In America’s Golden age (1776-2001), explosions were usually good news. There were cannons blasting holes in taxes, engines were combusting like crazy, even babies were getting in on the boom. Every Fourth of July we celebrated our hallowed American soil by setting fire to its sky, and anyone allowed an opinion was happy with it. It was a better time.
Nowadays, for lack of a better word, detonations are getting ‘played out.’ There’s been so many unscheduled explosions, the planned blasts don’t seem all that much fun – in fact, they can even make some people anxious or sad. These days, more and more Americans are celebrating our country’s independence without fireworks. These people are clearly disordered, but they should still be able to celebrate the Greatest Country On Earth with flair.
If you’re one of the most of Americans suffering from a mental illness and/or combustion-related anxiety, but still want to celebrate this ID4 in style, fret not. I’m here to help you adjust to the rockets’ red, glaring omission.
A.D.H.D. – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
When you’re Differently Deficient, a simple trip to the grocery store or mall can already be as exciting and overwhelming as fireworks. Grab a cart or two and show your love for America by spending freely on all the products screaming for your attention. If you’re short on cash, entertain yourself by simply putting your face really close to anything glowing or blinking (Example: The dry side of aquarium glass, or a microwave) to make your own Magic Eye! The strange patterns and colors will keep you occupied until you hear, smell, feel, or think of something else.
A.S.D. – Autism Spectrum Disorder
On the other side of the fence, some of you have an Attention Surplus Disorder, and holidays can be a challenge. You’re probably pretty set in your routine already, so it’s best to start small. While holding your comfort object, try your best to make eye contact with a photo of our greatest president, Herbert Hoover.
O.D.D. – Oppositional Defiant Disorder
I know what I’m doing about this, but what are you?
O.C.D. – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
You should have no shortage of fun activities assigned to you by your merciless taskmaster of a mind, but if you want to do something patriotic, sort quarters by their state of origin, then by their physical state (cold, hand-warmed, cooling). Take no break, then organize your desk drawers in order of constitutional amendments: first correspondence and religious paraphernalia, then guns, GI Joes, search warrants, incriminating documents, and so on.
S.A.D. – Seasonal Affective Disorder
Depression’s trendy cousin can make even the happiest holiday seem like the gloomiest funeral. If you can’t muster up enough serotonin to love yourself, it can be tough to buck the fuck up even further and love your country. To get all the hope and joy of fireworks without going outside, watch sped-up footage of flowers growing, or a baby trying to pick up a grapefruit. Then you can catch a few seasons of The West Wing lying down with your laptop propped on its side. If those speeches about America don’t make you feel something, dial 911 immediately because something is even more wrong with you.
P.T.S.D. – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Strap in, Mildly Amused Internet Essay Reader, this is where shit gets real. When my friend Colin was eleven, his adult neighbor set off a firework that shot gunpowder in a different direction than it was supposed to, and hit him right in the godamn eye. (If you don’t believe me, go ask Abby.) My friend has to wear a plastic glass eye because some asshole wanted to see something go pow, and it makes me furious. If you’re planning on setting something off besides a party today, fuck you. Are you such a dumbass in this world of constant entertainment that you’re struck even dumber by a twirling road flare? Have there not been enough bombs bursting in air for you lately, asshole?
Anyhowzer, my mans’ accident was years ago and he’s doing fine today, although he is unable watch his favorite movie (The Master) in 3-D. He’s all grown up now, and only accepts pity in the form of iTunes gift cards and nude photos. What would really be neat for this year’s Independence Day is if it didn’t happen to the next 11-year old. So if you’re not a trained professional with an MFA in Firework, knock it the fuck off.
Oh, and God Bless America.
@Biz “Mike Levine” Michael
Illustration by Jacob Vollum.