Uniquely American

I met a very entertaining (and cute) Brit at a wedding last weekend. We hit it off quite fabulously, and have agreed to keep in contact.

I’ve never been to England, and his first visit to the states was for this wedding - he had little opportunity to sightsee. Now that he’s back across the pond, we’ve decided that it would be fun and educational to send each other items that can only be found in our countries, or items that are easily identified with our culture. For example, the first thing I’ll be sending is a foam finger from a Major League baseball game. That’s cheating a bit, as I know that’s something he wanted to get while he was here.

So Dopers, help me come up with a list of fun things to send him, things that say “America”. It can be candy, clothing, toys, little trinkets, etc. What it is doesn’t matter so much as the fact that it be unique to the US.

The only limitations are that it be relatively small (to cut down on shipping costs), and not too expensive (under $20 for each item).

A dollar (but he’s probably kept some of the money he picked up…).

You could send him a collection of the various odd money–a $2 bill, a Suzie, a Sacky/Jawa (whatever you call it).

Such a simple question, and such a difficult answer.

You are about to discover the biggest headache when you have friends in foreign countries - what can you get them?!

For the most part, you can get almost anything anywhere…the trick is to find that little something, or favorite whatever, or specialized local treat…

I have lots of friends who come to visit from Germany and they always ask me, “what can I bring you?” and when they go back, I call German friends and ask, “what can I send back to you with these friends?”

There is usually a long pause on the telephone, both from me and my German friends, before we realize we really can’t think of much.

And if you do come up with some good ideas, PLEASE post them here! Christmas is around the corner, and as usual, I will be desperate to find something to send!

Send him ice. They don’t seem to have ice here.

Send him waffles. They don’t have waffles here. Or pancakes.

Send him a new shower. The showers here suck.

Send him some personal space. That way no one will try to knock him off the sidewalk.

Send him some pieces of home, for me. I miss it :frowning:

Semi-automatic firearms. I hear they can’t get those in England. But it a good thing we have them or the King of England could come over here and just start pushing you around. Would you like that? I didn’t think so.
You could send him some dry-rub BBQ.


Wait a minute, they deserve better…


Something dealing with American football. I know Europe has a league but it’s still distinctly American.

A small replica of your state flag?

I can’t really think of much else. Our culture is so omnipresent that it’s hard to think of something uniquely ours that can’t be found outside our borders.

Everyone one knows us Brits would kill for gum, nylons or candy. Don’t send rubbers though, as us Brits find your rubbers a bit on the small side. :wink:

From a U.K. point of view, I know I have seen several long and heartfelt discussions on SDMB concerning foodstuff and sweets (OK “candy” if yoiu really must) many of which seem completely unfamiliar - to me, at any rate. So I do think you have many of those that are “uniquely American”, and they would be cheap. Trouble is, of course, I can’t tell you which ones, 'cos faced with a lot of unfamiliar names, I just forget them. :slight_smile:

(Did anyone else fidn themselves thinking "oh, this could be a nice story, “Four Weddings and - ok let’s foget the funeral…” on reading the OP?:slight_smile:

I bet there is quite a variety of odd little souvenirs of your hometown available.

Aha - how about one of the very silly plastic flamingo things? Of course, then yourun the risk of getting a garden gnome in return…:slight_smile:

Now I’m off to learn what the heck is/are Mallomars.

Yes, quoting myself IS strange, bu I only just read where the OP’s hometown is. How nice! Wel, I don’t know if it is nice or not, but if it produced James THurber, it msut be fairly good. So, Columbus, Ohio, must have a certain amuont of touristique kitsch relating to one of its more famous “products”. :slight_smile: Or, faling amusing kitsch “souvenirs”, then a Thurber book.

Too bad you have a $20 limit.

It is my understanding that people from the UK don’t like American candy because it is not as sweet as UK candy because it has less sugar than American candy.

However, having had a Butterfinger I believe this to be a lie.

I would think virtually any trinket related to an American sports team, college or professional, might be of interest.

Real maple syrup (as opposed to imitation) is rare outside of North America, I believe.

Maybe some type of Native American craft or art object…not kitschy knockoffs? I remember my father telling me he worked with some Germans who were very interested in this kind of thing which makes sense…kind of like tourists to Australia who buy Aboriginal art. Something with influeneces from a culture different from their own.


Mallomars. God’s favorite cookie.


so they may be hard to find. But they are a very American thing. They make Jaffa Cakes look like vanilla wafers.

  • A velvet Elvis.
  • Some bumper stickers (there are usually some real winners at truck stops).
  • Campaign buttons.
  • A Chick tract.
  • An AOL disk good for 1000 hours of free time.
  • A guide for American tourists in England, or a book about U.S. roadside attractions.

Most of the stuff I can think of that is “uniquely American” is made in Taiwan.

This is a great idea. It could be really funny for your friend.

Get him NASCAR stuff! Or a die-cast model of an Escalade or a Hummer. Or a picture of John Kerry. Or the George W. Bush Action Figure.

Squirrel Nut Zippers?

Send him a cold beer.

Look, I am honestly NOT trying to go off topic, but I just learned about Mallomars, and, amusingly they sound awuflly like what I thought was only one of OUR biscuits. (Our version is called Tunnock’s Tea Cakes, though what they are, of course, is a biscuity base, marchmallow, then choccy) Hmm, somebody’s been ripping off somebody’s trade secret, I think darkly. (OK, we’ll call it synchronicity.) :slight_smile: Even that link’s description of traditionally sanctioned ways of eating the things is the same.

That’s it - I have no sensible contribution to make, but thought I HAD to share this great bit of new knowledge with you all.:slight_smile:


Oops - I should say, perhaps, that since Mallomars seem to be so strongly recommended, that they coudl very well be a good thing to send anyway if this wedding guest* chap is in England, he may not have met the ones I am talking about, as they are more of a Scottish thing. So, Mallowmars could yet be a fine munchy gift, is what I mean.
*no - not the Coleridge one!