Happy 4th of July, people.
Let's get this out of the way right now: If you're going to do fireworks tonight, please, please, please don't blow up any of your hands.
In my family, 4th of July was South Padre Island time. We'd go down for the weekend and usually rent a hotel room at the La Internacional Hotel, which looked like a big flat flan and had sliding-door rooms facing the beach. In more recent years, we'd rent a big condo across the street from the Internacional (so named because it is a hotel and because by having a Spanish name, it is "International." This same theory can be applied to houses of pancakes, even without a Spanish moniker) and share it with members of the extended family. We'd BBQ, lounge by the pool and almost invariably get sunburns. (Yes, Latinos get sunburns. It's a fact.)
The last two years or so, I think my parents have gotten bored with the island. My Dad used to always say that the Kennedys had Martha's Vineyard, the Bushes did Kennebunkport and the Gallagas had South Padre Island.
This year, my folks went to Vegas for the first time and I'm stuck in Austin with a short private show we're performing tonight.
That's okay and all. I mean, I'm pretty disgruntled about the 4th of July anyway. And not for political reasons. I'm not Zach de la Rocha or anything, all, "You're celebratin' genocide, of my people, with the genocide! Yes yes, ya'll! And ya don't stop! Take a shotgun to the brown man! My people will rise! Yeah! Yeah! Potato salad and hot dogs on the coals of my ancestors! Testify!"
My reason for being upset today is that I'm on vacation. And now, suddenly, everybody else is, too.
I know. It's my fault. If I was going to bitch, I shouldn't have taken a week of vacation in the middle of a holiday. But dammit, I'm just annoyed now. If I go shopping, there's going to be a ton of people, in stretchpants and tank tops, sweating all over everything. If I go buy groceries, there will be diapered kids running around the ice cream aisle and long lines of overfull shopping carts.
This was supposed to be my week. The week of blissful solitude and short lines. Instead, everybody else has the day off, same as me. The dry cleaners are closed. The gym shuts down early. Traffic is annoying. Instead of being stuck in drudgery and jealous of my time off, all my coworkers are at home, eating steaks and getting skin cancer by the lake. They're not supposed to be having fun during my vacation! They're supposed to be miserable!
It's not fair.
All the joy and fun of being on vacation has suddenly been sapped and drained. And what do I have to make up for it?
But guess what? I don't have to go back to work tomorrow.
So chew on that summer sausage.
When patriots drop acid.