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American is a brand name for a product created by the VUC—The Virtually Useless Corporation. VUC creates products for the virtual world, i.e., for use online. In addition, all of its products are virtually useless, so the “virtually” in the company’s name is a double entendre. (Hey, before you accuse us of misusing the phrase “double entendre,” as some of our readers likely will, look it up. One of the interpretations in a double entendre is usually risqué, but that doesn’t have to be the case.)

VUC came up with the brand name American by concatenating abbreviations of the words AMplifying ERsatz Internet CAN. OK, the “can” part is the whole word, not an abbreviation of a word, but you get the point. Don’t be so such a stickler.

An American is shaped to look exactly like a tin can, but (here’s the ersatz part), rather than being a tin can, it’s made of plastic that has been coated with tin-coloured paint. The beauty of the design is that it is even cheaper for VUC to manufacture than tin cans and, being more fragile than tin cans, customers will have to replace them more frequently.

Hidden inside the American is a speaker that can be used to amplify any audio coming off the Internet through a computer, tablet or smartphone.

The connection to the audio input/output jack of the Internet-connected device is a thin cable that is coated with a fabric that makes the cable look exactly like a string. The result is that an American with its attached cable looks exactly like one end of the old tin-can-and-string “telephones” that kids used to make before there were video games and the Internet to amuse them and warp their minds.

Americans sell for just $159.99 each. At that price, you’ll probably want to buy several so you’ll never be without one. (Did we mention they break easily?)

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