The news report starts off “In recent news, it seems we have become as lazy as Americans and soon we will be just as fat,” Yep, that is what the Dutch are saying about us—well, at least their news outlets. I guess what can you expect from a country where people do nothing but smoke pot and indulge in kinky sex. What? This is an unjust stereotype? Pardon me, it must be all the porn that floods the Internet from Amsterdam that gave this fat and lazy American this impression.
I agree that there is no doubt that America has a weight problem. It could be diet; it could be fatty foods; it could be everyone’s favorite excuse – genetics. We know we have the problem, but we also have Michelle Obama who has made it her goal to make us all thin again. I hope she succeeds and trims some excess bulk from our dimpled behinds. Personally, I think if we dropped most of the Republican party and a few southern states we might tip the scales back toward a healthier number.
While I am willing to concede the fat comment, I do take exception to the Dutch calling Americans lazy. The Dutch do not strike me as work-a-holics. I never hear anyone say say, “Why can’t you all work as hard as the Dutch?” or “Damn, you are as industrious as a Dutch person!” To be honest the only Dutch people who seem to have ever had a good work ethic were Olympic speed skaters.
I will now stop poking fun at the Netherlands or Holland or whatever they call themselves on any given day. I should be careful; I don’t want any of them to throw a tulip bulb at me. To be fair, I sort of like the tulips, they do brighten my garden. So, let me get to the point as to why the Dutch compared themselves to the US in a not so flattering way.
Well, it’s because of their new high-tech Transfer Accelerator which allows commuters to say “no” to the steps and participate in a fun and easy thrill ride on their way to and from work. This thrill ride, which we lazy Americans know as a “slide”–yes, like a backyard slide– hosts commuters at the Overvecht station in Utrecht. The hope is that the slide and other station improvements will make riding the train more appealing to commuters which will benefit the environment. The news report bypassed the green message, and instead, latched onto the message that those who opt for the slide are taking the easy way out by avoiding the steps thus acting like fat and lazy Americans.
Why was it necessary for you in The Netherlands to pick on Americans to get the point across that the slide is a ride for the lazy? Americans didn’t do anything to you except help liberate you from the freaking Nazis, but that’s okay, we were in the neighborhood anyway. Why make such a derogatory remark about us in an effort to showcase the Dutch’s best attempt at technology- the Transfer Accelerator — to your own citizens?
In case anyone was worried, I am not going to create an international incident. I like the Dutch. My pen pal in grammar school was Dutch. Her mom sent me little wooden doll shoes, so I guess I should stop acting like the insulted American and talk about this not-so- high-tech, Dutch product. Honestly, I think the name Transfer Accelerator is a bit pretentious, but I think the slide would make a commute to work more entertaining. However, I also believe there should be one solid rule in place before too many people ride the metal slide: everyone must wear underwear.
I don’t know if the Dutch are as into underwear as the fat and lazy Americans, but I just think this is a rule that benefits everyone. Not only is it important in the hygiene sense, but if you’re opting for the train station slide, it pretty much means you are running late and the steps will take too long, so you need a quick and smooth run down the accelerator. And the truth is, if you are not wearing underwear, you will tend to stick to the metal. So, what it comes down to is this : without underwear,you will be late and you will be sore. Also, if you are wearing a skirt, the whole world might see your business as you glide, so it’s best to put a cover on everything important.
I hope the Transfer Accelerator is a success. I hope it becomes a popular addition to train stations throughout the world. I can see it in the New York City subways working wonderfully as commuters wait patiently for their turn to slide. Hell, maybe if the slide catches on, more people will ride trains and make a positive impact on the environment. The slide might also allow us to re-acquaint ourselves with playground rules and manners. So, maybe, in its own way, the Transfer Accelerator will help make the world a nicer and greener place.