a serious matter, and an elite Dissent Crushing Regiment will respond within minutes with a fleet of black helicopters, and excruciatingly painful, electric stun rifles. The Progressive will then be taken to an undisclosed location for re-education and recreational beatings.)
If, however, you immediately find yourself on your back staring at the sky or ceiling -‘ whether through a single punch in the nose or six slugs from an ivory-handled Colt revolver, then your initial prognosis was incorrect and you have indeed encountered a real American.
1.4 GETTING STARTED
Once you have chosen your make and model, and checked for and repaired any corrosion, it’s time to begin Building the Ideal American!
Up next: SPECIFICATIONS!