Tips To Surviving The 4th of July

                By the time you read this, I will already be out partying. And yes, I know I schedule these blogs to post at 9 in the morning. What do you want me to say? It’s July 4th, I live in Texas, and this is easily one of more drinkinest, celebratinest days of the year.

                Actually, this whole week has been a bit of a shitshow. At the same time that I was trying to get two new websites prepped, as well as finishing off the paperwork for my new publishing company, I had several good friends house-sitting mere blocks away from my new apartment. Oh, and what is in those blocks between us? Bars and restaurants and pools and just all kinds of fun shit. I’ve gotten a lot of work done, as well as had a lot of fun, but my sleep schedule has paid the price.

                All of which is my nice way of saying that I don’t have any grand, introspective thoughts or essays to toss before your eyes today. Instead, I’m going to give you some advice for a safe and fun 4th of July, pulled my many years of misadventures and near-fatalities.

                1. Don’t let your friend try and make homemade Molotov cocktails. I don’t care how convincing he is about the cool way it will burn on the country dirt road where you’re all drinking beer and lighting fireworks; don’t let him do it. He’s either drunk, dumb, or uncoordinated, and really your best case scenario is him fucking up entirely and lighting nothing on fire.

                2. If your friend does try to make Molotov cocktails and spills gas on his hand, don’t let him try holding lit artillery shells and tossing them in the air a few minutes later. Sure, the first few are really cool as they burst overhead, but sooner or later a rogue spark from the fuse is going to hit his hand and boom: suddenly all the hair on his fingers and knuckles is gone.

                3. Sun makes you tired, booze makes you drunk, and if you combine the two your tolerance for both drops significantly. I don’t care many brews you can normally chug, if you’ve been laying in the sun or grilling all day and pounding hooch, your tolerance is going to be way weaker than normal. Trust your friends when they tell you to slow down; they’re your drinking buddies and they know how far along you should be by beer #6.

                4. If you do drink too much, that’s okay; just stop drinking and try to sober up. Seriously, drop the wine and put this red bull in your mouth. Stop shouting. Because we’re at a restaurant, that’s why. No, the waiter isn’t going to bring you all of the specialty drinks on the menu. I swear to fucking god, Ricky, we are not getting kicked out of another Outback Steakhouse for you. Pull your shit together or you can wait in the car.

                5. Remember, not all counties allow the use of fireworks, despite the holiday. Be sure to check your local ordinances, including the possibility of bans due to drought or dry climate. If you’re having trouble finding information, telephone the local police station on a non-emergency line and ask them. After all, they’ll know better than anyone what is and isn’t illegal.

                6. So it turns out fireworks are illegal in your town, now you have to explode them in secret. Wait, you thought Tip 5 was about obeying the law? No no no, it was about seeing if you could do it in front of your house of if you needed to keep it on the downlow. This is the 4th of July, we’re blowing some shit up no matter what. It’s what this country was founded on. Anyway, the trick here is that if you live in suburbia, find an area where lots of others are breaking the law as well. If the cops so up, scatter, and your odds of getting busted are practically negligible. If you live in the country, what are you worried about? Isn’t doing illegal acts away from the prying eye of civilization and Johnny Law exactly why you moved there in the first place? Get exploding!

                7. Remember that this country represents the melding of many cultures, some of whom celebrate their patriotism in different ways, and that what really matters is our love of America, not the specifics of how we show it. As strange as it might seem, some of your friends will want to celebrate America’s independence with what is colloquially known as “weed” rather than the traditional fermented beverages. Do not judge them or their choices, for they are showing a passion for freedom in their own way. Instead, embrace these curious people as brothers in arms, and perhaps plan on them eating a few more hot dogs than everyone else. At the end of day they represent someone who won’t be taking beers from your cooler, and that’s a sentiment we can all get behind.

                8. Futurama is a cartoon and Freedom Day is a fictional holiday; laws still apply on the 4th of July. Yes, I’m sure. No, it doesn’t matter how loudly you yell “Freedom!” when committing various acts. Yes, even if you keep a copy of the DVD on you at all times. No, the cops being fans of the show doesn’t mean they are bound by its fictitious laws. You can hope they’ll chuckle, but that’s not the same thing as tearing a ticket for urinating on a fire hydrant.

                9. When it comes to explosives, bigger is always better. Doesn’t matter what they actually do, no one is actually going to remember that shit; what matters is the size, color, and impressiveness of the packaging when you pull it from the car and show it off to the spectators. If you get oohs and ahhs then you did good, if someone takes off their hat you did great, and if someone actually drops their beer can then you just became the stuff of legends. It might have been an entire paycheck spent on poorly made explosives, but by god this is a night you’ll recall forever, or until the cheap liquor wipes your memory clear.

                10. All joking aside, and for legal purposes I must point out that is what the vast majority of this was, be safe and a have a fun 4th. Use designated drivers, people who can handle fireworks, and basic safety protocol in your various escapades. Make it through this great day safely and with a lot of great stories to tell.

Happy 4th of July!

I feel like this week's Youtube Break is best without any context. Just enjoy it.

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