It comes around every year and I just can’t avoid it, Independence Day. When I was a kid, my mom and I would see the fireworks show at the capitol building in Philly. Though I never really understood the meaning behind the exploding doo-dads, I always enjoyed the light show. My mom would tear up and tell me just how important our Independence is. Lugging a cooler and a beach towel down to the capitol building became a happy routine every summer… not anymore.
Tomorrow night I will take Jada, Jaden, and Willow down to the Getty and endure 4 hours of alien jokes and lame Jeff Goldblum impersonations. I will smile and say something generic like, “that’s my man” or if I’m in a particular mood, “that’s what I’m talking about.” Every year, it’s my cross to bare.
5 years ago I went to a party hosted by Jason Bateman. Bill Pullman was there… you could see the dead in his eyes. As we both stood in the corner, me sipping on a bottle of Green Apple Jones Soda, him on a perfectly concocted White Russian, words were not needed. Bill left before the fireworks even started. He knew he was only there as a parlor trick, and it was only a matter of time until someone jokingly asked if anyone had a speech. Of course all eyes would turn to him, then somebody (probably Bateman himself) would say, “How ‘bout you, Mr President.”
I wanted to believe Jason invited me because we were just starting production on HANCOCK and this was his way of bonding. It took everything in my power to not slap that Bluth Banana out of his hand when he asked me if the fat lady was singing after the fireworks ended.
*No joke, he was actually eating a chocolate dipped banana, completely inviting the comparison. Prick.
I tried staying in last year. Jada took the kids to Namibia. Not sure if she knew they don’t celebrate the fourth there, never really asked her. I went out for 5 minutes, just to grab a Snickers bar. The kid at the BP was so shocked to see me. He looked at me and said, “you know the difference between me and you? I make this look good.” There was an awkward pause and then he continued, “Welcome to Earth.” I walked out, Snickers in hand, didn’t even pay for it. Part of me wanted to correct him, let him know those lines were from two different movies. And the other part of me wanted a free Snickers (that part of me always wins).
In the end I just got to be a man and take it. Hell, It’s not like anyone will ask me to sing the Fresh Prince theme. Honestly, that’s kind of the shining light of the 4th. It’s the one day I don’t have to pretend to like that damn song!