Never Do These 5 Things In The United States

There are some of us that are clearly born with more common sense on how to navigate the ins and outs of this emotional rollercoaster that is life, better than others. Some folks clearly need their own kinds of instruction manuals on how to best avoid regular instances of pure and unadulterated, entirely avoidable fail. With that being said, the United States can be just a bit confusing for anyone who is visiting, and it would sure be helpful if there were more clear and easily digestible pro tips on what to not do when you’re in the United States. Thank goodness for this AskReddit thread-inspired list.

1. Never try to bribe the cops.

Image of a police officer with a protective vest on,.

You’d think that a matter concerning how it’s generally not advisable to try to bribe the cops would be common sense, but alas, there are plenty of places in the world where bribery speaks louder than any other way you might go about working to reason with a cop that could very well be corrupt.

2. Don’t act funny with the border patrol.

A highway poster of the USA / Canada border being up ahead.

As will be told to you by numerous kind and helpful Canadians, you might assume that it’s all fine and dandy to keep things light and even err on the side of joke-giving, when crossing the Canadian border, but resist the urge. Basically, when border patrol asks you a question, just don’t complicate matters and answer it.

3. Don’t try to cheat the IRS.

3 dice stacked on top of one another to spell out "IRS."
Iryna Drozd/istockphoto

There are a fair number of folks that love to navigate the game of life, by living on the edge, and doing what they can to “cheat the system, rig the game, etc.” Well, while there are certain low-risk ways you can go about keeping yourself entertained enough, don’t play around when it comes to the IRS. They can end up seizing and liquidating all of your assets, and there are enough stories from folks that actually have said they’ve been able to set up more than agreeable payment plans with the IRS after just facing the music. Obviously, you don’t want to end up in that situation, but if you do end up stamped with a big fine, it’s not game over.

Take what Redditor, Sean_Ornery wrote, “I have never done anything tax related wrong on purpose, but I have made small errors in filing a couple of times over the years. In both cases the IRS reached out to me a year or two after the fact and we quickly resolved the issues.

Both times it was some silly mistake. They accepted my my explanation as the truth and there was no penalty. I was asked to pay what I owed with a few dollars of added interest and that was it. Overall, they were very professional and easy to work with.”

4. Don’t take, “how are you doing” to be a literal question.

Two women having a conversation with one another, while one smiles after saying something.

While it can be a profound emotional release to simply dump your personal life story’s series of struggles on a perfect stranger with a kind face a seemingly open disposition that all but invites you to do so, when they ask you how you’re doing, it’s oftentimes intended to inspire a brief answer. Save the baggage for your close friends or family or therapist. That’s part of what they’re there for.

5. Unless you’re fighting for your life, don’t take the ambulance.

Close-up image of an ambulance.

The amount of money that it could run you to take an ambulance ride could literally make your bones quiver. It’s insane. It can end up costing you thousands of dollars. So you might end up dealing with emotional and physical trauma, in addition to financial trauma.

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