Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Legend of Fourth of July Eve

Kneel bedside and recite the Pledge of Allegiance before you’re tucked into your star-spangled bed, for tonight comes Uncle Sam, skipping gingerly from rooftop to rooftop in every city and town and census-designated place in these great United States. He’s powered by American can-do as he zips from one spot to the next, a glittering trail of red, white and blue marking his path. He knows how you’ve voted. He knows what news channel you watch. And he knows who in this country lives in the real America. “Oh! Uncle Sam has come!” cry the children. “He’s given Ma and Pa each an American flag bumper sticker! To us? Bottle rockets and savings bonds and draft notices! Truly, this is the best Independence Day ever!”

But not all Americans should expect a visit from kindly Uncle Sam. Do you improperly display your American flags around your home and place of business? Do you have Bastille Day circled on your calendar? Do you live on or near a coast? Then cower in your beds as you hear the clanging copper footsteps of Lady Liberty, trudging toward your door. She is no kindly American spirit. This towering woman — this walking American Nightmare — seeks out the unpatriotic, and punishes them for their wickedness. Lady Liberty clobbers Communists with her Tablet of Freedom. She skewers the brazenly bra-less with her pointed Crown of Liberty. And those who still display pro-Nader paraphernalia? Well, just know she carries that Torch of Free Enterprise for a reason. Your desperate proclamations of love for spacious skies and purple mountains majesty will fall on deaf, metallic ears as she grants you independence… from life.

Deep down, you know which manifestation of America will visit you in the wee hours of the night. To those who meet the copper lady, may your last thoughts be of regret for signing that petition outside Whole Foods. And to the more fortunate, whom Uncle Sam visits in the night, enjoy your tomorrow, for it’s the one day on which you can blow your fingers off by drunkenly holding a lit firecracker too long and know that you did it for your country.

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