To all my American readers: Happy Fourth of July! To steal the sign on Murky Coffee Capitol Hill's door, "Closed for Independence Day. Happy Independing!"
If you have not already, you should read Jeff Shaara's The Glorious Cause. It is a completely riveting and interesting piece of historical fiction around the Revolutionary War. What makes the book--and the history--so fascinating is your realization at several points during the narrative that we d*mn near lost about 10 times throughout the course of the war. Every time, some piece of dumb luck or covert operation or critical turning-point decision by George Washington, et.al. would turn the tide. My fellow Americans, we are all here by the grace of God and luck and chance and good judgment and strategy and so many tiny decisions and occurrences that you almost can't bear to have the knowledge that it all could easily have gone so differently. Otherwise, we'd be neighbours--drinking tea, singing God Save The Queen, and naming our children Desmond, Emma and Rupert.
For my Canadian readers, we're sorry we're such crap neighbors sometimes. Please don't call the police tonight when our fireworks are too loud. We didn't call on your last week for Canada Day. (Do we get any points for knowing that it was Canada Day?!)
For my British readers, admit it. Ruling America was "The Most Fun You Never Want To Have Again." It was a rollicking good time until it wasn't, simply because we're clearly an un-ruleable nation. And we don't like marmite. Not even a little. It would never work out between us.
The Haggis' July 4th activities will involve attendance at Dogs 'n Hogs, the annual barbecue/fundraiser held by a dear friend here in DC. It's a boozefest free-for-all (with hot dogs and pork barbecue, hence the name), the only admission requirement is that you bring all of your spare change. The person with the most spare change gets to name the charity to which everyone's spare change will be donated. It's the easiest way to justify drinking ludicrous quantities of alcohol, and hey--it's for a good cause!
Well, as the sign said: "Happy Independing!"