Moses Mendoza

Moses Mendoza
North Havana, USA
February 21
so enlightened I'm like glow in the dark

JULY 3, 2009 8:33AM

My Third Fourth of July

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Although I'm rapidly closing in on 30, tomorrow will only be my third Fourth of July.

Let me explain. My family fled Cuba in 1959, planning to wait out the whole pesky revolution thing with a vacay in NYC, and then head back to Havana within the month. Well, things have been delayed a bit, and that asshole Kennedy didn't help by screwing up the Bay of Pigs. So we abstain from celebrating any strictly American holidays, like Memorial Day and Christmas, since this isn't our permanent home anyway.

No, no. I'm just kidding.

Let me explain. My family is really religious. In our house, we only ever vote to ratify one constitution: God's law. The Fourth of July represents another attempt by Satan to take our eyes off of the prize with the false idols of flags and fireworks. A Declaration of Independence from God. No way! We save our fireworks for Easter, and by fireworks I mean prayer.

Joking again.

Let me explain. My family is really patriotic. As good patriots, we recognize the importance of the Declaration of Independence. We love to celebrate Independence Day. Only we also know that document didn't count for shit until it was signed, and this happened in August, not July. So we do it up on the Second of August. On Saturday we'll do a small family dinner in honor of Ratification Day, but our parade float won't roll until 8/2/2009.

Ok, forget it. Two lies and a lie.

I'm not going to say why I'd never celebrated Independence Day until 2007, but it's true.

I wondered about it over the years. Was it more like Christmas or Halloween? Are there presents? Costumes? Is there a 4th of July food, like turkey on Thanksgiving? Or do we fast? Oh, and do I need to dry-clean my Confederate army uniform? It's still dirty from Stonewall Jackson Day.

As it turns out, 4th of July hardly resembles Christmas, Halloween, or Thanksgiving. More than anything, it's a St. Patty's or Cinco de Mayo, but American. A drinking holiday, decorated with fireworks and pithy expressions of patriotism. Like New Years Eve, the 4th also appears to be a sort of amateur night of alcohol consumption; a lot  of folks imbibe more than usual and then vomit, burn something down, or crash their pontoon boats. Optional accoutrements include watermelon, grilled foods, a Stars & Stripes cake, slalom skiing, and sparklers for the kids. There may be a parade, and one of the floats may consist of a pick up truck full of drunks.

I'm all for it. Shit, I'm thankful for it. USA! If I'd known what I was missing all those years I'd have come out of hiding way sooner. A day off work would have been nice too, but I guess the calendars didn't cooperate this year.

Come Saturday, I'm gonna do it up. I'm lifting my ban on canned domestic macrobrews and cracking open a Bud Heavy (forget the Belgian owners, the colors on this beer can don't run). Hell, I plan on drinking one for each of the thirteen colonies.  The fireworks will fly, parades will roll by, and my red, white, & blue swimming trunks will turn greenish-brown with mustard and relish. Just steer clear of my pontoon boat.

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fourth of july, open call

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Before you break out the beer, try to find some fresh homemade ice cream - truly the best thing about the 4th of July!
Sparklers! Sparklers are the best part of the 4th of July. After you light one, run around like a crazy person windmilling your arm and yelling, "Yeaaaaahhh!"

Love the "lies". I bet most people don't give nearly as much thought to what the 4th means.
None of the kids in my neighborhood ever have sparklers, and they're the best part of July 4th.

Fortunately, their parents shoot their semi-automatic weapons right after the kids finish shooting of their illegal fireworks so that kinda makes up for the missing magic of sparklers.
You have certainly captured the essence of the typical celebration rather nicely!

rated for reference to dripping condiments on yourself
>>a lot of folks imbibe more than usual and then vomit, burn something down, or crash their pontoon boats

Dude, stop reading my Yahoo calendar entries.

And while popping that Bud Heavy (should that not be spelled Hevy, to correspond to Lite?), please remember to drink responsibly. Why, just last week I was responsible for an evacuation of my neighborhood. Remember kids: if you must drink, don't experiment with phosphorus compounds.

Mr. Mendoza, I am proud to share this country with you. I'll take the blue states, and the bacon-producing states.
I'm 34 and have never celebrated the 4th of July.

This post made me smile, so thank you for that.