Checklist for Living with Americans

I saw this come across a mailing list I’m on, and I asked the author (Bill Yerazunis) if I could re-post. The topic came up with someone who would be sharing space with a dozen or so North Americans shortly, and wanted to know what was socially acceptable behaviour…

10 rules for living with North Americans

  1. if it’s not yours, don’t eat it or drink it.
  2. Shower every day. Whether you need it or not. Use soap. And your own towel. same v. toothbrushing. And underwear.
  3. clean clothes every day is not *required*, but doesn’t hurt. Don’t go more than two days on a shirt or three days on pants.
  4. Politics are not off limits. One of America’s most precious rights is the right to diss the government. The president in particular is fair game.
  5. replace the toilet paper.
  6. Stay out of rooms whose owners are not there.
  7. If you leave a mess, do not be surprised to find the mess placed on
    your bed. This is the ONE exception to Rule #6.

  8. Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.
  9. leaving an offering of sweets (especially chocolate) will never get you in trouble. Put a note on it like “Free! Eat!” to assure that Rule #1 will not be assumed.
  10. Don’t assume ANYTHING about a North American. They are definitely the MOST VARIED population on the planet. Everybody’s family is from “somewhere else” (including the Native Americans; they’re actually from Siberia). So, if you’re worried, ask honestly. Honesty is almost as prized a right as dissing the government. Conversely, don’t be offended if honesty is returned, even if the truth is not pleasant.


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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2 thoughts on “Checklist for Living with Americans

  1. Hah, does North America include Mexico?
    I must be from another continent, as I think I only follow rules #5 and #8!

  2. This is weird, and says more about american’s cutltural assumptions than about anyone else’s, i think.
    #8 made me laugh – the whole point of the rest of the post is that that isn’t true, neh?

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