Yeah, yeah, okay. There was no Hy Five on Sunday. Hey, it was the Fourth of July. I had some stuff to blow up and where I come from, gratuitous violence is always better than comedy. Seriously though, I hope everyone had a great Independence Day, I know I did. On with the showÖ

Since this is the time of celebration of that fabled moment we told those British yahoos to sit and spin I figured a patriotic issue was in due order. Trouble is, there is about as much patriotism as there are non-racists in a John Grisham novel. I searched the web over and found practically nothing of merit. Well, perhaps a couple of thingsÖ

Up in smokeÖ

New Mexico governor, Tom Bolack will be the centerpiece in the families fireworks extravaganza on the fourth. No, not the speaker or even that lucky dude who gets to light the fuses. Heís in the show- literally. See, Tom is dead. Has been so for some time, locked safely away in his urn for all eternity. Not too long ago his son, Tom Jr. surmised his fatherís patriotism was unmatched and decided to prove it. He took, with the familyís wishes of course, and stuffed the ashes into some 350 fireworks, which will go up with the rest on that festive Independence Eve.

Gee. This gives a whole new meaning to the word; "Pop" doesnít it?

I think this is a great idea. All too often do we hear about the wishes of folks about what should be done with their remains. Myself, I donít really care but I do worry that at my funeral, the dancing girls with the sparklers will get to close to the giant vat of gasoline. Olí Tommy boy here has opened a whole new avenue of putting the "fun" back in "funeral".

And to detestors out there. This is not sacrilege. This is a celebration of a manís life and Iím all for that.

Besides, no one ever says, "Ooo, ahh" at a funeral anymore.


Conduction unbecoming

Ready for a weird transition? Okay. American patriotism is based on the backing the Declaration of Independence. That document professes that all men are created equal. Equality is a form a balance. Balance is a non-tipping of scales. Tipping scales is what fat people do.

Follow me?

So, there is this fat guy in Florida who committed a crime for which he received the death penalty. His lawyer recently filed with the governorís office, which was watching a really cool New Mexico fireworks show asking to stay the execution because the Florida electric chair cannot kill his client. See, Heís 350 pounds. (The client, not the lawyer) He sights so-called scientific proof that fat tissue is resistant to electricity.

Uh, does this mean I can drag my ass out into a field during a lightning storm?

I have a quick suggestion for the fat guyís ultimate demise.

Death by thigh master.


What a turkey

President Clinton recently announced that the American Bald Eagle would be removed from the endangered species list by July of 2000. In a gala press conference with a real live bald eagle named Challenger, the Prez joked that Benjamin Franklin wanted the American bird to be the turkey and how the modern press would have had a field day if that bird was chosen.

I donít know Bill; the press is already having a field day with calling you a turkey. Or is that lame duck?

Actually Iím happy to hear this news. Living in Orange County, Florida I have the opportunity to see wild American Bald Eagle soar gallantly over the steadily slabbed over countryside. I can gaze at its majestic beauty as it flies effortlessly above the nearly extinct Florida panther as it is trapped and removed from its home to build yet another hotel. And I can watch the bird perch in the tall trees of Central Florida as countless acres of wetlands are reclaimed for the enjoyment of the Walt Disney Corporation.

Perhaps if every animal were worthy of a press conference we would still have a green planet instead of the concrete gray one.


Missing the point.

The people of Gatlinburg, Indiana are famous. For the last 23 years they have all gathered along the streets of their fair little town to celebrate the Fourth of July with a parade and fireworks. They have banners and barbecues, kids playing Frisbee and adults drinking beer. No big deal right? Well, Gatlinburgers do it first. Literally. At 12:01 a.m. they break the festivities in an on going effort to have the first Independence Day parade in the nation.

I canít even describe how lame this is. What would these people do if they learned the Declaration of Independence, which marks the Fourth of July wasnít even signed until well into the evening of that day? If they want to get so technical then they should consult history books and celebrate at the exact second of the exact signing. Hey, Iím no antagonist to a good party but these folks are clearly trying to exploit the day off holiday rather than the event itself.

For me, patriotism is a lot like money. If you have it you donít have to advertise like a monkey with an accordion. Independence Day is a very personal day for Americanís. There is no other nation on Earth that has it. Breaking it down into a competition to see who celebrates first is like calling shotgun when there are three people taking a ride in a car.

My advice is to celebrate on and have a good time but remember that being a patriot is not lighting the first bottle rocket of the day, itís saluting the flag and meaning it.


The Root of the problem.

All right, Iím separating from the patriotism thing for a sec. Found an article about yet another stupid invention by the Japanese that I had to share with ya. It is called the Plantone. It senses what your houseplants are feeling. I donít mean air temperature and such. I mean whether or not it likes you.

"It helps you find out whatís going on inside your plant." Says spokesman Takayuki Horiuchi.

Is there actually a use for this thing? I mean, I donít have a green thumb under any circumstance. (My plastic roses died last May) but I have plants around the house. I already know what a plant would say:

Get rid of the cat.

This is a lot like Little Shop of Horrors where Audrey II harbors secret plans to conquer Earth. Granted in a spot like that the Plantone would be beneficial but aside from that I doubt it would make a good door stop. Folks if you want to waste your money then please donít do it here. Because itís a vicious cycle. If you but a Plantone and learn your Begonia has a detachment problem deeply ensconced in a flashback nightmare concerning a bad pruning then youíre going to end up sponsoring it through therapy and so forth.

In short, save the green by ignoring the green.

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By now Iím certain that youíve learned my position on patriotism. Seems the only people who have it are the ones who were put in danger protecting it for the rest of us. I was never in that position to defend our freedom but I stand when I hear the anthem, I remove my hat and I honor those who fought and died so I could stand and salute. This is a great country. There is truly no other like it and every one of us should be happy we were born and/or reside here. -Adam Hyland