What is irony?

Me. The guy who barely considers himself American. The kid who grew up overseas, pretending to be Asian so that I could get more dates. The boy who went to a private international school based on European college preperatory curricula. I, despite having been a Boy Scout in a troop based out of a U.S. Navy base, have little or no reverence for patriotism, jingoism, flags, slogans, governments and the whole lot.

Once upon a time, the Fourth of July (if it does indeed deserve capital letters) was an excuse to A) not work, B) barbecue and C) get drunk. Now, it generally serves as an excuse to avoid the greater masses of those persons finding themselves "celebrating" "something" involving red, white and blue.

Now, I like ties. For many years, they made execellent colourful belts. Silk ones blew because it was hard to keep the knot in place, and thus keep your pants up (not always a bad bit of circumstance, but generally...). A numebr of years ago, as I learned more and more what a freakish offshoot of the "gay community" I was, it dwaned on me that ties could be worn around my neck. More importantly, they didn't have to be worn all the way up as the suits did. Most importantly, they could be had cheap at finer and not-so-finer thrift stores. Mostest importantly, they offered still another pallette for mixing colours and prints that the more taste-oriented segments of society find distasteful, ugly or down-right disturbing. As Robotman once warned Monty, "Stop it! You're damaging Martha Stewart's aesthetic compass!"

I'm still in search of the perfect fish tie.

Some time ago, and I don't remember where, but somewhere, obviously, I found and purchased (goodbye, shop lifting days) a stars and stripes tie. I knew it would be just perfect and darling for any non-patriotic observance or occassion. It wasn't just a plain ole every day stars and stripes tie (thank God that makes no sense). If you hold it at the proper angle to the light, small irredescent swirls start to appear in random across it. It's so pretty.

Anyways, I hadn't worn it yet. Along comes July, as it has the habit of doing. Then, through the conspiracy of ordinal numbers, the Fourth appears. I'm getting ready to go meet up with some folks, and it seems like a tie kind of day. I open my cabinet wherein lies my collection of ties. There it is. The stars and stripes. Should I wear it? I was saving it for a date other than Independence Day. Isn't it too obvious to wear this tie on this day of all days? Doesn't that go against what wearing the tie is about?


Would it be even better that I, of all people, wear this tie, of all ties, on this day, of all days?

Thinking...it can kill you.