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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Fourth of Jew-ly

Don’t worry, loves, I didn’t forget to write about Independence Day. The early-onset dementia hasn’t progressed that badly, though, when my mother asked me on the phone what I did the day before, this was my answer:

“Um… (very long pause) …hmmm….. yester… day….”

I’m sorry, Alan—what were we just talking about? Oh, right—no cheddar, please. Goes right to my tits.

So, I didn’t write about July 4th on July 4th because, well, I just wasn’t feeling it. Independence Day is hard on us American Anglophiles. It’s like if they invented a Self-Hating Jew Day. I mean, sure, I’d march in the parade, but I’d feel guilty about it.

Sometimes I feel like maybe I don’t deserve July 4th. I mean, I was practically suckled on John Cleese’s teat (no cheddar, please—his family’s last name was actually “Cheese”—honest to wikitits. Wow, sorry about all the breast humor thusfar…) and we all know about the G&S fetish, and so Independence Day has always been a little tricky for me.

You remember what July 4th is all about, right? Poppin’ caps in the asses of the fuckin’ redcoats. Shovin’ corncobs in their bagpipes. Calling them fags an’ shit.

Well, excuse me if I just kind of, you know, don’t join in with your little fag-calling holiday.

I tried, of course. We tried to buy a new oven, but, like, the store wasn’t open. We’ll get it soon, though. It’s a GE Hotpoint. Hot. Point.

I go to fireworks, of course, because I’m basically twelve, but, really-- I’d rather be at home on the couch with my wife, eating a box of Hobnobs (“with oaty nobbly bits”) watching an episode of “Father Ted.” Maybe even without wearing… you know… trousers!

I know it’s not especially popular to be a britter-lover these days, you know, since that annoying company kind of ass-raped the Gulf, but disclaiming my love for Merrie Olde Englande simply because of BP would be like cutting off Volkswagen because Hitler GE Hotpointed my people.

And I just won’t do that. In fact, just today, I purchased four vintage VW print ads to hang up in our office. I’m pretty sure the seller is American, though, if that makes you feel better.

It’s hard to believe we were ever at war with England, isn’t it? It’s even harder to believe that we were English. Well, my people weren’t—but your people may have been. There is no HP Sauce in my bloodline, and I know that makes me an errant poseur, but what can I say? Can you tell when you sit across from me on a blanket at the fireworks? Can you see it in my face? The… Un-Americanism?

It’s hard to be all schnazzed up about being American. I think we got pretty close on the 4th, though. Even though we failed at buying a large kitchen appliance, which would have made us very American, my wife wore a red-and-a-white striped shirt with blue shorts. I, um, didn’t, but I did eat a rib-eye steak for dinner—and, even though I was supposed to eat grilled hotdogs and hamburgers, a steak is pretty fucking American, isn’t it? A friend of mine who is a farmer in Vermont gave it to me when she came down for a visit, and I was so scared of cooking it that I hid it in the freezer for five months. Finally, on the 3rd, I bravely emailed her for instructions.

I'm not one to get terribly excited about holidays like this one. I always get labor day and memorial day confused-- can't keep them straight at all. When I was dating a Catholic girl in college, a whole new collection of strange holidays got thrown into the mix, and I was very fucked up for a while. I mean, who knew that Holy Thursday and Maundy Thursday were the same thing?

Not I.

As you may remember, I was relatively ambivalent/depressed about my own birthday, so if you think I'm going to get all slick in the shorts about America's birthday, well, you're just a silly goose. Go take a green shit by the lakefront.

I remember many 4ths of July as a child. I think that was where I honed my antisocial tendencies. The next town over would hold a fireworks display that was pretty decent, and people came from miles around to congregate on the local baseball diamond, smell each other, sit on each other's blankets, drop corndogs and shit on each other, and get burned by the black ash that would fall from the heavens because the people running the fireworks didn't really know what the fuck they were doing.

I enjoyed these fireworks, but, after one year experiencing them with the rest of the mouth-breathing masses was enough for my family. Moved my my zeal for patriotism and exploding things, the next year, and every subsequent year of my youth thereafter, my father would drive us to the parking lot of the John Wanamakers, spread a blanket on the roof of the Oldsmobile or the Buick or the (once he got a clue) Camry and he would seat my sister and I up on top of the roof and, in that vacant department store parking lot, we would get a clear, unobstructed, crowd-eschewing view of the fireworks. And then we would go home and I would watch "Life of Brian" on VHS in the basement.

Of course, we all know that July 4th isn’t about stabbing British people through the head with bayonets or about cotton candy, or fireworks or parades with pretty fire-engines or painting big banners that say, “FUCK YOUR CORNHOLE, CORNWALLIS!” And it isn’t even about kitchen appliances.

It’s about three-day weekends.

Oh, and drinking lots of alcohol. But I’m cool with just the three-day weekend, thanks.

I wish a three-day weekend was long enough to go to England. I also wish we could drive the Volvo to England.

Happy 4th, America. God bless you and stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Independence Day, (belatedly), from one American Anglophile from non-British roots to another.


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