I don't like holidays. In fact, I could do without them. I'd actually rather work. Granted, I love my job, but holidays are frustrating nonetheless.
I could see why people would like holidays, but they're just too tedious for my liking. Rather than maintaining a normal schedule, you have to either clean up and prepare for people if you're hosting, or you have to buy stuff and travel if you're going to a friend or family's house. Eating is the best part, but all the food makes everything so exhausting, and a couple of hours into the party, you're just finished.
That's how I feel, anyway. I went to my parents' house for Memorial Day, and my fiancee and I hosted July 4, and I was zonked out after both parties, and I felt like I accomplished nothing both days. Maybe I'm just turning into a grumpy, old a**hole. If so, you'll reach that stage one day.
At any rate, let's talk about the July 4 party. My fiancee and I had to prepare for it the night before, and that included going to the grocery store. The plan may have been going to a grocery store my dad was going to open in Northeast Philadelphia. My dad already had similar stores in New Jersey that were too far away compared to the local Giant, but his new store was only going to be a 10-minute drive. The store was supposed to have its grand opening July 1, but there's no telling when it'll be available to the public.
The problem? Thirty-two bucks. Yes. An Andrew Jackson, an Alexander Hamilton and two of my close George Washington friends.
Here's the deal: My dad had a payroll payment that was never sent to him back in 2013. It was for $32. Because he never got it, he never paid it. The $32 never even crossed his mind. Well, it didn't until he applied for a Philadelphia license, and he was rejected. The city told him that he could have his license if he paid the $32.
OK, no big deal, right? Just call up the city, give them your credit card information and pay the $32. Or, just send in a check or money order for $32. Or, just show up to City Hall, hand $32 to the dumb, half-asleep city worker behind the desk. Sounds simple enough.
This is the city of Philadelphia we're talking about, however, and that means that nothing is easy. My dad called the city to pay the $32. He waited on hold for close to an hour before finally speaking to a human being. When someone sounding stupid and half-asleep finally answered him, he knew he was going to have issues.
Surely enough, he did. My dad asked if he could pay the $32, but the person talking to him said he would have to fill out a form first. My dad could find this form online, which was fine. However, he'd have to mail the form and payment in, and it would take three or four weeks to process, according to this government worker. And that's just for the debt to clear. My dad would then have to reapply for another business privilege license from the city, which would take another three to four weeks!
The bottom line is that my dad could be waiting as long as two months for his store to open. Meanwhile, he's stuck paying rent on the place.
I can't emphasize enough how ridiculous all of this is. You'd think Philadelphia, a decaying city that is quickly approaching bankruptcy because of government corruption and high taxes, would want as many businesses to open as possible. In fact, it should be a priority for the city. They should make it as easy as possible for business-owners to start and maintain their companies so that the city can obtain more revenue and thus actually improve their school systems and such. Instead, the morons in charge can't comprehend logic and make things difficult as a result, driving people out of the city in the process.
Once Philadelphia goes completely bankrupt, you'll know why this happened. Sadly, my dad's store probably won't be open by then.
In the meantime, my fiancee and I have to go to Giant, which is fine. We purchased the essentials for July 4, including some cucumbers that got moldy the following day, so that was nice. We also saw some alternative Cocoa Puffs. These are called Scoops Puffs, as in scoops of ice cream. Instead of just puffs of chocolate, there are vanilla and strawberry ones as well.
Look, I'm a fat man, but I wouldn't even touch that. Cocoa Puffs make sense because the chocolate mixes with the milk, and then you have chocolate milk once you're done. But with vanilla and strawberry flavors, what do you have? Vanilla milk? Strawberry milk? Disgusting! I can't even imagine what sort of communist scum drink those abominations.
On the other end of the spectrum, I spent some time searching for cheddar microwavable fries, but couldn't find any. My mom used to make these things when I was a kid, and she used to serve them with cheeseburgers. They were delicious, and some of my friends came over just for those fries. I knew these people were using me for my mom's food, but I didn't care back then; I was just happy people were willing to talk to me!
Unfortunately, I don't think they make them anymore. I've always searched for these microwavable cheddar fries, but haven't been able to find them. I even looked on Amazon, but had no luck there either. I've considered the possibility that the company that once made these delicious cheddar fries no longer produces them anymore, but then I realized that I couldn't possibly be right about that. Surely there's some fat man in congress that would ensure that these would keep being made. No, it was more likely that this fat man bought all of the cheddar fries from every single vendor in the world, just to keep them away from me.
We couldn't serve these cheddar fries on July 4, so we went with the traditional cheeseburgers and chicken instead. This required using the grill, which presented a problem. First of all, I don't know how to use a grill. I'm good at cooking things on a black pot with a fire underneath it. I just put the meat/vegetables/fruit in, watch it bounce around for a bit, and then retrieve my dish. I don't mean to brag, but I've become quite good at it. One of my best dishes is to throw three or four bananas into the pot to cook them into something I like to call mighty simmered fruit, which makes me feel stronger. Another cool dish is cooking two radishes together. You wouldn't think this would be a great recipe, but as a master chef, I can tell you that you're completely wrong. If you eat the two cooked radishes together, not only will you feel full of life, but you'll also feel like you have some extra life. Six extra lives, to be specific.
I can go into more specifics if you'd like - I once accidentally made my own milk while trying to cook a cake - but the point is that while I know how to use a black pot with a fire beneath it, I'm utterly clueless when it comes to the grill. In fact, this July 4 was the first time we had used the grill since Memorial Day of 2015.
As you can imagine, our grill was quite dirty. Not only was there weird black gunk on it, but there were was a giant spider web in the middle of it. I removed it, and there was no spider to be found. My fiancee then asked me to clean out the bottom portion of the grill where the propane tank is. Once again, there was a spider-less web there, which had me puzzled as to how a spider got in there. I was cleaning it for a couple of minutes, but finally finished. I stood up, and...
My head crashed into my deck table.
"FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKK!" I yelled at the top of my lungs.
My fiancee, who heard my scream from upstairs even though the doors and windows were closed, asked me what was wrong. I muttered something and grasped my head in pain, trying to walk up the stairs without falling over. I was a bit dizzy, and was pretty sure I suffered a concussion. If someone asked me what my name was at that moment, I may have answered "Bat Man." I was not in good shape.
See, this is exactly what I'm talking about holidays being frustrating. I could've just been working. Instead, I was cleaning up 2-year-old spider webs and suffering concussions. Holidays suck.
The party itself was fine, as my fiancee's dad operated the grill. He asked me if it was OK because he didn't want to step on my toes. I replied, "It's OK, I have no toes."
You might think that I was suffering the lingering effects from my concussion, but I would have said the same thing had I been completely healthy. If some dude wants to operate my grill, I'm perfectly fine with it. I think it's important to know your own strengths and weaknesses, and I'm aware that I'm awful at making food without a black pot with a fire beneath it. Someone else can work my grill, and I have no issue with that. But when it comes to the black pot with the fire beneath it, I can make a hell of a meal. Or just milk, accidentally.
The party went well - the food was great - and everyone left just after 8 p.m. I thought that's when we'd be able to finally relax, but the fireworks began going off. And that meant that my dog would be terrified. In an utter panic, my dog jumped all over the place with the sound of every boom. It was incredibly annoying.
I've made my opinion known about fireworks before. I absolutely loathe them. I think they're for children and morons. I can see why kids would like them, but any grown adult who loves fireworks is a complete imbecile, as far as I'm concerned. It's almost like they're thinking, "HURRR DURRR LOOK AT ALL DA BRIGHT COLORS AND DA SOUNDS HURRR DURRR."
I don't understand the point of fireworks. If you want something colorful, Google a picture of a f***ing rainbow. And play loud music while you're looking at these pictures. Or, just watch Season 3, Episode 8 of Twin Peaks. That's infinitely more interesting than fireworks.
That said, as much as I despise fireworks, something I hate even more is people who tattle on others about fireworks. In Riverside, Calif., fireworks are illegal, and residents of Riverside have been offered $1,000 to narc on their neighbors if they see any fireworks.
Can I tell you how frightening I think this is? It starts with fireworks; soon enough, people will be paid to narc on those who say something racist or sexist, even if it's a joke. And this is the sort of stuff Joseph Stalin used to do in communist Russia. People who spoke out about Stalin privately would completely disappear if the authorities found out. My grandpa once told me that one of his neighbors, who happened to be a good friend of his, vanished one day after he expressed his disdain about Stalin's regime. No one had ever seen him again.
It seems like we're trending in that direction because the University of Arizona is paying people $10 per hour to report fellow students being "insensitive" and to report this insensitive behavior to the administration.
Like I said, this is scary business. And something must be done about it. I think someone should pay people $11 per hour to beat up these Stalinist scum, and I'll gladly contribute some funds to it.
Oh, and while we're at it, I'll pay to have the stupid, half-asleep government workers beaten up as well. Maybe my dad could actually open up his store this year if someone pummeled those useless a**holes.