Friday, July 1, 2011

Take a moment, America. Then light that thing.

Happy birthday, America.

Now get me a switch from that old maple behind the tool shed and drape yourself over Papa's knee for two-hundred-and-thirty-five birthday spankins. And a pinch to grow an inch.

Wow, we're one old country, aren't we? I'm pretty sure we've finally been around longer than M*A*S*H was.

All the wars, all the economic catastrophes, all the heart-seizing moments staring into the icy abyss of annihilation.

But enough about the Kardashians.

As we approach the Fourth of July, how many of us will actually ponder the true spirit of the holiday? Who among us will reflect upon the sacrifices performed by so many to win and maintain our freedom for nearly two-and-a-half centuries?

I'm really going to try this time. I'm going to give my full effort to not plunging my ever-sagging, soft bodily tissue into twenty-four-hour, Pabst-fueled orgy of piccolo pete pyromania. And since the "p" words are flowing, I'll add "penis" to the mix, since most of this day's ordnance experts are also owners of that dangling participle between our legs.

What do you say guys? How about we just light a couple of bottle rockets, pound down some strawberry shortcake and call it a day before something of which we're extremely fond gets blown off, placed in a plastic bag and duct taped to our stomach for that jostling airlift to Harborview?

Oh, yeah, and maybe we can spend thirty seconds or so thinking about the true significance of July 4.

Not that we're any better with other holidays. Do many of us spend oodles of time contemplating the true meaning of Christ's birth on December 25, 0000? Hopefully, after we've ripped the wrapping off our Magic Bullets and bodyscapers, we take some time to appreciate JC's humble beginnings.

It is nice to know that, although our Lord was born in a rustic setting at best, at least Joe and Mary could take advantage of that full week between the Messiah's birthday and New Year's Day, hopefully having received enough gold to convert that sowing room into a nursery.

Joseph would also have a chance to return that foul-smelling myrrh to the MAC counter at Neiman's before walking into the office on January 2 with some light-hearted birthing stories.

"I tried to comfort her and help her breathe," Joseph would say, while sipping his morning java, "but she pushed me away, yelling 'You did this to me!' All I could do was turn to Wise Man Frankie and whisper, 'I don't think so, Babe.'"

On Saint Patrick's Day, most don't observe the death of a man who introduced Christianity to Ireland. Nope, they're more concerned with what they've regurgitated on the morning of March 18, and whether the green color is from the beer or an alarming imbalance of their body's flora and fauna.

Easter rolls around, and it's more about how many Whoppers and Reese's Pieces we can scarf down by ten in the morning than it is about celebrating the day Jesus came back to life because of a freakishly human-sized bunny.

So, again, here's my challenge to you, to me, to all who consider themselves able to wade through the commercial muck of modern holidays: On the next big day, take five minutes.

All I ask is five.

My birthday is August 28.

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