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Ten things the U.S. does better than anywhere else

The variety and vibrancy of the American greeting is unrivaled

CNN News Wire | 9/25/2013, 2:36 p.m.
The Great American Beer Festival just celebrated its 32nd year as one of the premier beer events in the country. The Denver festival offers over 2,700 different beers from over 500 breweries — the biggest selection of American beers ever served.

Even if it’s not the land of opportunity it once was, the Big Mobility Scooter still has a lot going for it.

In fact, there are at least 10 things by our count that you can’t find as good anywhere else on earth.

With the caveat that China is on a trajectory to take over at least six of these categories by 2016, we present them without further interruption.

Except for this last interruption (interrupting also being something Americans are fantastic at).

Effusive Greetings

“Ahoy!” “Aloha!” “Hey!” “Hola!” “Howdy!” “Hiya!” “Ho there!” “Well, look who it is!” “What’s happenin’?!” “’Sup!” “Yo!” “Hello!”

The variety and vibrancy of the American greeting is unrivaled, upholding a threshold of friendliness that Americans demand, Europeans find onerous and others find perplexing.

Want to slip through somewhere un-greeted?

Forget it.

Whether you’re leaving a hotel, shopping for a pair of jeans or just trying to get around a bystander, someone’s going to pop out from the shadows with a neighborly salutation, the enthusiasm of which may border on deranged.

Road trips

If we’re talking about something that can be done while seated, Americans are probably going to excel at it.

Germany likes to lay claim to the world’s first road trip, but having come of age at the same time as the automobile, the United States was custom-built for it.

With roadside oddities like Carhenge in Nebraska and the world’s largest ball of paint in Indiana, along with infamous rest areas and national parks (more on those later) dotting America’s majestic roadscape at uniform intervals, you’re never far from the next adventure.

Unless you’re driving through Texas.

Derbies

With all due respect to the English city, the U.S. is the home of the derby in all its forms, be it racing, smashing or haberdashing.

Originating in the county fairs of the nation’s 1950s backwoods, demolition derbies, like the one held annually in Delaware County, New York, pit hulking early-model autos against one another in contests of Americanly excessive ramming until only one remains functional.

On the oval track, Louisville’s Kentucky Derby is a spectacle of horseshoed pageantry, while roller derbies from Austin to Seattle are cataclysms of people-wheeled fury.

Beer

Not to keep taking shots at Germany, but there’s only so much you can do with barley and hops.

Live a little, Üter!

By contrast, American brewers aren’t bound by purity restrictions on their craft, allowing them to push the pint glass with new additives, processes, styles and malt and hops strains moved through the largest number of breweries of any nation on earth.

Whether it’s Portland, Oregon’s Hopworks, Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Founders, or Asheville, North Carolina’s Wicked Weed breweries, in no country is beer more innovative.

Diversity

The U.S. is a microcosm of nearly every world culture, climate, landscape and category of wildlife. (And whatever doesn’t occur naturally gets recreated at Disney.)

Beaches extend from Cape Cod to Kaanapali; bayous encircle the Gulf of Mexico; alpine mountains streak the Rockies and Appalachians; rain forests span the Pacific Northwest; deserts stretch across the Southwest.