Marketing Gone Bad

I think I've never blogged this story before, and it's pretty funny. I was in Russia during the summer of 1998 on a program involving maybe a dozen other American high school kids. We were all living with Russian families that had kids enrolled in the advanced English class in this one high school in Nizhny Novgorod. For several days in early July, the Americans were all sporadically busy thinking about how we would mount a July 4 celebration. Eventually, we found some sparklers, some peanut butter, and I guess maybe some stuff from McDonalds.

It was only near the last possible moment that this one Russian dude got to asking what it was we were celebrating. "Thees fourth July is for eendependence day?" Yes, of course. "Eees eeemportant holiday in U.S.?" Yes, of course. "Americans make eemportant day for movie? Will Smeeth fight the aliens."