I recently toured thirty-three American states on a six-month tour, and this is the story of that trip. The style of the travel narrative is irreverent and laced with interesting digressions on the culture and society of the United States.  Below is an abbreviated list of some of the highlights:

1. Staying with locals at several epicentres of religious fervor, including: the heartland of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, the “Scientology City” of Clearwater, Florida, and the “Evangelical Vatican” of Colorado Springs.

2. A meeting with ex-President Jimmy Carter, and a discussion of the (extraterrestrial?) killer rabbit attack of 1979,

3. The Glenn Beck/Sarah Palin Restoring Honor Rally in Washington D.C., and the skirmishes in New York City on September 11, 2010,

4. The birthday party of Ted Haggard, George W. Bush’s disgraced ex-spiritual advisor,

5. An encounter in Dallas with the co-writer of Oliver Stone’s JFK, and a discussion of the culture of conspiracy theories in American culture,

6. A run in with “the most hated family in America,” the Westboro Baptist Church,

7. Visits to four sites where the American military has accidentally dropped nuclear weapons on the national territory,

8. Conversations with dominatrices, S & M photographers, pornographers, porn stars, abortionists and abstinence poster children for the Catholic Church,

9. The annual UFO festival in Roswell, and observations on the fact that millions of Americans believe they have been abducted by aliens,

10. Visits to numerous locations of lesser known historical events, with digressions on things like America’s first female president (Edith Wilson -1919-1920), and how a military mistake by George Washington when he was 21 caused the death of one million people on three continents (the Seven-Years War),

11. Commentary on various lesser known American cults, like Tama-Re, Rajneeshpuram and the Maharishi Vedic City,

12. Back to back visits to the Nation of Islam headquarters in Chicago and the John Birch Society in Wisconsin,

13. Observations on homelessness in America, based on my experience staying in homeless shelters,

14. A comparison between the Cuban-Americans of Miami and the islanders I had met six months before under Fidel Castro, and

15. A discussion of food, drugs and the culture of addiction in the United States, highlighted with a chase by three LAPD patrol cars and a police helicopter while “dumpster diving” with friends in Pasadena.

I am certain that the book I have in mind would be an interesting read for all those who enjoy Americana and learning about lesser known elements of U.S. history and sociology. It would fit well into the popular American roadtrip genre of Steinbeck, Kerouac and William Least Heat Moon. The Canadian viewpoint and its focus on the local eccentricities should appeal to an international audience and especially the literary niche that has recently been created with the incredible success of the Weird U.S. series.

Excerpts:

If you are interested in reading some selections from this writing, please click on the links below:

Skid Row, Los Angeles: Some accounts of my time among California’s destitute.

Colorado City, Arizona: A stay in a city populated entirely by fundamentalist polygamous mormons.

Austin, Texas: A meeting with a local dominatrix and a discussion of the American sex industry.

New Orleans: An encounter with an ex-con hitchhiker and a visit to America’s largest maximum security prison.

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