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My Fourth of July by Ray Printer Friendly

You know, I’m usually pretty bitter, and that’s cool. You go with your strengths, you know? But if you’re looking for another caustic rant about how I hate customers and non-smokers and midgets who don’t do porn movies, you should probably skip this one.

I want to tell you a little bit about my Fourth of July experience. You don’t have to listen, because it might get pretty sappy, but before you abandon this story completely, know that there are naked breasts involved.

I went to work at nine in the morning on the 4th, and traffic was basically non-existent. One thing about Austin, is if you get in your car, you’re taunting Death. It’s like a weird sort of Russian roulette every time you sit down in the seat. You don’t even have to be driving, man—that’s how bad people drive here. And they’re everywhere. But on the 4th, the roads were almost empty.

I got to work in record time, and that’s where things started to go bad. Working retail gives you an entirely new perspective on life, because you’re suddenly the Grinch, but not just for Christmas. You hate every holiday, because it means that even more assholes than usual will be coming in to make themselves look stupid. At your expense.

But we’re actually going to skip that part tonight, because there were no explosions, no sex scenes, and no murders, which are all the elements to a great story. It was just another stupid day at work. Quick side note, though: the place where I work recently started selling those “talking” picture frames, where you record some little message, and then when you push a button, it plays it back. Like you have a picture of your kid, and when you push the button, you hear his pre-recorded message, “I love you, daddy.” Or you have a picture of your wife in there, you push the button, “I cheated on you with your best friend, and I’ve never loved you, you bastard.”

One of the picture frames in my store has this little boy, and when you push the button, a voice comes on and goes, “Thank you for shopping here.” The other picture shows these two girls, sitting there, being all cute, looking like a couple of cheerleader-wannabes from 1982, and when you push the button you hear a woman say, “We’re lesbians. Are you? He-he-he! Oooohh!” This was done by a female customer, which makes me happy. Because I thought we only got asshole customers in the store, and that little trick is sort of funny. Stupid and immature, but funny. But that’s not the point of the story.

The point of the story is, I got off work, I picked up my princess, and we came home. We chilled out for a bit, watching terrible movies from the 80’s (Maximum Overdrive and Raw Deal, which I picked up for $4.99 at a 4th of July sale). Just before dark, we headed out to see if we could catch some fireworks.

We weren’t exactly sure where the displays were going to be, but we figured that we would be able to see them from a bridge that’s near our house. We drove out and saw that there were cars lined all the way up and down the bridge, and we realized that this was probably a good spot. That’s usually how you can tell if there’s something good nearby when you live in Austin, is that there are cars piled up all over the place—either there’s a major event, or a terrible accident. And in this town, you usually have one or the other every day.

Anyways, I saw a spot, and swung in, figuring that I would probably have to move for some reason or another—I didn’t think it could be a real parking space. But nobody made us move, so we got out and looked over the rail, at all the little river kids in their boats. I saw a boat that only had dogs on it, and that was my favorite. I wish one of them would have been wearing a captain’s hat, but you take what you can get, right?

Anyways, we decided we needed to be on the other side of the bridge, so we ran through speeding traffic and sat down on the concrete barrier as vehicles sped by all around us. It was pretty sweet—usually, you get that kind of dumb shit out of your system when you’re in college. So when you can get away with it when you’re an old man, it’s kind of a rush.

The fireworks started just as we got across the bridge, and they were setting them off about a hundred yards away, so we had the perfect spot. There was a really nice breeze, so I could actually stand in the Austin night without having a heat stroke. I stood there, my arms around my princess, watching the fireworks, and being really glad to be alive. It was a really good time.

Anyways, so I had a really good 4th, despite having to go to my lousy job, and despite the fact that I’m a pretty lousy person. So there.

Oh, yeah, about the naked breasts? That was me, changing my shirt. It was pretty disgusting, so I won’t bother telling you any more about it.


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