It’s the morning of July 2, 1777 and John and Abigail Adams are sitting at the kitchen table in their Braintree home, sipping a mug of Dunkin’ regular and munching on a Dolly Madison coffee cake.
“How big of a crowd are we having for our Fourth of July cookout,” asked Abigail.
“Well babe, I got RSVPs from Tommy Jefferson, who’s bringing his wife Martha and lady friend Sally Hemings. Jimmy Monroe’s coming solo, and Benji Franklin and his baby mama …”
“I don’t know why you always invite that blowhard Franklin. You and he always get into disagreements about something or other, especially after he’s had a few of your Cousin Samuel’s summer ales. I’d tell him to go fly a kite, but that’s just me.”
John takes a slug of coffee and stares at the to-do list Abigail has placed in front of him.
“There’s a lot here, babe. I see you want me to paint the house. By July 4. I don’t think even the Continental Congress could make that happen.”
“Well, you’ve been dawdling for months John. Please do the porch, at least. I’d like the house to shine. White. A big white house. I’m sick of watching the neighbors shake their heads in disgust and flip us the bird every time they ride by.”
“Gimme a break, babe. It’s a legal holiday. A day off from the rat race. No work allowed. Like Super Bowl Sunday.”
John thinks a minute. “OK. I’ll paint the porch. But first, I have to ride up to tax-free New Hampshire to buy sparklers, bottle rockets and assorted fireworks.”
“You better call John Hancock to make sure our insurance covers ‘blown-off fingers,'” interjects Abigail, rolling her eyes.
John continues. “Then I have to go to Ye Olde Market Basket to purchase foodstuffs for our party. Their parking lot will be packed; I hope I can find a good spot to hitch up the horse and buggy.”
Abigail smiles. “Thank you for agreeing to paint the porch, hon. It’s only fair. It’ll take me forever to clean the house, especially with that clumsy kerosene-powered Herbert Hoover Vacuum with that damned hose that always kinks up. Vacuuming sucks.”
John grabs a quill pen and dips the tip in ink, and adds a trip to Walmart to his to-do list. “I’ll have to scrape the porch bare before I paint. Comments on Yelp praise the new Bernie™ sanders. I’ll buy one of those,” he mutters to himself. “And I’ll put up red, white and blue bunting, too.”
Abigail asks about the menu.
“Well, Cousin Sammy’s bringing the booze: Boston Lager, Porch Rocker and Sam ’76. The ABV is really low on those; it’ll be tough to get a good buzz on. Perhaps I should stop at the packie and buy a bottle of Fireball Cinnamon whisky.
“Of course, we’ll have Boston baked beans, steak tips, bison burgers, Nathan’s Famous Skinless Beef Franks. Maybe we’ll have a hotdog-eating contest to keep things fun; that’d be a swell Independence Day tradition. I already picked up chips and munchies, and Joe Frogger molasses cookies.”
John could not contain his excitement. “For starters, I thought I’d barbecue some piping plover. There are nests of those critters all over the yard. I know it’s illegal to disturb them, but I don’t care. Nothing’s yummier than piping hot plover.”
“And there will be numerous festive games: badminton, cornhole, sack races, a huge bonfire at midnight,” he continues. “We’ll have an Independence Day-joke contest. I’ve been practicing mine: ‘Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? At the bottom,’ ‘What did the pirate say when he got his Fourth of July firecrackers? Ahoy M-80.’ ‘Why did Paul Revere ride his horse from Boston to Lexington? Because his Tesla was in the shop.’ “
“And I’ve hired a band, Paul Revere and the Raiders, to perform rocking versions of ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy,’ ‘God Bless America,’ ‘Stars and Stripes Forever,’ and Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road.’ Huzzah!”
However your family celebrates Independence Day, have fun and recognize how fortunate we are to live in America.