4 American Traditions That Don’t Make Any Damn Sense

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As your run-of-the-mill patriot, I’m pretty pro-America in a lot of ways. However, in the tradition of our freedom of speech, and in the American ideal of social disagreement, I think it’s only fair I point out a few things that, while we all may love, are inherently absurd at their core.


Jim Gaffigan has gone over a lot of the fine points of the Christmas tree absurdity, so I won’t steal any of his thunder. There’s plenty of weirdness to go around as far as the end-of-year holidays go. First, we have this fat, bearded dude in a red suit, who, at any other time of year, would be the kind of guy parents would escort their children away from. But during the holidays, he’s not only the symbol of the season, he’s the guy the kids are not only allowed, but encouraged, to sit on. Just right on his lap, like it’s no big deal. And what’s with the mythology around this guy? He has a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer? Like, if it weren’t for Santa, would we even know that reindeer were a thing? And why did he pick them? I mean, why not pick an animal that can, I don’t know, actually fly? Like a fucking Christmas dragon or something? That’d be way cooler than some wimpy deer. Deer are stupid.


Handshakes are sort of odd, but their development at least makes sense. They were allegedly developed as a show of respect that doubled as a move that allowed you to show you weren’t secretly holding any weapons in your hand/up your sleeve. Same with hugs. Or at least that’s what I read somewhere on the internet, followed by no real research to follow up. So those types of greetings at least once had some sort of tangible purpose. High-fives are just nonsense. “Hey man, I’m happy to see you, and I’m going to express it by slapping your palm with my palm midair!” What? And that’s just the simple, 1970s five. Where it’s gone since then is just asinine. For decades now, we’ve developed secret handshakes, where the people who are in the private, two-member club exchange a strange combination of palm slaps, all culminating in…well, nothing really. It don’t make no sense.


Look, I love baseball as much as the next guy who grew up playing it, but you have to admit that out of all of the major sports, baseball is the least logical. It’s allegedly a team sport, and yet it reduces the matchup to essentially two people on most “plays,” in the sense that the majority of the action only occurs between the pitcher and the batter on any given at-bat. What that means is that most of the guys on the field will often go an entire inning without seeing any action in their area whatsoever. Hell, unless your batters are just rolling, most of your bench isn’t going to step up to the plate in a given inning, either. So, basically, you have a bunch of dudes standing around watching one dude throw shit at another dude, who’s trying to hit that shit all the way out of the stadium that they’re all standing around in. And then you have a whole bunch more people sitting down, getting drunk, and watching the dudes who are standing around watching the two dudes. It’s weird, man.

Going To Dinner On A First Date

Who started this shit? I mean, it’s not like modern dating has been around for very long, so we can’t exactly blame it on strange, archaic traditions with unclear backgrounds. People started dating the way we know it less than 100 years ago. So some enterprising, young genius in the twentieth century decided that he was going to take the state of young, romantically inclined couples into his own hands, and his decision was fucking dinner? I mean, really, what could possibly be worse for your first official romantic encounter than witnessing the other person shove food into his or her mouth? I’m not a sloppy eater, but when I’m already in a state of nervousness, the last thing I want to do is also have to monitor food and drink going in my mouth (and hopefully not out). I have enough on my plate without food on it, thank you very much.

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Randall J. Knox

Randall J. Knox (known colloquially to his friends as "Knox") left his native Texas a few years ago, and moved to Los Angeles in his '03 Buick Regal named LeRoi to write movies with his jackass college buddies. His favorite things in life include bourbon that's above his pay grade, mix CDs, and Kevin Costner films. He isn't sure what "dad jeans" are exactly, but he knows he wants a pair.

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