I view the Fourth with a certain detachment. But then I’m Welsh and not a citizen, although I do now spell in American English and own a blazer. That doesn’t mean I’m still upset about Mad King George losing the colonies. I just wished Old George had spent less time mistaking a large tree for a Prussian king and spent more time making future plans for Dear Old Blighty.

So on this day of fireworks and fired-up grills and stars and stripes, I’ve been thinking about the pursuit of happiness.

And I’ve decided to pursue it like a little cake with red, white, and blue icing. Oh, and with a gun. Hunt that bastard happiness down until I have it in my sights and can unload. In fact, I think more Americans should own guns in order to pursue happiness. Because, what the hell, guns don’t kill people, little cakes with icing do.

I mean, come on, anyone with a half dollar knows that guns are pacifists. Just try holding one of those cowards in your hands. “Please, sir, don’t make me do it! I don’t want to shoot anyone. I’ve got a wife and three kids at home.”

Everywhere I look I see handguns, rifles, semi-automatics, grenade launchers wailing and crying and screaming to stop the madness. Some even get a concealed weapons permit because they’re too shy to show their nozzles. But it does no good because people have turned weapons into killers.

And I haven’t even begun to discuss that wicked beast happiness. It’s such a menace, nuisance, terror, it deserves to be hunted down with a semi.

In fact, let’s arm children as soon as possible, since any day now they are going to discover that there is such a thing as the pursuit of happiness and no Santa Claus. Happiness will be waiting to tear their little hearts out and replace with unhappiness. And this cannot be! We must stalk happiness in its natural surroundings and bring it down before it brings us down.

And what is happiness? Why, it’s a loaded gun, of course. And it’s God in the great Jukebox in the sky spinning the same old 33s like bullets in a chamber. The same God who created Earth and Adam and Eve but forgot all about the dinosaurs. Oh dear me, that was a colossal fuck up, wasn’t it? But I forgive you God since you gave us fast food.

I’m going outside now to sit on my deck with my rifle across my knees. Maybe a few stars will streak like cosmic bullets across the sky. Maybe my terrestrial luck will get a glimpse of happiness tonight and I’ll bring it down with a clean shot.

I can’t imagine what will happen, though, if I simply wound it. All night long happiness will be wailing outside my house and no amount of fireworks will scare it off.

If this happens, I should probably just put it out of its misery and go and join the fun like everyone else.


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