One of the best things about July 4th is hanging out with people and enjoying cookouts, cold beers, fireworks, and America’s birthday. It’s great.
It’s supposed to be.
The spread looked pretty good. Much props for the spread. But something looked weird. “What’s up with them?” Fair question.
“Shhhh,” the host said nodded in one group’s direction, “that’s zhim, not them.”
“Zhim,” the host affirmed. The group in question didn’t self-identify as male or female but as zhim, one of at least 51 gender pronouns available.
“But why are they over there all by themselves?”
The host shrugged his shoulders, and suggested we try and mingle. Another group seemed to be having a great time, laying out in the grass under spectacular sunshine.
“They are re-enacting Trayvon Martin,” the host explained, “or maybe Michael Brown.”
“But they do know there was more to those incidents than…”
“Shhhh”, the host demanded, “what’s important is the message they are sending.”
A message completely different from that of yet another group huddled under an oak. Those were the climate changists. As we drifted near them they called out, asking us if we realized that the enjoyable July sunshine actually wasn’t enjoyable because somewhere, a polar bear was dying thanks to its fracking rays. If we wanted, they said we were welcome to hide under the oak with them and talk to it – the tree was panamorous in a strictly ecosexual sense they affirmed.
“There aren’t any polar bears here,” I said with a whisper in full anticipation of another shushing.
“Polar bears are graceful, childlike creatures who never did anything angry to our species,” the host replied.
“They are among the most powerful predators in the entire animal kingdom…they certainly aren’t pets”, I offered.
“Yeah, yeah,” the host smirked, “and you probably think Harambe got what he deserved and that the alligator in Florida was only thinking about food when it attacked that kid.”
But it ate the kid. Or at least tried to. “And yeah, the gator probably had no idea what was splashing around in the water down at Disney in Florida.”
The host shrugged his shoulders while he checked his text messages. “Aw, man, the Fight-for-$15 people can’t make it.”
“Well,” the host explained, “they say they can’t afford it. When the minimum wage here went up to $15 an hour, some were shifted to part time and others were let go because machines were brought in that could do the work they used to do.”
“Oh, that’s a shame.”
“Yeah, they should be asking for a real living wage. $30 an hour at least.” the host muttered, “Corporate greed fueling a world in need. It’s how the white privilege power structure divides and conquers the poor.”
“But you’re white,” I noted.
“So?” the host asked.
“Are you dividing and conquering the poor?”
“Puhleeze”, the host was getting irritated with me I could tell, “next you’re going to tell me Bill Clinton met with Loretta Lynch as part of some whacko conspiracy to get the FBI off Hillary’s back.”
“Or,” the host went on, “that we’d be better off if that racist Donald Trump rounded up all people of color and made them build a wall.”
My turn to shrug shoulders. No point in wasting July 4th and the awesome spread assembled on an argument.
“Here’s the thing,” the host explained as we turned towards the tables and the food assembled on them, “we’re not eating so much as we’re redistributing the wealth.”
“You can only take one spoonful of any two items…the rest gets redistributed.”
“That’s…that’s just odd,” I said.
“Well now, you didn’t build that spread did you?”
“Actually,” I said, “I brought the potato salad, a case of sodas, and I gave you $10 because you said not everyone had chipped in.”
“You brought sodas?”
“Hmmm,” the host calculated, “we’ll have to figure out a way to offset the sugar content with a reduction in…or you could just give me $10?”
“They’re diet sodas…totally sugar free.”
My host seemed perplexed, then concluded, “$7.50 ought to offset the sugar in those sodas considering they’re diet…excuse me while I use the restroom.”
Finally, my shot at leaving. I watched as the host trotted over towards the crowd loitering in front of the park restrooms.
“What’s going on over there?” I asked someone.
“Long line, right?” someone said, “it’ll get worse until everyone figures out which gender they self-identify with so they can go to the bathroom.”
“I see”, I replied. Off in the distance, a couple of pavilions down, I also saw a black flag with white lettering flapping in the breeze. Looked like they were polishing machetes, and doing a lot of reading down on their knees. There wasn’t a lot of joy emanating from their corner of the park. In spite of everything I’d seen, there was still some in ours.
I hoped there always would be no matter how cordoned off behind hyphens and ideologies we might become as a people. God Bless America and Happy 240th Birthday!
Image: By Alan D. Wilson – naturespicsonline.com: , CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3178132