Why Americans say grace when they take the piss


(One man’s swill…)

It is often said that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’m not sure that’s always true. Any tabloid pundit who once called Mike Tyson a common rapist could, for instance, go the full twelve rounds with the boxer, have his ears and nose bitten off in the process and, somehow, still survive to mumble the tale through his broken teeth but I rather doubt that any ring side doctor would describe the condition of the victim as ’stronger.’

Still, it’s definitely true that some adversity does help you cope with things. Living a few years in London will help you to deal with the most dodgy umbrella operating systems around, while dodging the eye-catching tips of their feral cousins’ spokes, for instance.

Life in Sweden may very well prepare you for marauding IKEA furniture and make you immune to ABBA…

… and I, having been raised in the proud shadow of Hans Brinker’s raised finger, am living testimony to a truth, not quite universally acknowledged, that you can be subjected to wooden shoes, tulips, windmills and sadistic barrel organ grinders and still not have enough hard evidence brought against you in court to seriously risk conviction as a serial killer.

So, it should not come as a huge surprise that a steady national diet of drive-through, semi-solid shit and suspect fizzy drinks has prepared your average American to grin and bear and ignore all that boring advice about the yellow snow:

At the international space station, it was one small sip for man and a giant gulp of recycled urine for mankind. A first for space was celebrated yesterday with ­astronauts drinking water recycled from their urine, sweat, and water condensed from exhaled air. “The taste is great,” said the US astronaut Michael Barratt.”

Now here's a sad and cautionary tale...:

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