A few do’s and don’ts for Fourth of July

Here it is, another Fourth of July and time to plan the picnics, the barbecues and of course, the fireworks. I am a veteran of many Independence Day celebrations, having attended them my entire life – well, except for that brief period when I lived in Canada and shockingly, nobody celebrated the Fourth of July. I think it was because a) they are a different country; and b) it’s too cold there in July to have outdoor celebrations.
Anyway, I have compiled a short list of Independence Day do’s and don’ts to help you with your Fourth of July plans.
1. Do not ignite sparklers next to a woman with perfect hair.
Trust me. I know perfect hair, being that mine always looks like somebody washed it, dragged a comb through it and let it dry by having the windows of her car open. That’s because that’s how I do my hair. Anyway, women with perfect hair spend time in front of the mirror. They primp. They fuss. But most importantly, they wear hair spray. Which is flammable. Don’t say I didn’t warn you that if you light a sparkler near Mrs. Jones, her beehive would light up and those fireworks won’t be pretty. Also? Mrs. Jones will not be amenable to allowing you to chase her through the night, while she uses her flaming head to write your initials in the air. I’m just saying.
2. If you attend a parade, do not dress as Abraham Lincoln and wear your best stovepipe hat.
Really? Do I need to go over this with you? Let’s make it simple. People come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us (and by us, I mean me and others of my clan known as “the very short peeps of South Valley”) cannot see over you giant people. And by giant people I’m talking anyone over say, 5-feet, 4-inches. This is because we are height challenged, OK? It’s not our fault. It’s just one more thing to blame on our parents, along with our allergies and our child-rearing skills.
3. Unless you have pipes like Jennifer Hudson, please do not sing the “Star Spangled Banner” in my good ear.
Here’s the deal. I don’t sing. I believe the world has enough problems without me adding my lovely singing voice to the mix. And honestly? There are a lot of people out there who should do the same. You know who you are. We don’t have to speak of this further.
4. Feel free to wear clothing decorated with a flag, but for Pete’s sake, don’t wear a flag.
Look, I am not my father. I don’t stand in front of the TV watching Fox News all day and yell about flag-wearing young people with no respect for the country (my dad still has his “America: love it or leave it” bumper sticker). But honestly? He has a point. Wrapping yourself in a flag is just disrespectful. Get your butt down to Old Navy and get yourself a $5 T-shirt with the flag on it.
5. Don’t bring anything weird to the picnic and try your best not to poison anyone.
Seriously, the Fourth of July is not the time to introduce your neighbors and friends to your Aunt Fran’s World Famous Eggplant and Tuna Casserole. Actually, there may never be a right time for that. Likewise, don’t bring sushi or anything that sits out all day and may give your neighbors a healthy dose of food poisoning on July 5. Trust me on this. I speak from experience.
Happy Fourth of July to all of you. Please have a safe and sane Independence Day. Unless you live in Canada. Then please turn up the heater and enjoy your July 4, which is not a holiday for you.

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