24. Master a BBQ: Every Independence Day has a helmsman at wheel of the good ship Delicious Meat, and you sir, are that helmsman. Arm yourself with an appropriate weapon, and belly up to the BBQ.
23. Fail at BBQ: Greatness courts failure, friend, and when you’re trying to master the element of fire, there are bound to be disastrous consequences before there are soaring triumphs. Steel yourself.
22. Buy Illegal Fireworks: Don’t really do this (but do). We could never actually advocate the purchase of anything illegal – especially something as dangerous(ly awesome) as fireworks. We encourage you to check your state’s fireworks laws, and then take a trip to scenic Indian Reservation to calm your nerves.
21. Have Evidence: Make sure you upload that fireworks cell phone video to Break.com.
20. Learn to Fold a Flag: On Independence Day we celebrate the independence (read: bodaciousness) of America. One of the things we use to do that is the American flag, so you’d better damn well learn how to fold it correctly, citizen.
19. Hit the Lake: A safe place to be when there are bombs going off and there are red flares of rockets everywhere, is on a giant patch of water. Fireworks reflections off the water enhance any show, there’s no noisy crowd or kids on shoulders blocking your view. And, the best part, is there is no law but the law of the sea.
18. Put Out Your Flaming Woman: Have a Class B fire extinguisher on hand. They’re specifically used with flammable or combustible liquids like gasoline, kerosene, grease and oil, which will be your biggest concern. Besides getting her mom drunk.
17. Get Her Mom Drunk: If you’re manning the grill, the easiest way to not look like an idiot is make everyone else look like more of an idiot. Have plenty of cold beer, white wine, and hard liquor available to make sure everyone has their sauce of choice.
16. Pescatarian BBQ: She Hates Your Meat? Give Her Your Crabs. Some girls can’t handle BBQ’d steaks like real men. Take a large disposable aluminum baking tray filled with an inch and a half of water, and put it directly over a low heat. Once it’s boiling, place two jumbo Alaskan king crab legs per person in, and seal the tray with aluminum foil. Cook for 12 minutes (until the shell is soft), and then slit the leg with cooking shears or a sharp knife for easy access. Serve immediately.
15. BBQ Dessert: Why does nobody ever think of s’mores? Abort two marshmallows with a coat hanger and hold twelve inches above the heat source. Don’t let them catch on fire — they won’t taste as good, and you will ruin somebody’s clothing or hair. Wait until they’ve expanded to about twice their normal size and become golden. Place on graham cracker and chocolate and devour.
14. Cook a Pig Underground: Live aloha, or live elsewhere. That is sound advice even for the mainlanders among us. To cook a pig underground you’ll need a few things. A pig, some ground, some palm fronds, and some hot rocks. Then you’ll need 20 of your closest friends, because dude, you just cooked an entire pig. This is an especially good thing to do because on July 4th of 1898, Hawaii became the 50th state of the Union.
13. Diffuse An Overly Political, Racist, Sexist Conversation: Yes, she invited her uncle. No, Obama’s birth documents are not at this barbecue. Don’t escalate it. Go Ghandi on his ass by gently suggesting you should drop it for now. When that doesn’t work, give him enough conversation rope to hang himself by letting him fully express himself. Try humor — “He can’t show those documents because it was a virgin birth.”
12. Go to a Bullfight: This isn’t just a good idea for Independence day, but it’s an especially good idea on Independence day for one reason. In the Summer of 1884, in the infamous Dodge City, bullfighting was first introduced to these United States in an effort to inject the local economy with some grab-it-by-the-horns-osity. Embrace the bloody hedonism of our founding fathers!
11. Practice Some DIY Chemistry: On Independence Day of 1903, sexy, sexy scientist Marie Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize for (basically) discovering radiation. In her honor, buy this book and make some of your very own, very dangerous, chemical disasters.
10. Play a Patriotic Drinking Game: Have CNN or Fox News on in the background. Every time they say “twitter,” you know what to do.
9. Sing the National Anthem: Even if you butcher the words like most people do, it’s an inspiring ditty. It’s like listening to The End of the World by REM. It’s just fun to dance to and – LEONARD BERNSTEIN! Woooo!
8. Watch a Patriotic Flick: Favorites include, “Air Force One,” “Independence Day,” and most notably, “Live Free or Die Hard.” Holy crap. We’ve never been so proud to be Americans as when Bruce Willis kills a helicopter by driving a car off a jump into it.
7. Dress as an Ex-President: Ladies, don’t think you’re getting out of this one. We expect the streets to run rampant with Baberaham Lincolns this weekend.
6. Watch “Bottle Rocket”: Frankly, Wes Anderson movies are a little tired. But “Bottle Rocket” was fresh when it came out, and remains the unsung hero of his repertoire. Also, bottle rockets are super fun.
5. Revolutionary War Reenactment: Get your friends together, divide yourselves along geopolitical lines, arm yourselves with some sweet Airsoft guns, and sort things out.
4. Make Fireworks: Get some helium at a local party store, get baloons and sparklers. Inflate baloons with helium, light up the sparklers and tie a burning sparkler (req. a long string) to each baloon. Release the baloons. Works best when the sun is down completely. Super dangerous version: Inflate balloons with hydrogen, then tape the sparklers to the balloon so that when it burns down, it ignites the gas.
3. Draft a Declaration: The days when formal declarations were penned and tacked to a church door don’t have to be over. Whether you want to declare romantic intent, air a grievance, or acknowledge an occasion, go to the Bureau of Communication for all of your formal declaration needs.
2. Be Independent: Adbusters has an excellent campaign to move away from the mass-produced clothing that Americans are damn-near forced to buy on a daily basis. We no longer have a British regime to rebel against, so maybe it’s time we practiced some Brand Liberation.
1. Be a Made Man: If you’ve made it this far down the list (and survived), you just qualified. Congratulations!