I pass a giant green dinosaur when I drive home from work each day. It's at least fifty feet high and a few blocks long. It's smiling, happy to be permanently standing on the side of the road. Happy that it causes car accidents from all the people turning to look.

It's both a blessing and a curse that we live in such a great nation where it's perfectly within the law to build a giant green dinosaur on your front lawn. I'm sure that's exactly what our founding fathers envisioned our country to be like, two hundred years later. "I hope someday our roads are lined with giant green dinosaur statues!" I imagine Thomas Jefferson would've written that in the Declaration of Independence, if only he had decided not to take the eloquent route. I often look at that stupid dinosaur with its stupid happy smile and wonder what it's so happy about.

But perhaps the weirdest part of that thing and its happiness is the fact that it never ceases to make other people happy, too. I see countless families posing next to that dinosaur, mirroring its unsettling glee for a camera. Some stupid little kid once decided to slide down the tail as though it were a slide and I'm pretty sure that resulted in at least a broken bone or two. And throughout that mishap, that stupid dinosaur kept its sparkling Colgate smile.

I wonder, after all the injuries and traffic violations it's caused, why that thing's still allowed to stand on the side of the road like that. I guess the only reason the county hasn't made the guy that owns that thing tear it down is because there's something kitschy about it. It exemplifies Americana. It's right up there with diners shaped like hotdogs and motels shaped like teepees. People gravitate towards things like that for some reason. They write books about that sort of thing. If someone tore that giant green dinosaur down, there would be five hundred people angry as anything, ready to build a new one. Maybe then they'd make it less large or sometime so people wouldn't notice it as much. But I suppose it's kind of hard to make a dinosaur look inconspicuous if you tried. At least they could put up an "ATTENTION! GIANT GREEN DINOSAUR 100 FEET ON YOUR LEFT! GREAT PHOTO OP! PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB" sign or something.

Yesterday I saw a guy stop his car on the side of the road and pull out a Polaroid camera. People who aren't from around here aren't used to seeing dinosaurs on the side of the highway. I don't know why it's so shocking, though, when America's filled with things like that. There are more dinosaurs, I'm sure. Probably enough to replace the ones we lost after the Mesozoic era. There are giant people, too, and houses shaped like shoes. There's even a basket factory shaped like a picnic basket. Can you imagine working in that thing?

So what do you do?

Oh, you know. I'm an accountant. In that basket over there.

There's something extremely deranged about that, if you ask me.

And something extremely and exclusively American.