MY 4TH OF JULY

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It was the prototypical celebration: bratwursts, dogs tearing around like madmen, neighbors trundling over vats of potato salad, horizontal fireworks that set the lawn on fire, beer, and of course the traditional burning of the redcoat in effigy. For you who were unfortunate enough to be denied a course in American History, or who spent the whole class trying to look up Alexa Van Dorn's skirt, the redcoats were British soldiers who lost the war because they marched in a straight line, and all the guys in the front line were playing drums! I mean, those knuckleheads deserved to lose. It was like the Navy Seals fighting the University of Maryland Marching Band. Only the redcoats didn't have a drum major prancing in front of them like we did in the University of Maryland Marching Band, and if we had had muskets we would have shot him from behind. And that's what patriotism means to me.