My new friend ettarose of Edge of Sanity wrote a post not long ago about some of the places, both interesting and not-so-interesting, that she offers as suggestions for your next vacation. [Make that “holiday”, since our goal is to learn how to talk like the British and thereby curry favor and respect (even awe, perhaps) from our fellow ‘mericans.] Ettarose included pictures with some of her descriptions. It was pretty cool.
The three of you who read my blog regularly know that I have stolen ideas for posts from ettarose before. This one will be no exception. Only this time I intend to actually change some things from her original idea. Still stealing, but with a twist.
There was once a computer “thing” (it’s not really a computer “game” I wouldn’t say) which was designed to teach children geography. It was called “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” Maybe it still exists, I don’t know. Two of my three blog readers are probably young enough to still be playing the “game.” I digress.
Anyway, Max is going to introduce a new game in this post. There may be free sex involved, so pay attention. The name of this game is going to be called “Where in the World is Relax Max.” So, in a way, this post is a first for me--a sort of DOUBLE plagiarism, if you will.
I was about to say, “Some of you are probably asking yourself, ‘What does this have to do with speaking with a British mouth?’”, but I see that all but one of you have already dropped your entrecard and left, and the remaining reader couldn’t care less because the only reason he is still on this page is that his computer has frozen. Be that as it may...
The connection between the theme of this blog and the game I am going to call “Where in the USA is Relax Max, and Why the Hell Would I Possibly Care?”, is that it promotes, sort of, a more complete understanding between our two cultures. And, yes, I DID change the name of the game again. How astute of you. (Here I pretend that I still have a reader left, knowing that it is more likely that even my so-called friends who read this blog out of pity also left as soon as they discovered it wasn’t really about ettarose. Well, just chuff you, anyway; I’m still going to finish this. Max is used to talking to himself. Sometimes he even answers. Sometimes he raises his hand and asks himself questions. I digress.
I am going to do it backwards from ettarose (that’s the twist so I can say I didn’t really steal this idea from her) and just put up pictures instead of descriptions. You have to guess where EXACTLY in the USA that Max is standing when he took the picture. What fun!--Max is trembling at just the thought of this wacky mental intercourse. Don’t worry, they’re easy. Even my friend Marmelade will get one for sure. And she doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about the USA. What? You say you don’t either? Well, you should try anyway, because there will be prizes. So at least Lord Likely will particiapte (for the award). And maybe a couple of the Americans. Again, out of pity of course. Perhaps even out of embarrassment for their fellow countryman who is acting like such a buffoon jerkoff in front of the British. Well, that’s not really true since the British have surely wandered off to the pub by now.
I should also tell you that these pictures Max is about to inflict upon you are not professional-looking like Claire’s pictures are. Plus, unlike Claire’s, many of the elements in my photos actually move, so they might be blurry as well. Max likes photography and has several good expensive cameras. Max doesn’t take these expensive cameras on vacations, however, because he doesn’t want to lose them or damage them or get them stolen by the airport inspectors. I tell you this so that you will understand Max doesn’t really HAVE to use those cheap plastic cameras they sell in airport magazine shops. He just WANTS to. He would much prefer that his good cameras get burgled while he is away on vacation. Make sense? Max also wants you to know that he has made an effort to make these pictures look as good as he can in photoshop, but there is only so much you can do with blurry pictures taken with a shitty plastic camera. This will only make the game more interesting of course: I show you a picture of the Washington Monument, and to you it looks like the Eiffel Tower. Then I tell you “wrong” and you lose the game and I don’t have to give you a prize. Which might have been a free sex coupon from the Mustang Ranch by the way. Are you following me?
Your job is to make a comment and tell EXACTLY where in the U.S. Max is standing when he took this or that picture. We are unable to use one of Claire’s voting widgets. That’s because this game is not opinion-driven. There are actual correct and incorrect answers in our game, you see.
The scoring will be the same as the Entrecard system, since that is so easily understood: You get one point just for coming here today, two points if someone comes to YOUR place; then you divide by 5 days and, finally, you give 75% of your earnings to the fuckheads who invented the system. Got it? Then, if you want, you can buy your credits back from them for real money. That shit really ticks me off, by the way. We’ll let Aerten set up a data base and compute who won and who lost and who just gave the fuck up and left. Then we’ll divide by 5 again and go join the Brits at the pub.
On with the pictures. Here you must understand that Max’s LifeHoney has dragged his lazy ass from one end of this country to the other over the years in an effort to spend Max’s money on stupid plastic souvenirs from strange hillbilly places. As a result, there are several thousand pictures to choose from. Only three actually show Max in them because LifeHoney makes Max take all the pictures all the time. The only thing of a personal nature that Max can promise you is an occasional finger over the lens, or maybe the toes of his sneakers now and then.
Even though Max has thousands of these worthless blurry pictures stored unsorted in his shoe box archives, Max realizes that he must choose carefully for this international contest. The pictures had better damn well be of recognizable American landmarks, or nobody but the Americans will get any of them. Max realizes that for most of the Brits, if the picture is not of the Empire State Building or the Golden Gate Bridge, they are completely lost. That, coupled with their incredibly weak interest to start with and, well...off they go to the pub again.
So Max has sifted through boxes of worthless shit and come up with a dozen or so pictures which actually show recognizable American landmarks somewhere in the photo. Recognizable if you don’t take off points for being blurry, that is. These will all be very easy for Americans, and even the Brits will get two or three. There’s even a few with the name right on them so Marmelade can participate too. Marmelade is very, very smart, by the way. it’s just that she could give a shit less about the USA. Or any other NATO member-country for that matter. I’m with her, by the way. Fuck NATO. You bastards couldn’t defend America to save your ARSE. One way street. Max digresses again, but this time it is Marmelade’s fault.
Here are the pictures and the directions and hints. Please make comments about what you think they are. If you don’t, Max will just make up names and make comments for you. So you might just as well do it yourself. By the way, I’ve just been notified by the International Blogging Committee that this is now officially the World’s Longest Post. And I haven’t even gotten to the pictures themselves yet. Shall we just skip that part and go straight to the pub? No! Wrong answer! You absolutely have to look at these.
First, I have another announcement to make: Claire has reportedly just purchased a season ticket to the Hamburg Sex Museum and has barracaded herself inside. Now back to my pics.
Wait. No. First I have to tell you what the prizes are. Actually there is only ONE prize. That will be awarded to the final winner. There will be no second prizes or third place prizes. First prize will be a free trip to the U.S. if Linda or Aerten or EttaRose wins; otherwise your prize will be “you don’t have to come to the U.S. during an election year.” If Lord Likely is sober enough to recognize any of these pictures, even the ones with the locations already written on them, I will pay 5% of his tab at the Cock and Bull. And even that will most “likely” have to be worked out in installment payments. If the incredibly lovely Claire wins, and she almost certainly will since Max has a crush on her, then she wins my permission to post all the photos on Flicker with the rest of her vast collection. If my good friend Marmelade wins--well, then I guess we can all just eat loaves and fishes ‘cause it’ll be a fuckin’ miracle! (Just kidding, Marmelade. You always surprise me with how much you know about everything.) If anyone else wins, I’ll buy you 10 Powerball tickets next Saturday. I will be sure and mail the winning ticket to you if you win. For sure. Honest. You can trust ol’ Max to do that.
[One final note: One of my few loyal readers, A.,--who prefers that her full name not be given so the her friends won't realize she reads my drivel--has requested that, if I insist on making these godawful long posts (and I do insist) that I at least make bullets or something to break up the long paragraphs. Her point is well taken, and I'm working on adding that feature to this post right this very minute. But, since I don't know how to code good-looking bullet-like graphics, I will instead be placing pictures of various body parts between the paragraphs, along with the latest avatars of "becauseIcan". Often these are one and the same, of course. Thanks.]
Below are the photos of the places. If there are any more special rules for a particular photo then that special rule will be written next to the photo. Max gets to make up rules as he goes along. Not just on this game, but in everything.
1 point for naming this national monument; 2 bonus points if you can name what state it is located in. 15 bonus points if you can clue Max in as to why his LifeHoney made him get so close to the edge of the cliff to take this picture and then seemed to "stumble" against Max's back.
1. South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park; 2. Arizona. 3. That's a silly unanswerable question.
1 point if you can read. 2 bonus points if you can name the city. 3 more bonus points if you can name the state the city is located in. 4 more bonus points if you can name the name of the street you are looking at. 8 additional points if you can locate the bitch in the brown sweater that slapped Max senseless as she walked by.
1. This refers to the fact that the Object has it's name clearly visible in the picture; 2. Las Vegas; 3. Nevada; 4. Las Vegas Boulevard (slang-"The Strip" 5. This is a silly, unanswerable question.
1 point if you can name the building. Take off 12 points if you can't.
1. "The U.S. Capital" is the only acceptable (and only correct) answer.
1 point for naming the natural wonder. 5 bonus points if you can say EXACTLY where Max was standing when he took this picture. 6 additional bonus points if you can tell why this picture breaks the rules of this game. 13 bonus points if you can remember the name of the actor who killed Marilyn Monroe a couple of blocks away from where Max is standing. (In the movie, for crissakes Marmelade.)
1. Niagara Falls; 2. At the exact point of the precipice on the Canadian side of the Niagara River; 3. He is not technically in the USA as the rules require, although only across the river from the USA; 4. Joseph Cotton.
1 point if you can read fine print. 2 bonus points if you can tell what city this is located in. 3 more bonus points if you can tell what state the city is located in. 10 bonus points if you can name the person who christened this thing and what year.
1. This refers to the fact that the name of the object is clearly visible in the picture; 2. Long Beach; 3. California; 4. Her Majesty Queen Mary (accompanied by His Majesty King George V): On September 26, 1934, "Job #534" of John Brown & Company, LTD., of Clydebank, Scotland is declared by Her Majesty to be thenceforth called "Queen Mary" and is released down the ways into the Clyde River.
1 point if you saw Forrest Gump. 2 points if you can name the structure in the distance. 10 bonus points if you can describe the connection between Martin Luther King, Jr. and where Max is standing. Hint: where Max was standing is pictured on the back of a $5 bill.
1. Refers to the location shooting of the Movie "Forrest Gump" in which Gump returns to the USA from Viet Nam to see a large anti-war demonstration at this location; 2. the structure is the Washington Monument. Any other name is incorrect; 3. Max is standing on the top steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking down at the location of Dr. King's 1964 "I Have a Dream" speech to throngs of people in the plaza below and back along the reflecting pool. The 16th President of the U.S. is pictured on the front of the $5 bill, and his memorial on the reverse.
This is a hard one. You either know it right away or you will not ever get it. 5 points for naming the EXACT location where Max is standing (and, no, he is not in an airplane.) 5 bonus points if you can name the name of the city. 3 more bonus points if you can also name the state it is located in. 5 bonus points if you can name the river. 5 more bonus points if you can name the nearby lake. Marmelade might get this one. Unless she was lying to the poet.
1. Max is standing on the Sky Deck floor of the Sears Tower Building; 2. Chicago; 3. Illinois; 4. The Chicago River; 5. Lake Michigan.
Not likely you will get this if you are not an American. 5 points if you can name the item located under the structure in the picture. 5 bonus points if you can name the body of water. 5 more bonus points if you can name a historical date that is connected with the item in the picture. 5 points if you can name the name of the island this is on. 10 points if you can tell who the item Max is standing on belongs to. Toughie. Linda and Aerten will likely both get this completely, with the possible exception of the last part. (Only if one has actually visited in person is one likely to know the last part.)
1. The sunken battleship USS Arizona. The structure in the picture is the Arizona Memorial, a chapel-mausoleum honoring the hundreds of sailors still entombed below in the sarcophagus that the Arizona has become. The memorial is constructed so as to not actually touch the Arizona. The memorial consists of a dock, an observation walkway (over the sides of which one can look down and see the superstructure of the ship below. After more than 60 years it's rather unsettling to still see oil seeping to the surface and occasional bubbles of air testifying that the flooding of the rooms and passageways of the Arizona is becoming ever more complete over the years. Sea life abounds visibly in the warm shallow water.), and the chapel itself, at the far end of which is the marble wall with the inscribed names of the Arizona's 1,177 dead. 2. Pearl Harbor; 3. December 7, 1941; 4. Oahu ("Hawaii" is not the name of this island); 5. Pearl Harbor was and is a U.S. Naval base. If you want to visit the Arizona Memorial, the U.S. Navy will have to take you there. Which they are happy to do, several times a day, as long as you agree to observe their strict rules of reverence and quietude. Max is standing on a small navy ferry vessel which is piloted by U.S. naval personnel on special honor guard duty.
3 points for naming the structure. 5 bonus points for being able to name the significance of the structure (what it symbolizes and why it was built). 3 bonus points for knowing the name of the city. 7 bonus points for naming the state. 3 bonus points for naming the river Max is in the middle of. 10 extra bonus points for being able to name the state on the other side of the river from this structure.
1. The Gateway Arch. 2. The frontier town of St. Louis was the place the railroads ended in the first half of the nineteenth century, and was thus considered the "jumping off" place where one had to begin traveling by foot or wagon train if one wanted to continue traveling westward. St. Louis (pronounced "Saint Loo is" and never the French pronunciation of "Saint Loo ee") became known as "The Gateway to the West." "The Gateway Arch" is a metaphorical reference to that gateway designation; 3. St. Louis; 4. Missouri; 5. The Mississippi River (Max is standing on a tourist riverboat out in the middle of the river); 6. Illinois.
1 point for being able to read. 10 points for knowing the state of which this place is the capital city. A whopping 23 bonus points to anyone willing to go break the kneecaps of the politician who thought it was a good idea to use taxpayers money to pay his brother's foundry to cast these fancy manhole covers.
1. This refers to the fact that the name of the city and state are cast into the object; 2. New Mexico; 3. This is a sarcastic reference to wasteful spending.
1 point for simply being alive. 10 points for being able to name the famous theatre this sidewalk is near. 5 points for being able to name the section of Los Angeles this sidewalk is located in. 10 bonus points if you can name the street that runs along it. Another 18 bonus points if you can determine the name and address of the twinkie in the blue tutu who tried to pee on Max's leg as he was taking this picture.
1. This is a rather arrogant supposition by Max that if you are alive in the Western World, you must surely have been exposed to the knowledge of this little corner of the world; 2. Grauman's Chinese Theatre (if you look closely, you will see more than one inscription by the stars made out to Sid Grauman). Max is reluctantly not giving credit for simply "The Chinese Theatre"; 3. This sidewalk is located in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles; 4. Hollywood Boulevard; 5. This is a reference to the rather tawdry neighborhood of this tourist attraction. Sleazy is too strong a word, but tawdry fits pretty well. If you visit, be prepared to mingle with the unwashed masses, and have your sensibilities assaulted by various made up characters in costume and out of work actors and general street "performers". The panhandlers are periodically driven off, however.