In honor of the Fourth of July, six things that are undoubtedly American
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People in the U.S. tend to take Fourth of July seriously. It's a time to celebrate our country, eat great food, and watch fireworks. It's also pretty much the one time of year you can wear a flag on your shirt and no one will make fun of you (maybe). Most people are pretty relaxed in their July 4th celebrations, usually with something low key. Those people are celebrating America.

And then there are those who want to celebrate 'Merica (or, phonetically spelled, 'Murrica). What is "'Merica"? According to Urban Dictionary, it is "[a] whole new way of saying America. As America falls into the category of a nation, 'Merica is the whole experience of America summed up in a stereotypical way. ... People often say it when they see Americans doing things only Americans can do, such as: trimming a hedge with a chainsaw, eating quadruple burgers, and driving tractors in the middle of a freeway. It is often expressed in a proud and commonly exaggerated manor."

Here are seven things that truly encompass the 'Merican way, because it's 'Merica's 237th birthday today!

    Bacon: So, bacon isn't exclusive to 'Merica, but 'Mericans eat more than 1.7 billion pounds of bacon each year and 53% of all U.S. homes keep bacon in their fridge at all times. You can buy bacon-flavored anything (salt, chips, ice cream, toothpaste) or bacon-decorated anything else (wallets, holiday decorations, shirts). 'Mericans like to wrap things in bacon, sometimes lots of it, and feel that bacon goes with everything. There's chocolate covered bacon, candied bacon, chicken-fried bacon, bacon infused with Irish whiskey, and even Bacon of the Month clubs. 'Mericans just really love bacon.

    Deep fried foods: If it can be eaten, it can be fried — I believe that might just be the tagline for 'Merica. Although deep frying certain foods (such as chicken, green tomatoes, and catfish) is considered normal American fair, 'Mericans have kicked it up a notch. Fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Sure! Fried soda? Yes! There's nothing that can't be, or hasn't been, deep fried. (To prove I'm not making this stuff up, here's a list of things deep fried at the Texas State Fair.)

    • Deep fried cheesecake
    • Deep fried Oreos (and other assorted cookies, including Girl Scout cookies)
    • Deep fried butter
    • Deep fried Kool-Aid
    • Deep fried pickles
    • Deep fried bubblegum
    • Deep fried beer
    • Deep fried peanut butter banana cheeseburgers
    • Deep fried sandwiches
    • Deep fried jelly beans

    Eating challenges: 'Merica sure does love food, as evidenced by its desire to deep fry it and then eat it competitively. Well, okay, deep fried foods are not ideal for competitive eating, but the U.S. has a long history of contests surrounding food, including pie, hot dog, and hamburger eating competitions. Across 'Merica, restaurants come up with wild challenges that typically could only be completed by a large family. Instead, restaurant owners ask 'Mericans to give it a try. At a deli in Texas, they challenge 'Mericans to eat their 4-pound sandwich layered with six deli meats, while That Bar in California challenges guests to eat a burger measuring 1 foot in diameter. What for? A free meal and some recognition. The 'Merican way.

    Bumper stickers: Cars may cost a few thousand dollars, but that will not stop 'Mericans from decorating them how they see fit. Maybe they'll slap a bacon bumper sticker on their car! Maybe they'll advertise their political affiliations and views! Maybe they'll try to make you feel bad for things you love! Bumper stickers are 'Mericans way of letting other, non-'Mericans, know that freedom of speech is alive and well — don't you forget it.

    An obsession with cars: Speaking of bumper stickers, 'Mericans love cars. NASCAR, big SUVs, off-roading, whatever. In fact, chances are pretty high that the car said 'Merican is decorating with bumper stickers is a ginormous SUV. Forget what people are saying about the "environment," 'Mericans want to drive their own cars, on their own terms, with their own decoration. It's a free country.

    Flags — everywhere: Every country has a flag, and most display these flags proudly. 'Merica shows its love a bit differently. We've got flags on our hats, shirts, license plates, cups, lighters, shoes, mustaches, cakes, cookies, food, toys, soda cans... you get it. 'Mericans are a proud people, and they really, really love to show that off. With flags.

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