Life

Excessive celebration

Declaring Independence

Yesterday we celebrated our independence from Great Britain by shooting off fireworks, throwing candy at each other and riding cheap carnival rides, a tradition unlike any other.

The Fourth of July is one of my top five holidays. I love a good underdog story, and I’m always reppin’ the red, white and blue.

It’s crazy to think that the queen and her minions once owned the United States and now, 243 short years later, we have over three times as many Olympic medals as they do. Shocking turn of events and one that deserves celebrating.

What’s even more impressive is that it took our brothers and sisters to the north (Canada land) over 200 more years to wiggle out of the monarchy. Did you know the Canucks didn’t gain their independence until 1982? That’s the year Grease 2 came out, which is appropriate because I’m pretty sure Canadian Independence Day didn’t live up to the original.

Before this column gets even more Xenophobic, let’s skip ahead to why I’m writing this. Yesterday while I was honoring my country by watching a parade on the square in Chariton, I got to thinking ... over the course of my life, I myself have declared independence from a bunch of other things that aren’t directly related to our neighbors in the Eastern Hemisphere.

We’re over halfway done with 2019 so I’m sure everyone’s New Years resolutions are down the drain by now. So I thought I’d share some advice with our faithful readers by letting you in on a few bugaboos that I’ve declared independence from in my almost 29 years of life.

1. White Milk - Have you ever seen someone on the street drinking a glass of white milk and asked yourself, “why?” I know I have. Hey, you know they sell that in chocolate now right? It’s not 1776 (clever call back). There are options.

In my drink rankings, chocolate milk sits about fourth or fifth, and white milk probably doesn’t even break the top 20. It’s just better, and it’s not like you’re losing any healthy points. White milk is literally in chocolate milk. Seeing people drink regular old white milk is like seeing people eat celery without peanut butter. Live a little.

As long as we’re in the truth tree here, I actually don’t completely understand how milk works. I found that out a few weeks ago when I went to Walmart to get my one-year old some whole milk and they had every other type.

It was then and there when I realized that I had no idea what milk is closest to whole. Fat free? Two percent? What is even in that carton if it’s only 2 percent milk, by the way? I’ll tell you what it’s not. Nesquik. Should be though, because that’d make it taste a heck of a lot better.

2. Backpacks - This is a life change I made when I was in high school. There is no reason to be carrying 25 pounds of books on your back. I stopped doing backpacks when I was around 16 and my life has never been the same.

What’s more important? Having a bunch of your worldly possessions strapped to you at all times or having freedom to move as swiftly as you want. Lighten your load. Say no to backpacks, once and for all.

Have you ever felt like your shoulders had cinder blocks on them? You probably think that feeling is stress, right? Wrong. That’s your body repaying you for making it carry around your 30 pound earth science book every week day for 13 years.

Do you remember that kid on the bus that always had the oversize bag that swayed back and forth as he walked and smacked everybody in the face whenever he’d take a step? Yeah, that kid was you. It was all of you. Repent.

3. Romantic Movies - Technically I still do watch these with my wife sometimes, but I usually mentally check out in the first few minutes.

Oh boy, Sarah Jessica-Parker is away on business and she meets a good-looking single father with a British accent. That’s the plot of every chick-flick ever. Sarah Jessica-Parker stars in literally every chick-flick and I’m the only one that ever notices. And why is the dude always English? Nathan Hale didn’t die for this country so our leading ladies could just turn around and move in with the red coats. Shop local, Sarah.

4. Going to the gym - I didn’t really want to declare independence from this one, it just happened over time. I do technically have a Rec membership but I usually just go watch football on the treadmills by the TVs.

When I was young, I just ignored bikes. I never found time to learn how to ride a bike and was just never going to learn, but then in kindergarten we did a “bike rodeo” where we were all supposed to ride together and show off our skills to the townspeople, kind of like a junior varsity X-Games.

Of course, I didn’t know about the bike rodeo until a few weeks beforehand so I had to scramble to learn how to ride a bike. I was out there grinding every day for a month trying to get in rodeo shape and when the big day came around, I was still somewhere in the bottom five. Other kids were literally lapping me. Embarrassing. And now, 20 years later, that’s how I feel every time I go to the gym. If only Nestle made performancing-enhancing drugs.

5. Bicycles - There you go, call back to number four. After my rodeo days, I did eventually get better at riding, but I fell off (no pun intended) when I hit my teens. Just kind of stopped one day, like how Brendan Frasier stopped making good movies. I don’t think I’ve actually gotten on a bike in over 10 years.

RAGBRAI? More like BRAG-BRAI, am I right? All these people can ride their bikes across a whole state. I probably couldn’t make it through one county.

Come to think of it, if I was out riding bikes more as a kid, I probably would have watched less TV, and that means I would’ve seen less Nesquik propoganda during commercial breaks on Nickelodeon.

So in conclusion, I encourage all of you to declare independence from something this month. Maybe a food you only pretend to like, or a bad habit you want to break. Make it like a second-chance New Year’s Resolution. Email in what you declared independence from and we’ll check back with each other next July. Happy America, everybody!