Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me”

What goes better on the fourth of July than alcohol and explosives? It’s a tradition that’s been going on for as long as I remember and even if people should know better by now, it’s not going to stop.

Actually, the fourth is one of two holidays where beer just seems appropriate. On Thanksgiving its turkey, beer and football, then on the fourth its hotdogs, beer and fireworks. Just great combinations on both occasions.

I like a lot of the craft beers that are available these days. I really enjoy the IPA’s and in the summer, wheat beer tastes good. Ever since somebody stuck a piece of lime in a Corona the first time, people have thought beer and fruit make a good combination. Most of the time, they do not. “Bud Light Lime” is disgusting and anything called a shandy, really isn’t a beer.

My wife likes the fruity beers. So, if I buy a combo pack with a few of them in there I can pawn them off on her. We had our family over for the fourth, including my two nephews. They are both in their early twenties and more adventurous than an old guy like me.

Penn Pilsner has a summer twelve pack assortment with six different beers, two of each. The only concern I had was something called ginger beer. Now there’s ginger ale, which is a soda, but I don’t think beer should taste like that. I mean ginger is usually used in Asian dishes and pickled ginger is served with sushi. It just doesn’t seem like something that goes with beer. What’s next, Salmon Roll Ale?…Don’t even think about it!

I thought somebody might like it, but I was wrong. We opened a bottle and everybody took a taste. I had medicine as a child that tasted better. If you like it, all I can say is…

“What the hell’s the matter with you?”

It was a rainy, miserable day. I had to grill in the rain and then as if to mock me, it stopped raining just as I was turning off the gas.

Because of the rain, we really didn’t make any plans for fireworks. We used to have the best seat in the house. Right at the Point, on my in-laws boat. We were literally underneath them, the ashes would rain down on us.

Anyway, they sold the boat because it became a money pit. Never taking into account how it would affect my life. The next year my wife thought it would be almost the same if we went on the Gateway Clipper for the fireworks. It wasn’t. My wife and I and our two friends, plus a bunch of old ladies. I think most of them played bingo during the fireworks.

In past years, if we didn’t feel like going anywhere, one of the neighbors usually had something. I’m not talking about those crappy fizzler fireworks they sell in Pennsylvania. No, these people took the time to go to Ohio and buy the good stuff, so I wouldn’t have to. This year, there was nothing. It’s like nobody takes the time to think of what they can do for me.

My wife suggested we watch them on the television. That just isn’t right, fireworks are one of those things you have to see live and outdoors. I said,

“Why don’t we just listen to them on the radio?”

Yeah I know, you’re thinking why would anybody listen to fireworks on the radio? About six years ago I was doing morning radio in Erie to promote a show I was doing. While I was there another guest came on. He was a local juggler, who proceeded to juggle on the radio. There was no live feed, nobody could watch, but there he was juggling away.

The two idiots that were the morning hosts, couldn’t get a grip on why I thought it was ridiculous and hysterical. I said,

“I could juggle eight flaming torches if I only had to do it on the radio.”

They just stared at me…I never went back.

I reached in the refrigerator to grab a beer to drink while I watched the fireworks. I grabbed it fast and didn’t look at what it was. I cracked it open and took a sip. Remember there were two of each kind. Ginger beer and fireworks on television. Seems like an appropriate combination.

Follow John on Twitter @jknight841

Order his book by clicking the icon below.

JohnKnight