It’s the fourth of July and I am on the other side. I am no carpetbagger or scallywag, I am just a Yankee downhill from the divide. I am a long way from the fireworks and the distance makes the times I did see them even that much more special. Why is it that you always feel the most pride when you reside in the belly of the beast?
|Scuse me mam, I can’t see the works.|
Thomas Jefferson’s piece of fiction earned a non- and our country went from thirteen siblings to thirteen United States. We even dumped tea in the harbour, without adding milk. We drove our horses on the right side of the angry mobs. We combined hot and cold water in one spigot so we wouldn’t burn our hands when we washed ourselves clean of taxation without representation. We fought the law and our law won. We gave the United Kingdom of Britain the finger, yet here I am on a train steaming towards work, just a stones throw away in any direction from a county that ends in shire. What gives?
Well we broke up, the US and the UK, and though there were hard feelings we remained friends. It took a while, no doubt. Apparently Thomas J.’s declaration wasn’t signed until August, and the UK didn’t formally admit that it was okay to see other people until the Treaty of Paris in 1783 (wikipedia is so good when you have nothing but it and the back of a headrest to stare at). And all these years later, here we stand like Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. We fight over little things, baseball and cricket, but we can all agree that Ashton Kutcher is a little creepy.
Our small quibbles aside, it seems we both celebrate cheap beer, mullets, cheeky elementary school plays, fireworks, and small town parades on the 4th of July. Believe it or not, the belly of the beast was adorned with Red, White, and Blue this weekend. There were celebrations all over London, and though I did not take part in any of them, it was pretty cool to see that we can just all get along.
On Saturday, July 2nd the three of us (my niece is here studying) joined awkwardly dressed crowds and watched the headliner in Hyde Park declare that the night was going to be a good night, a good good night. And it was, but mostly becuase the celebration of our country’s independence found us, through family, friends, music, and cheap beers. We sang out loud and danced to rhythms of an American band while our country slept in the time zones behind us. But rest assured, at no time were we anything but Americans having a damn good time, a damn good time, 235 years after the day our Congress told the Crown, it’s not you, it’s me.
Happy Independence Day!!!!