Yesterday, while looking for appropriate Independence Day cookout attire, I came across a t-shirt I haven’t seen in a while. It has a giant American flag on the front with text that reads, “American Independence Day, East Timor, 2001.”
It’s fair enough that a group of American expatriates living in East Timor in 2001 decided to celebrate the 4th together. We all worked hard under extremely stressful conditions in a country that had been quite recently ransacked by maniacal machete-wielding arsonists/rapists/murderers. Nothing about that is funny.
What’s funny is that we had to have our 4th cookout on a Saturday, which happened to fall on July 1. The first of July is Canada Day. So in true American fashion, we celebrated American Independence on our quirky upstairs neighbor’s national holiday. Kind of felt like 40 people giving an entire country the middle finger at the same time.
I have no particular animosity towards Canada, even though a group of monster truck-driving Canadian rednecks (or whatever they’re called up there) tried to run me off the road in British Columbia in 1998 (true story). On that same trip, the guy I was traveling with from Oregon to Alaska convinced himself in a Vancouver bar that the bartender was feeding us non-alcoholic beer. He actually caused a minor scene when he professed this theory to anyone within earshot — pretty much everybody in the bar because he got loud. I tried to assure him that the fact that he was getting loud and causing a scene about the alleged non-alcoholic beer led me to believe that the beer probably had alcohol in it. But he wouldn’t listen.
So, I’d like to apologize to Canada(except for the monster truck guys) for holding a 4th of July Celebration on Canada Day, and for accusing them of sneaking us non-alcoholic beer. Sorry.