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4th of July

Different people have different ideas about the 4th. For some, it's a church picnic and punch with sherbet while others prefer open pit BBQs and punch with grain alcohol. It's definitely a sliding scale between being patriotic and downright whiskey tango. Unless, of course, you're a Jehova's Witness in which case you probably don't celebrate at all.

For me, the 4th was always a special holiday. Before they outlawed fireworks in SoCal, I'd spend countless hours preparing to seriously blow stuff up- preparing ahead to make a plan as to what would be lit off and in what order. To make the whole savory affair even sweeter, the firework stands even opened up for business on the 1st, my birthday.

But that was a while ago and, to be honest, I really haven't thought much about the 4th in recent years. But now that we're in Oregon where you can actually buy and ignite fireworks, it seems to be a bigger deal. To that end, I've compiled this list of the top 5 things you need to do to make your 4th of July a memorable one:

1. Patriotic Attire

This may be obvious for some and unthinkable for others, but it's important. A simple tshirt, headband, or hat not only shows that you love your country, it helps to get you in the mood:

4th of july tshirt

2. Processed Meats

This one is simple: you must consume large amounts of meat and it must be processed. Anything more would be elitist and un-american. If you're doing hot dogs, try to get the ones with at least three different kinds of animal in them:

july 4th

This year we had Coney Island hot dogs with meatballs and starchy salads. I was half expecting the president to call and congratulate us on our gastronomical display of patriotism.

3. American Beer

Nothing imported, nothing with a funny name or description on the side. Just good old fashioned American beer served cold and preferably in nothing smaller than a 16oz can.

pabst blue ribbon

We drank Pabst because it's a blue ribbon winner, but Lucky Lager, Schlitz, or Michelob would also have been acceptable.

4. Fireworks

This one can be tricky if you live in a place where they're banned, but it's important. We're celebrating independence here and it's the American way to blow stuff up after overeating and drinking too much.


We purchased a modest assortment this year, but it was enough to enjoy the smell of sulfur, burn my finger, and show this country how much we love it.

5. Twilight Zone Marathon

This might be even more important than fireworks. The Twilight Zone marathon is a holiday staple. When I was younger they would play it every Thanksgiving, but SciFi now plays it on the 4th.

twilight zone marathon

And just for the record, the best episode is the one where the guy who just wants to be left alone so he can read gets his wish when everyone else dies in a nuclear holocaust and then he breaks his glasses.

Yep, by following these 5 simple rules, you are guaranteed to have a good time on the 4th even if you wind up spending it alone. So terribly alone.

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