Tag Archives: holiday

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July everybody. And by everybody, I’m talking about Americans, of course. Real Americans. What’s a real American? Well, I’m not going to get into a political diatribe. Anybody who knows me understands that I never insert myself into political controversies. No, I like to stay above the fray, out of the spotlight. OK, yeah, I’m known to make the occasional passive-aggressive comment on my relatives’ Facebook posts. Whatever, maybe sometimes it’s something bordering more on aggressive-aggressive, I’m only human.

Captain America punches Hitler

But I’m a human American. And as an American, I can say that the Fourth of July is the one day out of the year when Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs can lay aside their differences and focus on what makes us different from everybody else. Call it American exceptionalism, you know, that feeling you get when a big group of people start chanting “USA! USA!” and then you start chanting it too, and you’re all really pumped up, almost daring a different group of people to start chanting something else.

Can you imagine what it would be like if an equal sized group started chanting something ridiculous? Like, “Germany! Germany!” or, they’d be saying it in German, I’m not going to bother writing out the German word for Germany, seeing as how it’s the Fourth of July and everything, but in that scenario, things would get ugly pretty fast.

Luckily, all we have to do is look back at history to imagine how that one would play out. We’d probably lose a bunch of really great chanters, but they’d be the greatest chanting generation ever, and it would be worth it, because this is the greatest country in the world. Sorry Canada. Sorry every other country in the world.

Sorry Puerto Rico, and look, I get it, it’s kind of nice to be wanted, but you think we’re going to keep up this courtship forever? One of these days it’s going to be like, all right, are you with us or against us? And you might be like, “Well, it’s complicated, we have to have a series of referendums. Ask us again in another twenty years,” and that’s when we’re going to pull the rug right out from underneath your feet. And maybe we’ll give statehood to some other country, people who really want it. Denmark? Chad? I could just keep listing random countries all day.

But why would I want to talk about any other country besides America? Especially on the Fourth of July. Forget all about that Canada and Denmark and Chad stuff I was talking about earlier. Let’s focus only on America, for real. I went to the arts and crafts store the other day with the idea of making my own custom globe, one with only America, like it would be the earth’s only giant country. That’s a globe I figure that all Americans might be able to rally behind. Obviously there’d have to be water, but that’s OK, it would just be one giant ocean, and I’d call it the American Ocean, and it wouldn’t really be as big as giant America anyway.

But walking into an arts and crafts store with an idea for a project is a lot different than actually figuring out what you’d have to do to make that project a reality. I started talking to some sales clerk about my idea, and she just kept giving me the craziest faces. Again, I don’t want to get political, but she was clearly one of those unreal Americans I was talking about earlier. Maybe she wasn’t even American at all. Jesus, I can’t believe I almost bought something from a potential non-American, and this close to the Fourth of July.

But it’s OK, because I didn’t buy anything. It would have been a lot of work, involving stuff like paper mache and mod-podge and … well, it doesn’t matter, I’m not really a crafts guy I guess, and so, who knows, maybe when I strike it big some day I’ll be able to hire a real globe maker to make my dream globe a reality. But for right now I’ll have to settle with this regular globe that I bought and covered up with blue paint. You know, all of the non-American parts. But it’s not the same, it’s like, regular America, just by itself, it’s too small surrounded by such a large ocean.

Anyway, I don’t want to keep anybody too far away from their barbeques and celebrations today. Go out there and eat a bunch of hot dogs, and make sure your flag lapel pin isn’t on crooked, and if you see anybody chanting anything else, just pretend like you’re one of them, like you’re chanting whatever it is that they’re chanting, but slowly start to alter the trajectory of the chant in a way that, after a few minutes, nobody will realize that they’re all actually chanting “USA! USA!” I’ve seen if happen before. It’s difficult, but it’s totally doable. Happy Fourth everybody.

Easter + Sunday = weekend – fun / (jelly beans * Peeps)

Happy Easter everybody! I’m trying to come up with something inspired by the holiday, but I’ve got nothing. I don’t think it’s my fault. I think it’s Easter’s fault. Seriously, what self-respecting holiday chooses to be celebrated on a Sunday? That’s already a day off. What’s wrong with Monday? Or Tuesday? No, you wouldn’t want everybody to have an extra vacation day. Thanks for nothing, Easter.

“But Rob,” I can just hear Easter protesting, “What about Holy Week? What about Good Friday? Holy Thursday? Spy Wednesday? Holy Tuesday?” Shut up Easter, you know as well as I do that none of those count as real holidays, not outside of Catholic school, not according to my bosses anyway, nor most employers around the country. Certainly the federal government doesn’t grant any time off for Holy Week, so I’m saying nice try.

Come on. No gifts? Candy? Please, that’s not a present, that’s a reward for having to spend the whole day grocery shopping with your mom. She buys you some candy for being well behaved, or as close to well behaved as you can manage, trying not to get all excited, whining, antsy just thinking about that candy by the check out, maybe some Twizzlers, a Twix bar.

Peeps? That’s not a candy. It’s a marshmallow. And a poor excuse for a marshmallow at that. I swear, I’ve been chewing on the same Peep for the better part of five years now. I have to take it out of my mouth obviously, you know to go to work and stuff, to brush my teeth, but I will not be outsmarted by a baby-chicken-shaped seasonal piece of postwar confectionary culture.

“Oh Rob! Stop being so contrary! Easter candy is delicious! Like those Cadbury eggs, you know not the big gross ones filled with that inedible goo, but the mini-eggs, the chocolate ones that come in the purple bag! Those are delicious!” Yes, fine, those are delicious. But what is it, really? It’s an oval piece of chocolate covered in hard sugar. That’s it! That’s not that special. Is that the best you can do Easter?

One time when we were all little kids my family won a fifty-pound solid chocolate Easter bunny from some bakery in town. Technically, my brother Kevin was the winner, but not really. Ever since Kevin won a pretty sizeable jackpot at the races a few summers before (don’t ask) my parents decided that he was the “luckiest” child. Which is not true at all. I’m the luckiest! Me! My parents were amused at seeing me react with such insane jealousy that the lucky moniker stuck. I think I was with my mom when she filled out the raffle at that bakery: “Let me put down Kevin’s name. He’s the lucky one!”

I’m the lucky one! Anyway, a few weeks later:

Ring! Ring!

“Hello, is Kevin there?”

“Who’s calling please?”

“Itgen’s Bakery.”

“Hold on.”







“When do you want to pick up your giant chocolate bunny?”

“Mom! Mom! Mo-om!”

What a scam. I couldn’t imagine a giant chocolate bunny would actually make Easter worse, but it did, because the Easter bunny must have thought, well, those kids sure have a lot of chocolate already, I might as well skimp on the Easter baskets and just put out a supplemental bowl of jelly beans. That’s more than enough, really.

And then all of our cousins came over and my mom started hacking away at the chocolate, giant chunks of it everywhere. “Please!” my mom was telling everybody, “Take some chocolate home. Get this stuff out of my house!”

And I was like, “What? No way! That’s our chocolate!” and I put up a big baby tantrum, and everybody was fighting, all while my brother Kevin shouted in the background, “It’s not your chocolate it’s my chocolate!” and I’d be like, “Shut up Kevin! I’ll eat all of that chocolate right now!”


What a bust. Even after my cousins stole the majority to bring back to their houses, there was still way, like way too much chocolate for any of us to know what to do with. After a week it started developing a white filmy layer on top. It was gross in the same way Halloween candy gets gross by December. Fucking Itgen’s. Fucking Kevin. Fucking Easter.

Now I’m an adult, and all Easter does is rob a day off and turn it into a non-day off. I guess. Not really. I work Sunday nights anyway, waiting tables. I tried to get off but I knew that was never going to happen. Who wants to work on Easter Sunday? Who wants to work any Sunday? Sunday is the craziest day at any restaurant. It’s a day for crazy people to go out to eat. Easter Sunday? Even crazier people. Maybe I’ll be in a really bad mood all night. Maybe I’ll get fired. Fucking Easter.