Bill Bryson, possibly the funniest writer on theplanet, has written a book all Americans (and foreignersalike) can relate to. Bryson, an Iowa native, returns toAmerica after spending 20 years in Britain. He decides totravel all over, describing every beauty and obscenity in thisbizarre country. He points out the ironies of our strangebehaviors with great humor and tiny detail. He describes ourdifferent dialects with accuracy, adding character to everyone he encounters. Not only are we given a chance to glimpseother ways of life, but we laugh at all of Bryson's travelmishaps, from rude waitresses to roach-filled motels. Here isan example of Bryson ordering a pizza where the waitressrepeatedly comes back to see if he is ready:
"You'rekinda slow, aren'tcha?" she observed brightly.
I wasembarrassed. "I'm sorry. I'm out of touch. I've just got outof prison."
Her eyes widened. "Really?"
"Yes. Imurdered a waitress who rushed me."
With an uncertainsmile, she backed off and gave me lots and lots of time tomake up my mind.
Bryson takes us along on probably oneof the most hilarious journeys we will ever take, withoutleaving our homes, which is probably good because if we readthis book in public, we'd be laughing so hard, even ourclosest relatives may not want to be seen with us.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.