[So yes. I’m back in Spain, back to cadging wifi access in friendly bars, which means back to cerveza-fuelled writing… My apologies for late posts, alcohol-related typos, and assorted blast-from-the-past reposts like this one. Happy Fourth of July wherever you do/don’t celebrate!]
So…Independence Day is catching on.
The US is celebrating with the traditional cookouts and removal of body parts through poor fireworks choices.
The post-Brexit UK is celebrating/mourning what the (former) head of UKIP Nigel Farage is calling their Independence Day—and wants to see observed as an official annual holiday. No, I totally did not make that up.Hollywood is celebrating with the—who even cares if it’s any good without Will Smith—Independence Day Resurgence movie.
And I’m hiding out in Spain. where I just might stay until Donald Trumpet finishes demolishing the party of Lincoln.
Meanwhile, here are a few thoughts from last year’s Fourth of July.
My friend Hamish invited me to join him for his archery club’s annual competition on Sunday in which they shoot the American. He is planning to dress as a Confederate officer for the event, but all are encouraged to come in “outrageous” American dress.
Sadly—because I can think of a number of Americans who would make SUCH excellent targets—he explained that “The American” refers to a form of competition in which arrows are shot at specified distances (2 ½ dozen at 60 yds, 2 ½ dozen at 50 yds, and 2 ½ dozen at 40 yds).
It’s probably just as well that I won’t be able to attend. This is Glasgow after all, so I think it’s pretty likely there will be copious amounts of alcoholic incentive. I wouldn’t want to run into any well-lubricated champion archers who might still hold a grudge about that whole hiding behind trees—not to mention shooting at those guys wearing red coats and marching in a straight line—we Americans went in for back in 1776.
My visiting daughter and I were discussing the upcoming holiday and the Fourth of July Snickerdoodles she’d brought.
“Aren’t you an American?” Emma, who was ringing up our groceries, asked.
“Yes,” I admitted.
“There’s one thing about America that I’ve always wanted to know.”
“No, I don’t think the moon landings were actually fakes, but I can’t say the same about Kim Kardashian’s boobs, most presidential candidates, and people who claim they actually enjoy the taste of tofu.”
“No.” She blinked at me. “What I really wanted to know is what Snickerdoodles are. Do they come from Snickers Bars?”
“Snickerdoodles, ” I informed her, “are our sacred birthright as god-bless-Americans, and as such are not usually allowed to leave the US. Snickers, on the other hand, have made it to Glasgow where they are, of course, likely to end up deep-fried.”
Most of the time, Snickerdoodles are cinnamon-sugar coated rounds of buttery goodness, but as an essential part of the Fourth of July festivities, Americans often give in to the unfortunate urge to substitute red, white. and blue sugar for the coatings. Sadly, this isn’t even close to being the worst culinary crime we Americans commit in the name of Fourth of July dessertage. Jello goes over to the dark side, but it is cakes which seem to bring out a particularly sadistic streak in amateur holiday bakers.