Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fourth of July in a Foreign Land

Well, I suppose Canada isn't that foreign. Normally I spend the Fourth of July in Prince Edward Island (yes, Canada) with my family at their cottage. We have a good mix of both Canadian and American families down our road, and even some families who have both American and Canadian branches, so we usually have some nice little celebrations for Canada Day and July 4th.

For Canada Day, one of the cottages down front hosts a lovely party that just about everyone comes out to, where we wear red and white, sit around in Maple Leaf lounge chairs from Canadian Tire, drink red Kool Aid and eat red and white cupcakes, listen to various versions of O Canada on loop (en fran├žais ici), and try not to get too many Canadian-themed fake tattoos on ourselves, courtesy of the little kids running around and tagging everyone.

For July 4th it's a bit less organized -- sometimes we have a bonfire on the beach, or maybe we get together with some people and grill burgers and sit on American-themed lounge chairs from Wal-Mart. Though, there was one year that was a bit more exciting than usual. It was the first year that the 911 system had been implemented across the Island, and yes, this is important to the story. The American couple in the cottage just down the lane from us were preparing a little celebratory lunch, including burgers on the grill. Well, something in the grill caught fire, and rather than let it burn his deck down, the man launched it off the front of the house with his bare hands so it could burn in the yard. So that year we got our fireworks a different way. Everyone was excited for a chance to call 911 and see how well it worked, so about 25 minutes later (when the grill had just about burned itself out) the fireman from Crapaud showed up, stood around and chatted with us a bit and made sure the grill fire didn't spread to anywhere else, and then they left. It was an exciting Fourth that year.

This year I was up early, thanks to an evening cup of coffee and a crazy amount of sushi from a night out with friends, so I rigged up my American Flag (bought at a military base!) on my balcony railing where it can be seen by the thousands of cars and buses that go through my intersection every day. It is a celebration of Yankee ingenuity: lacking a flagpole and rope, I managed to make it work using caribeeners, a twisty-tie, a guitar capo, and ribbon tied to a chair. Yee-haw. Later I hope to engage in some good old American-style capitalism by selling some furniture of mine online. And maybe I'll wander around my apartment singing patriotic songs, just because I can.

So to all you Americans, enjoy your holiday. And for you non-Americans who are not celebrating, please give your silly neighbors a break for the day. We heart our country and we want everyone to know it! Maybe if you wish your neighbors a Happy Fourth they'll grill you a burger and split a can of crap American beer.

Happy Birthday, America!

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