Alice’s Independence Day Special

Today is the 4th of July, or “Independence Day” in America.  Some people forget this is actually just a holiday in America, not the entire planet.  Although, come to think of it, these days I bet Britain is also celebrating getting rid of us.  I came very close to being a sesquicentennial baby (my birthday was on June 29th thanks for remembering about that super soaker I asked for oh WAIT you didn’t) as I was born in the year 1976.

And 200 years later, ME!

And 200 years later, ME!

Two-hundred years before my entrance into this crazy world, there were a bunch of colonists getting their pantaloons in a wad.  See, Britain had paid a crapload of money to ship off people to colonize this great country that was technically already colonized by Native Americans, or “Indians” as Columbus brilliantly called them since he had the directional sense of a blind raccoon.  My point is, Britain had invested lots of money in an overseas project and it was, as usual, costing a wee bit more than the government had figured it would. So they were like who else can we tax for this?  We taxed the heck out of Britian already oh hey WAIT I have an idea!

So they taxed the tea they sent us. That’s right, our friggin’ TEA, people.  Nevermind that we could have say, drank water; tea was our right as British citizens!  The colonists didn’t want to pay the tax because we were not being represented properly in Britain.  At least that sounded like a good reason not to pay taxes.  If they had just allowed us to vote for people we had no clue about into office and stuff (like we do today!) we’d have been all happy and paid the tax.  I’m sure of it.  It’s not like people don’t like taxes or something.

A tax on tea, that's MAD!

A tax on tea, that’s MAD!

So a bunch of guys (yes, guys, the women were busy washing their freaking pantaloons) got together and decided to dress up like “Indians” and dump a bunch of tea into the Boston harbor, thus beginning a long tradition of pollution.  A little over two-hundred years later, another group of wackos would decide to call themselves the “Tea Party” in honor of the first people to dress up in weird costumes and pollute water in order to whine and moan about the government.

This annoyed the British (they wasted TEA dangit!) so they decided to put naughty Massachusetts under the charge of the British army.  That would keep them in line. I mean there’s no way they’d still be stockpiling weapons or anything oh WAIT.  So the British army confronted some local colonial militia and traded bullets.  This was the “shot heard round the world” by people with incredibly good hearing.  The British also didn’t like that we’d kinda made our own government too, called the Continental Congress, so they called us traitors to the crown and said now we were really totally grounded, like forever.  We didn’t like that, so we decided we’d be our own nation.  Suck it, mom and dad – I mean, Britain!

Heard a disturbance in the Force, I did.

Heard a disturbance in the Force, I did.

This “Declaration of Independence” happened on July 4, 1776 which is what we’re celebrating, not actually winning our independence from Britain.  That would come in 1783 when the British finally said oh heck with it and went back to their tiny, rainy country.  In between, there was a lot of bloody fighting, and we Americans love to tell the story about how our ragtag bunch of farmers defeated one of the major superpowers of the world.  We’re so proud of our history that some people actually believe that July 4th is when we won independence, not when we declared it.  We would also use this declaration, and the constitution and bill of rights that came after it, in practically every argument we would ever have again ever.  Even if the argument is about mayonnaise.

But how did this ragtag group defeat such a great and powerful army?  Here’s a few things we had on our side.flag border

  • An ocean.  We didn’t have to cross it just to go fight them.
  • France. Their entering the war on our side was one big “nanner, nanner” to Britain.
  • The British fought like civilized people, marching in line with bright red “I’m a target” uniforms, thus allowing us uncivilized colonists to hide in the bushes and pick them off like ducks in a barrel.
  • Scurvy.  The British Navy suffered great losses because they weren’t given FRUIT.
  • Meanwhile, the allies of the French (Spain and the Dutch Republic) were battering Britain back home.  Maybe they shouldn’t have ticked off so many other countries first . . .flag border

That’s not all, but I’m tired so I’ll stop there.  This is a day that we Americans celebrate the creation of our country.  But we should also remember that we didn’t do it alone.  Without Britian, many colonists wouldn’t have been here to begin with, and without the support of France, Spain, the Dutch, and many others, we probably wouldn’t have won that war. It also wasn’t independence for everyone – that would come much later for the black men and women we kept as slaves and the women of all colors whose voices we silenced.  And it would come at the cost of the independence of the Native Americans.

So today we celebrate by waving our flags and being all patriotic.  There will be fireworks, and parades, and barbecues, and probably more than one beer, firework, and barbecue related accident.  It’s the American way.

happy fourth

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30 responses

  1. Greetings from the “tiny rainy country” 🙂
    Brilliant post, had me smiling all the way through!
    The bright red uniforms may not have been the best camouflage-wise, but I bet they looked damn smart as they were getting shot, which I’m sure we’ll all agree is the most important thing 😉

    1. Helllooooo to your little, rainy country from a our big bloated fields o’ grain and whanot.

      I’m sure the soldiers looked very smart in their uniforms. And think of all they saved what with not having to worry about washing out all those blood stains!

  2. I like your version much better than the whole crazy “Manifest Destiny” thing. When I tuck my grandchildren into bed each July 4th, I’m going to share this story.

    1. Ah, Manifest Destiny, another way of saying “It’s Mine cause God says!”

      1. More like “It’s mine cause I say God says.”

  3. Yeah, I totally thought we gained independence July 4th. History is not my strong suit.

    1. That’s okay, I’m really bad at Math. People are so mean to Barbie, but seriously, Math IS hard. And I had a history professor who focused so much on the colonial days that we spent five seconds on the Civil War.

  4. Nice summary. And a very useful reminder for those people whose automatic reaction to the word “French” is “we saved their asses in WWII” and not “they saved our asses in the Revolutionary war”.

    1. Yes, when I hear “if it weren’t for us, they’d be speakin’ German,” I like to say “If it weren’t for them, we’d still be British.” They don’t like that very much.

  5. My Independence Day post was going to be “America–fuck yeah!” This was way better.

    1. Or the GOP way – “We’re America, fuck you!”

  6. Hooray for America! Just so that she understood what was going on, I read to my daughter from an American history book yesterday. She liked seeing the one picture of American protesters because one of the women was wearing a pretty dress. But she soon lost interest and wanted to read her new book about going to the beach instead.

    1. I don’t blame her. The beach sounds fun. You should get her one of those wildly overpriced American Girls dolls. They have a colonial one. She can learn all about colonial days AND inflated prices.

      1. I’m doing my best to avoid those American Girls dolls if possible.

  7. Your holiday specials are so funny.

  8. Happy belated stealing-land-from-us-who-niceked0it-from-someone-else day.

    1. Thanks, Britain! We really like these purple mountain majesties and amber waves of grain oh and by the way thanks for that God Save the Queen song that we ripped off for one of our anthems.

      1. Enjoy our language as well, why don’t you….thanks for all the fast food crap you sent us in return.

        1. Thank you for E.L. James.

  9. I’m wishing the tiny rainy country could have some rain. It would make weeding easier.

    And now, America is known as a place where people drink cawfee and not tea. That’s fine by us – it means more for the British!

    1. Except in James’ world, Americans always have a spot o’ tea.

      1. What. The. F—?!

        She’s scarily reminding me of the type of customer I used to deal with when at my former employer and having to deal with customer emails. We even set up a standard response email. It had the title “Stupid American Customer”. The enquiry would come in “why have you charged me double for this book? It said $18 on the screen and you’ve charged me $36!”

        The standard email response would then explain that the .co.uk bit at the end of the web address meant that we were in the United Kingdom, and that the prices are therefore displayed in British Pounds Sterling, symbol £, and not in United States Dollars, symbol $.

        There were two brilliantly funny and insane customers that I remember. The first was only a couple of weeks after I’d started at the company. She emailed in saying she knew we’d charged her double, because she worked for the bank and could see straight away that the money had gone out of the account. She emailed 5 times and the last one cancelled the order. She’d also complained about not being able to get anyone on the telephone during “working hours”. I ignored the “I work for a bank” bit and explained as per above, and also included a polite note about this little thing called time differences.

        The other customer (another woman) was about a year and a half later when she emailed in, possibly complaining about the postage charge as well, and when the reply went back to say we were in the UK, she responded with “why have I ordered from a UK website? This is weird” and kept on trying to put the blame on us!

        1. It’s all your fault for being British! Lol. I’ve gotten on some sites and been all excited then gone “crap, there’s the pound sign.” At least I know that much. Oy. My daughter thought she’d been charged the Canadian amount for a purchase but really it was just something called tax.

          1. Not our fault, it’s the fault of the people who think that America is the whole world.

            Maybe we should revoke your independence after all…

          2. How about we just offer you half? You can have all our Republicans.

          3. But what would we do with them and where would we put them? There’s not that much space left on this small, rainy island! Unless perhaps we made them colonise the many small islands off the Scottish coasts that aren’t already inhabited by hardy Scottish peoples. We could give them their guns and drop them in and see how they get on – a bit like “I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here” but without the camera crews or any z-list celebs!

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