Are you, as a runner, patriotic enough?
Before you answer let me stop you right there and say, emphatically, “No, you are not, and the fact that you think otherwise makes me want to puke, so sit your smug, flag-shorts-wearing ass down and listen up.”
Here are 11 ways you can make your next run really patriotic.
1. If you pass an Armed Forces recruiting office, pause your run to duck in and join the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines.
2. Carry a bag full of patriotic items to throw at children en route—pocket-sized copies of the Constitution, handguns, hot dogs, etc.
3. Stick a feather in your hat. As you run, point it out to everyone you pass and tell them it’s macaroni. Ask if they get it.
4. Wear something that screams “Founding Fathers,” such as a powdered wig, breeches, frock coat, or a pair of lightweight mobile speakers playing a recording of the words “Founding Fathers,” at full volume, on a loop.
5. As you run, belt out the National Anthem or another patriotic song, such as “God Bless the USA” or “The Second Continental Congress (Is Number One With Me),” a tune of my own composition. (Email me for the lyrics.)
Too self-conscious to sing? Instead, spread your arms and screech like a bald eagle.
6. Plot your route so that the GPS map afterward spells out “USA” or, if you’re running long, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
7. Wave down any fellow runners you see and ask them, “What does freedom mean to you?” Don’t stop asking until you’re satisfied with their answer.
8. Every quarter-mile, stop, remove your hat and recite a quotation from the 1996 movie Independence Day, like this one:
Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. "Mankind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
9. Drape a U.S. flag around your shoulders as you run, unless that’s grossly disrespectful and prohibited by the U.S. Flag Code. Probably someone should look that up.
10. If you see a British person, rush up, screaming, and draw back your fist as if you’re about to punch him. When he flinches or cowers, lower your fist, laugh, and say, “Damn right.” Then shake your head and run away.
11. Turn your run into a parade. Clench a kazoo between your teeth, grab a pinwheel and an American flag, wrap yourself with red, white, and blue streamers, and—boom!—you’re a one-person procession. Jog proudly down the middle of Main Street and just wait for the shouts and honks of appreciation from your fellow freedom-lovers.