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American Way by fonzies cousin on flickr

photo by fonzies cousin on flickr

Another 4th of July weekend is upon us here in the United States.

This phenomenon seems to come around every year, and even if the actual 4th of July falls on a Wednesday or something, we still tend to make a weekend out of it, full of hot dogs, fireworks and beer.

This year it falls on a Sunday, which is pretty much the American ideal. Monday gets declared a holiday so everyone leaves work a little early on Friday and has a real go at the whole weekend.

Apparently it all started when we were British but didn’t want to be British any longer, so we all got on boats and came over here from Britain, but British soldiers came after us to get us back, because we’re that cool.

Well, they also wanted this place for themselves. So I guess we’re not THAT cool. They wanted all this land to be a part of the British Empire, and for us to serve “the crown” and give part of our tax money to the Queen for God-only-knows what.

So we kicked ass on the British soldiers and stood our ground, then they gave up and went home. Then we got out a piece of paper and signed it, declaring our independence from Britain. This became known as the “Declaration of Independence” because we couldn’t think of anything really clever to name it, being so exhausted from having just kicked all those British asses.

Because of that piece of paper,  this day is technically called “Independence Day” here in the states, even though people tend to say, “So what are you doing for the 4th of July?” instead of “So what are you doing for Independence Day?”

(Answer - “Drinking a shit-load of beer while eating hot dogs and watching fireworks. What the hell do you THINK I’m doing?”)

Two hundred and something years ago we were all kicking British butt for the 4th of July weekend, but we’re grown-ups now, so we’re friends and we’ve put all that rough-and-tumble stuff behind us. We have British pubs around here that serve interesting British food like fish and chips, shepherds pie and spotted dick along with an Irish beer called “Guinness” because the Brits don’t have a really good beer of their own. A lot of Americans go over to Britain to visit, and a lot of British people come here to have a look around.

We all get along famously.

But we also like an excuse for a good party, so we play patriotic music, have parades, wave flags, drink beer and shoot off fireworks every year at this time to remind ourselves that we were once British but aren’t anymore.

Even some Americans who live in Britain celebrate the 4th of July over there, which seems really twisted but their British friends don’t seem to mind as long as there’s plenty of free beer at the parties.

Over here, people who weren’t even British at one time join in on the celebration. They can be Hispanic, Asian, African and even those poor souls who were here long before we were.. it doesn’t matter. A lot of them join in on the festivities because, hey, once again.. FREE BEER!

photo by foreversouls on flickr

native by foreversouls on flickr

The whole idea is to say, “We’re  no longer slaves to tyrannical rule, so pass me another Pabst Blue Ribbon and OOOOOOH, did you see THOSE streamers, they were awesome!”

Speaking of awesome streamers..

Notice they don’t say “Hey, pass me a Guinness” because that would just be treason right there, no matter how warm and fuzzy we and our British cousins feel about one another these days.

Except Guinness is actually pretty good beer, but over here it just needs to be consumed on a day other than the 4th of July. Saint Patrick’s Day is a really good day for that.

We here at The RhodesTer Chronicles are going to make a day of it this coming Sunday, and go out with our wife to drink American beer while watching American fireworks and eating American hot dogs.

If we imbibe a little too much, as we expect we will, we might even vomit American vomit into our American toilet toward the end of the evening while our wife holds our American hair back, and the Queen can’t say a damned thing about it, let alone charge us a tax on it or have our heads.

It’s good to be free.

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The True Meaning Of Labor Day

September 4, 2009
Thumbnail image for The True Meaning Of Labor Day

It’s going to be an interesting evening.

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