Nothing says summer like a real Fourth of July barbecue

Yes, this column was supposed to be in yesterday but I—wait, what day is it? The 8th? S**t. Well, who says you can’t celebrate Independence Day a week late? In my book, patriotism is year-round and shouldn’t be pushed back until next July just because you had to lay low in your buddy’s cabin in the woods for a while. So let’s fire up that grill and throw the best barbecue you can! Here are a few tips:

1. Let your freak flag fly—so long as it’s the old Red, White and Blue! Decorate your house and yard with colored streamers, flags, and placards with presidents’ faces. You can definitely find these decorations a lot cheaper if you stumble into a corner store, dazed and dehydrated after two weeks of hiding, and buy some of their leftover supply.

2. You don’t have to spend a lot on meat to have a great meal! Hamburger can be spruced up with diced onion and some breadcrumbs, and even a cheap steak will taste like fillet mignon once you dry-age it with a little salt and pepper. Just don’t ask your neighbor’s attractive wife for seasoning, or one thing might lead to another, and next thing you know you’re on the lam.

3. Remember, fireworks can sound like gunfire, which might be very jarring when you’re dealing with a battle-hardened ex-marine hell-bent on getting his revenge on the man who slept with his wife. So leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals. Yes, they’re fun, but over 9,000 people per year are injured in fireworks accidents, a good handful of which one would assume are due to PTSD/adultery-related circumstances.

4. I just want my life back. Is that too much to ask? I haven’t slept for more than an hour at a time in the last 14 days. Yes, I made a mistake, but I’ve learned from it! Is he going to hound me day and night, threatening to kill me just because I had sex with his wife? I can’t live this way, constantly looking over my shoulder, never knowing what corner he might be waiting around! Deviled eggs make a great side dish.

5. Finally, leave the politics at the front door! Though it seems natural for a discussion about our nation’s history to dovetail into talk of the current political climate, tempers can flair. Especially avoid anything about Iraq and Afghanistan—I slept with my neighbor’s wife, and he’s a mentally unstable veteran of both of those wars! And he wants to murder me now, so I’m hiding from him!

So, there you go! Happy Independence Day!