Back in the 1700s, the place we now call the United States of America was actually a scurvy-ridden collection of colonies owned by the British. The Brits took it from the natives, who took it from each other, who took it from a guy named Sam who came across the land bridge from Russia to Alaska with his dog in order to get away from his in-laws.

After the colonies grew to the nice prime number of 13, they got a little uppity in the eyes of the King and Parliament. To keep them in line, the British imposed a few taxes on the colonies.

This caused them to get a little salty about the taxes and a general lack of days off work. They demanded that Parliament get Funkadelic, and/or reduce the taxes, and create a few federal holidays.

The Brits refused, having no idea what Funkadelic meant. And who can blame them as George Clinton would not be born for another 200-ish years. The colonists were fed up and they sent a team of soldiers led by a young boy named Skywalker to blow up the Death Star. The British, furious that they still had 37 payments left on the Death Star, imposed even more taxes.

The colonists decided to break up with Britain and not give the UK visitation rights to the children. To make it official, they wrote a Declaration of Independence.

Most people don’t know that they workshopped quite a few titles. Some of these include:

The Declaration of Insolence (my personal favorite).

The Declaration of Irritation.

The Declaration of Insufferable Melancholy, due to the ne’er-do-well antiquated rogue monarch who doeth rule over these colonies despite being a Borachio and Inbred Rogue. We also declare Britain to be…” It was at this point that Sydney Lawrence was declared whatever the 1770s word for “wordy” was and kicked off the committee. That is why you don’t see Sydney Lawrence’s signature on the Declaration of Independence.

Another fact that isn’t very well known* is that July 4th almost took place on May 4th, which would have confused the hell out of schoolchildren and greeting card manufacturers. You see the founding fathers wanted to found in May. “May is a good month to found,” they used to say.

But the merchants of the time didn’t have any fireworks. They were on a ship coming from England. In those days, they didn’t have Amazon, FedEx, and 2-day free shipping. No, they had the Atlantic Ocean, crowded lice-infested wind-powered ships that took anywhere from 40 to 90 days to get here.

So, they wrote the Declaration and didn’t date it. Then every day, Thomas Jefferson would send someone to the docks to see if the fireworks had arrived. Finally, on June 20th, they made it to the colonies.

They were just about to date the Declaration when someone from the retail contingent shouted, “Hold it. We need to time to set up fireworks stands on roadsides and in former retail stores.”

Jefferson exploded, “A pox on you Thaddeus!”

He brooded for about a week longer. Then finally on July 4th, he was able to date the document and it was official! America had its first federal holiday. Now they had to get busy and invent a federal government, hire people to work in bureaucracies for the sole purpose of putting people on hold, and decide on a capital city for the country to create jobs for people who can’t find meaningful employment. It truly is an amazing country!

So, if you’re from the States, Happy Independence Day. If you’re from the UK, sorry about the Death Star. If you’re from anywhere else, happy Tuesday!

Carry on, Citizens!

*Because I made it up.