8 People You’ll Encounter This Fourth of July

    July 1, 2011 at 6:00 am

    fireworks panoramaFourth of July is just a few days away, which means it’s time to strap on your American Flag barbecue apron, throw some cheap beer in the ice chest, and dig those old dangerous fireworks out of the garage. Whether you’re attending a fourth of July barbecue or hosting your own Independence Day festivities, you’re bound to encounter a wide variety of patriotic party-goers. Some of them will be beloved, and some of them will make happy that horrific fireworks injuries exist. Here are 8 people you’ll encounter this Fourth of July:

    The Fireworks Guy

    fireworks setupNo matter where you end up on Fourth of July, there’s bound to be somebody there who’s absolutely nuts about fireworks. It doesn’t matter if fireworks are illegal in your state, this guy has managed to find a military-grade cache of explosives, and he’s bound and determined to set every last one of those party bombs ablaze. Fortunately, The Fireworks Guy is good at what he does, and this is probably because he’s seen the ill effects of casual fireworks play. He may even have the horrific burn scars and/or missing appendages to prove it. He’s experienced and respectful of his explosive fetish, though, and even though he’s hauling 3oo tons of illegal explosives, you’ll find yourselves trusting him.

    The Irresponsible Fireworks Guy

    fireworks accidentFor every dude at a Fourth of July party who’s had tons of experience working with festive incendiary devices, there’s bound to be another dude who has never lit anything on fire, yet still insists on lighting everything on fire today. This is the guy who doesn’t understand that bottle rockets and roman candles are supposed to be facing upward when you light them. He’s the dude that you can blame when red-hot cinders go skipping across your potato salad and scorching your eyebrows while your eating a hot dog. This is the one guy at your Fourth of July party that you’re allowed (and actually encouraged) to punch in the face. And don’t worry: he may be the Irresponsible Fireworks Guy now, but a few years and a few blown-off fingers from now, he may just turn into a responsible, respectable fireworks enthusiast. Just be sure to keep your distance, because you’d hate for this guy to learn his lesson at the expense of your body parts.

    The Drunk Veteran

    drunk veteranIt’s not that all veterans are drunk, but on Fourth of July any veteran who happens to get drunk is going to make damn sure he tells every single person he encounters that he’s a veteran. This is a great addition to any Fourth of July party. It’s like having Tom Brady at your Super Bowl party. He’s the dude who’s protected your country first-hand and helped to secure this fabulous holiday that you’ve chosen to waste away eating hot dogs, drinking beer, and watching “the good kinds of bombs” exploding in the air. Just be careful not to spend too much time with the drunk veteran, because the more drunk he gets, the darker his war stories become. He’ll start of telling you about some of the funny shenanigans he and his fellow soldiers participated in to pass the time, but stick around for a few more drinks and you’ll be hearing stories so dark and disturbing that they’ll make Jarhead seem like In the Army Now.

    The Barbecue King

    barbecue guyWhere there’s a lit barbecue, there’s a barbecue master. If you heed one piece of advice this Fourth of July, let it be this: never get between The Barbecue King and his grill. He may be a normal dude every other day of the year. He may even be your best friend. But when he puts on his ironically hilarious barbecue apron and grabs his tongs and brush, he becomes a meat-cooking monster. Forget about getting any of your meet cooked to your liking. When it’s on the Barbecue King’s grill, it’s his meat, and he’ll cook it the way he likes it. If you happen to be a mindful vegetarian, keep that information to yourself. There’s no room for veggie patties on the Barbecue King’s grill. That’s for meat. His meat. Not that kind of meat. Get your head out of the gutter.

    The New Boyfriend

    awkward guyWhether you’re attending a family Fourth of July gathering or a backyard summer barbecue with friends, there’s bound to be some party-goer who’s brought her new boyfriend into the mix. You’ll easily pick this new guy out from the crowd because a) he’ll be the only guy that you don’t know, and b) he’ll look incredibly awkward. When you identify him, your best bet is to get a beer in his hand as quickly as possible and introduce him to someone else who can entertain him for a while. You don’t want to be the a-hole who doesn’t talk to him, but you also don’t want to adopt the guy for the entire night. Say hello, have a friendly small-talk conversation, and then pass him off on some other shmuck as quickly as possible. If you are the new boyfriend at the Fourth of July party, just get drunk as fast as you can and, whatever you do, don’t be the irresponsible fireworks guy. Nobody likes that guy.

    The Over-Enthusiastic Party Host

    fourth of july costumesYou won’t truly understand the wrath of the Over-Enthusiastic Party Host until you walk into the Fourth of July party to find a dozen party-goers clad from head-to-toe in chintzy Fourth of July party favors, holding patriotic sparklers, and looking absolutely miserable. If there’s a man who’s even close to any position of authority in the household, he’ll most certainly be manning the Man’s version of a zen garden, the barbecue grill. That leaves the rest of the party-planning to the lady of the house, and she’ll be damned if she’s going to let the delicious barbecued meat be the highlight of this holiday festival. Her only defense against delicious cooked animal flesh is to overwhelm her party guests with an endless supply of party favors, festive hats, and red-white-and-blue beads. And don’t even think about trying to get into this party if you’re not clad in every red, white, and/or blue article of clothing you own. Are you crazy?!!!

    The Worrier

    worried-womanWhen there are consumer-grade explosives around, there’s going to be someone who’s annoyingly worried about someone getting hurt. Normally, that’s a good thing. You’ll want to have someone around to keep you and your drunk friends from getting to careless with the miniature mortars you bought from a shady-looking roadside tent on your way to the party, but The Worrier tends to take their concern a little too far. When someone at your Fourth of July party starts trying to kill your fireworks buzz, do not lash out at them. This will only confirm their suspicions that you are not in the proper mental state to handle dangerous explosives, which is absolutely true. Instead, look them straight in the eye, tell them that you understand their concern and that you’ll try your best to handle the explosives in a safe and responsible manner. Then, turn to the rest of your drunken pyromaniac friends and say something like “Hey guys, let’s try to be safe and responsible, okay? It’s not going to be much fun if somebody has to go to the hospital tonight.” Then just keep doing whatever you were doing before.

    The Unattended Baby

    fourth of july kidI don’t know what it is about Fourth of July parties, but for some uncanny reason there’s always a baby just running around like a stray dog, completely unattended, and just getting into whatever it’s grubby little hands can grab on to. Usually the deafening sound of a string of Black Cats exploding on the lawn would be enough to send a stray toddler into a panic-induced coma, but for some reason, the Unattended Baby running around your Fourth of July party has absolutely no fear of fire or explosives. If you light a roman candle, the baby wants to put it in his mouth and suck on it like a popsicle. If you throw down a ground spinner, the feral kid wants to cuddle it like a teddy bear. There seems to be no chance of getting between the Unattended Baby and anything at your Fourth of July party that’s even remotely dangerous. You could try scolding the baby’s parents for the entire party, but you’re probably better of just strapping him to the Worrier, because these two are a match made in heaven.


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