Well kids, it’s that time of year again, when we get inexcusably drunk and spend the day playing with fireworks to distract ourselves from the shortcomings of our families. When I was young we used to go to Ashland, Oregon, every year for July 4th to spend time with my Dad’s side of the dysfunct—I mean, family. We’d stop at a fireworks stand (at my brother’s insistence) and then my parents would spend the next few days trying to keep him from setting someone’s yard on fire. They really tightened up their watchfulness after he did just that—set someone’s yard on fire, I mean. We were staying at some friend-of-a-friend’s house because they were out of town, and they had never met Spencer, so they didn’t realize how much he loved fiery destruction (as any 12-year-old boy does, I’m told).

He woke up at the crack of dawn one morning to play with the cherry bombs he’d procured the day before, and became panicked when he lit the fuse, tossed it away, and it rolled under the car in the driveway and into some perfectly manicured shrubbery. It wasn’t long before thick clouds of billowing smoke began to form, and minutes later when my Dad walked into the kitchen still rubbing sleep out of his eyes, Spencer came running into the house to grab the fire extinguisher. The neighbors must have spotted either the smoke or the panicked child wielding a fire extinguisher, because not five minutes later, the fire department arrived. Needless to say we were never invited back, but since we didn’t really know them, it wasn’t a huge loss. My brother went on to bigger pyro-esque activities, including one traumatic event involving an aerosol can in a campfire. Anyway, ‘tis the season, right?

If you’re like most Americans, chances are that on the 4th you’ll be eating some sort of fire-cooked once-alive thing. I probably won’t be among the masses—partly because I’m dating a vegetarian, and partly because I don’t find most animal meats appealing. I find that the guilt usually outweighs the enjoyment, and I really do honestly enjoy the taste of meat substitutes. I like knowing for sure that I won’t be stumbling upon any gristle, fat, bones, tendons, or any of the other gross shit that comes along with eating animals. I like the occasional bit of chicken though, mostly because I don’t eat cheese (I tolerate lactose fine, it’s the molds I’m allergic to) and I’ve found that when a food is substituting something for meat, it’s usually cheese. I know all of this is useless personal information that you don’t care about, but what I’ve been building to is this: Foodbeast is reporting that a recent survey shows that “60% of self-proclaimed vegetarians ate meat yesterday.” From their website: “A poll conducted by CNN surveyed 10,000 Americans about their eating habits, and roughly 60% of the self-identified vegetarians reported having eaten meat within the last 24 hours.”

There’s no point to me telling you about that really, except to say go fourth (get it?) and eat whatever you want. Happy America, everyone!

Zooey Mae has been working as a writer monkey for Synthesis Weekly since 2007. Her favorite things include (but are not limited to), Jeffrey Brown, bubble wrap, Craig Thompson, pillow forts, receiving handwritten letters, and whiskey. She spends her free time stockpiling supplies for the impending robot Apocalypse and avoiding eye contact with strangers.