Instead of the BBQs and fireworks, this year I propose we celebrate the Fourth of July like our Founding Fathers. Rebellion, beer, a massive political upheaval: What could be more American? Let's kick it like it's 1776, and let loose our inner patriots.
While it's widely acknowledged that the men commonly referred to as our Founding Fathers were some of the brightest and most creative men of their time, they were also extremely colorful characters. History has forgotten half of what made these men interesting — like Benjamin Franklin's desire to find a way to make farts smell better, or the fact that Thomas Jefferson literally cut out the parts of the Bible that he didn't like and republished it.
If the Founding Fathers were alive today, I'm sure they would have a lot of opinions about the state of the country. But more importantly, I'm sure they would have a lot of ideas on how to properly celebrate the birth of our nation. Spoiler: It involves alcohol, freedom, and debauchery.
So this Fourth of July (or Second of July, which was the date initially planned to be the holiday), pull out your tricornered hat, dissolve the political bands that connect you with another, and party like a few of these Founding Fathers.
The first think you're going to want to do is get really, really drunk. In the early years of our nation, alcoholism was at an all-time high. Estimates say that by 1830, the average person drank 7.1 gallons of pure alcohol per year. At the time, Washington owned one of the largest distilleries in the nation, and during his time as president spent approximately 7 percent of his income on alcohol. He spent almost 1,000 percent more on alcohol than the average person. He also tried to buy votes in exchange for beer. Apparently he had no remorse for his drinking habits, since he named his dog "Drunkard." It's still better than his friend John Adams, who named his pet dog "Satan."
If you want to channel your inner Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, founder of the New York Post, and founder of the National Bank, you are going to need to find a lot of women. ASAP. Hamilton was notorious for his love of the ladies. He was even involved in the country's first documented sex scandal, after it came out that he had an affair with a married woman. He was blackmailed because of it, but then decided to keep seeing the woman in question. Apparently his reputation was so well-known that Martha Washington named her tomcat "Hamilton." Too bad his sex appeal didn't help him win duels.
If Mr. Jefferson were alive today, he would probably have a widely read blog that he would update regularly with his theories about giant sloths. OK, maybe that's a stretch, but Jefferson was positive that the giant sloth existed and asked Lewis and Clark to keep an eye out for them on their journeys. He also would probably celebrate the holiday with some form of organic mac 'n cheese, considering that he loved the cheesy pasta dish so much that he brought the recipe back to America from France and introduced it as a staple of American cuisine. Also, he loved his violin, which is pretty cute.
James Madison, who is often referred to as the father of the constitution, was a huge fan of ice cream and served it all the time, even though it was difficult and expensive to make. So there's a strong possibility that Madison would spend his Fourth of July weekend impressing his friends with all the new non-dairy recipes he whipped up on his new ice cream machine. In addition to being the shortest Founding Father (he was somewhere between 5'3" and 5'6"), he was the most eager as well. Madison showed up 11 days early to the Constitutional Convention and basically had the whole document planned out ahead of time. He didn't have many hobbies, so when he got into something, he really got into it. Chances are good that he would keep you trapped for way too long to explain the ins and outs of making ice cream.
No matter what, do not try founding father Samuel Adams' new homemade microbrew at your weekend BBQ. Despite being the namesake of a major brewing company, Adams was actually a colossal failure as a brewer and businessman in general. His father had a passion for the business, but when he passed it down to Sam Adams Jr., the business fell to pieces. The fact that one of America's favorite beers is named for him is hysterical — especially when you consider that Adams isn't even the man on the Sam Adams logo. It's Paul Revere, who was chosen instead because Adams was ugly. Tough break, friend.
What's an American holiday without that one friend who gets belligerently drunk? That would be Paul Revere. During his famous midnight ride to warn of incoming British, a popular rumor states Revere took a break during the early part of his ride, got sloshed, and rode, yelling incoherently through town before being arrested. While this story is contested, Revere did get stopped — he never actually completed the full ride. And considering that all the Founding Fathers were drunkards, statistically at least a few of them had to be annoying drunks.
After a long week of inventing things, writing letters, advocating for civil rights, cracking jokes, and being a general busybody, Franklin would probably join the great American pastime of lounging around without pants. Though he never experienced the joy of an elastic waistband, Franklin routinely took "air baths," which basically meant that he lounged around his house naked. He was also extremely lazy and was probably our nation's first lazy overachiever. What an inspiration.