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Monday, July 7, 2008

Happy 232nd birthday, America!


July 4, 2008 - Collinsville, IL (11 miles East of St. Louis, MO)

Like most Americans, I spent the July 4, 2008 participating in one of our most beloved methods of celebration - watching things explode. My East Coast family is no stranger to the $40 firecracker bundle fetched on one of many regular jaunts to Chinatown, but my Midwestern in-laws do it up right. The festivities began around 4pm with much beer, dips, chips and merriment to be followed by BBQ burgers, dogs and slow-cooked pulled pork, various mayo drenched salads and an actual salad made of leaves with no trace of mayonnaise at all allowing me to feel less guilty about the two pieces of cake I would later consume because, hey, I had a salad with dinner. I especially enjoyed the selection of Italian, Czech and Polish beer set aside in a special cooler just for my and my husband's consumption, an act of which I was particularly thankful for and happy to rise to the challenge of taking this beer off their hands. A cousin had received the case of beer last Christmas from a co-worker and it had gone untouched, just sitting in the garage. I understand that not everyone likes foreign beer, but I don't think a bottle of any beer has lasted more than one week at my house, except for the sorghum brew sitting in our fridge right now which was left by a wheat intolerant party-goer many months ago. Man, am I glad I'm not allergic to wheat, 'cause wheat free beer blows. Anyway, a few Peronis, and Urquells later (like 7 of them) I was ready for boom-booms. (Why does that sound so dirty?) But that was only after I watched a much heated croquet game staged in the front yard over which I sort of drunkenly officiated, though I've never played the game and therefore have no actual knowledge of the rules. I witnessed family members cheating, helping others cheat and even purposely screwing over their blood relatives. It was a sight to see on an unseasonably cool and beautiful evening the the Mississippi river valley. I even got to wear my gray hoodie when the sun went down - such a treat.

But, no truly great fireworks demonstration is without a warm-up. Whether it be staking out your blanket space in the baseball field and watching other families jockey for prime viewing position or getting trashed at the apartment before walking down to some body of water where there is sure to be a barge filled with explosives preparing to rock everyone's world with a choreographed show of pyrotechnics while Born in the USA blares over the PA system that only the people near the front can actually hear. So, here's a short clip of our pre-show. Young Logan is not so much concentrating on the actual guitar playing (he is only 5yrs old, after all and actually pretty good), but the kid sure does know how to sell it. With a little help from his dad, this kid had a rock star fantasy moment inciting much jealousy from this blogger, let me tell you.

video
Logan rocks out.

Sure, the Cardinals lost that night, but first baseman Albert Pujols hit his 300th career home run just as the St. Louis fireworks were starting, I'm told. (Side note: I, like you, cannot believe I'm a baseball fan after so many years of not giving a crap.) All was right in the world and while emergency rooms were probably hopping with many party-goers and flame enthusiasts just like us, I believe the night was injury free for those on the hill just above Beltline Road.



Please to enjoy another hilarious "report" from Current.