Happy Fourth Of July!
For my US readers, that's Independence Day.
For my non-US readers, that's just the fourth day of July.
In both cases, I hope you have a great day.
4th Of July For Non US Readers
If you aren't from the US, here's a quick primer of why the day is significant for those of us in the US.
This is the day we celebrate the greatest break-up letter in history.
On this date our Declaration Of Independence was signed and sent on its way to King George of England.
Here's my quick paraphrase:
This is hard to say, but we've grown apart. It's like we don't even know each other anymore.
Sometimes it's best to just go our separate ways.
We just feel like we owe you an explanation.
We have tried to get you to work things out. Every step of the way, we've asked you to make some changes, but Noooo.
It's no use trying to talk us out of leaving.
We'd really like to be friends, but if you insist we can be enemies.
Sincerely, #John Hancock
(Other, smaller signatures)
History is why we celebrate, but how do we celebrate?
Many of us build a fire of one sort or another and grill an animal of one sort or another.
For me it's hamburgers and hot dogs over charcoal. I like grilling lots of things, but on the 4th I want a burger and/or hot dog, because 'Merica.
Grilling Is Not Optional
This was last year. Rain tried to dampen (ha! see what I did there?) our spirits, but I said, “No! We must grill!”
No tradition is more American than blowing stuff up.
These days we mostly go for fireworks either lame or spectacular.
Many states have laws regulating the sale of fireworks. This is an attempt to prevent:
- House Fires
- Forest Fires
- Car Fires
- High Speed Digit Deletion (the explosive removal of fingers)
In these states it is a tradition for a fair percentage of the population to travel to the nearest state with a more liberal view towards the desires of its citizenry to burn down their neighborhoods and remove unwanted fingers.
In my state (Georgia) we allow only lame fireworks. Here is a chart to help determine if fireworks are lame or awesome.
Potential Damage: Small, localized fire. Easily extinguished by stomping on it.
Potential Damage: Large, neighborhood engulfing conflagration. Extinguished only by concerted effort of two or more governmental agencies.
In bygone days when fireworks were hard to come by, it was a tradition to do the next best thing.
Explosive Launching Of Anvils Into The Air
Anvils are heavy. That's kind of their thing. You can't really pound heated metal over a lightweight object.
I find it sad that the practice of launching of 2-300 pound metal objects has largely fallen out of favor. The closest many of us have come to the experience is Lawn Darts.
Here's a great video to showcase the concept:
Indeed most of us only know of anvils thanks to the tireless work of Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius.
I say Wile E. is the embodiement of America. He never quits. No amount of personal injury or failure has ever stopped him from his pursuit of life, liberty and fast, flightless birds.
So here's to you, Mr. Coyote, and here's to you Mr. Wilkinson. May your anvil adventures never end, and may your freedom to pursue failure, folly, and awesomeness ever endure!