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Column: Set yourself free

Today is the day we here in the United States pause to celebrate our independence from British rule.

Well, probably not today. If you're reading this issue of the Independent Town Pages on the day it showed up in your mailbox it's probably Wednesday. Or maybe it's Friday.

Apparently July 4 also involves celebrating our independence from getting the mail.

There isn't actually a lot of independence-celebrating that happens on Independence Day. Most people take the day off of work. Some launch fireworks, which I guess is symbolic of our military victory over the English. Most specifically of George Washington's little-discussed and largely ineffective bottle rocket offensive of 1777.

Somehow, though, I suspect the neighbor who puts on his own miniature fireworks display in the wee hours of the morning every year has something other than American history on his mind. I imagine his thought process is more along the lines of, "Cool! I made that thing blow up!"

History isn't much on anybody's mind on the Fourth of July. It's not like we go dump a bunch of tea in the harbor every year. And let's just say my one attempt at recreating Paul Revere's midnight ride did not go over well.

That's why I'm spending this Independence Day declaring my own independence from certain tyrannies I am no longer willing to accept.

I'm declaring my independence from Paula Deen, to start with. I've actually done pretty well with that so far. I know the popular former Food Network host and purveyor of lard-based meal options said some objectionable things, and I know that things have gone poorly for her ever since. That's really all I know, though, and it's more than I care to know.

It's possible she deserves everything she's gotten. It's possible she's a terrible person. It's also possible this whole thing got blown way out of proportion online.

I'll never know, though. Give me liberty from Internet controversies or give me death.

I'd try to declare my Independence from the Kardashians, too, but I'm honestly not sure that's possible.

I am declaring my independence from enjoying things ironically, though. I just don't have the time anymore for "so bad it's good." I can't watch shows that exist seemingly only to make me feel better about myself because I am not one of the people being featured.

So long, Honey Boo Boo. So long, shows where washed up celebrities tries to find love. So long, basically every single show on TLC.

If it's really hot again this Fourth of July, I may declare my independence from pants.

I'm definitely declaring my independence from getting my face massaged during a haircut. I never actually imagined this would be an issue, but it happened to me for the first time last weekend. The sports-themed barber shop I visited offered to upgrade a first-time customer to their full-service package. Apparently that includes a "massaging shampoo," a hot towel on your face nd a neck and shoulder massage.

Oh, and a haircut.

There is basically one thing I need to have happen when I get a haircut, and that's my hair getting shorter. Just about everything else is unnecessary. That absolutely includes a stranger rubbing my cheeks while my head is in a sink.

The vibrating chair didn't help matters.

I actually might declare my independence from sports-themed barber shops, too. I'm not sure I'm the target market. A flatscreen TV was showing Saturday's Twins game while I got my haircut, but the conversation about it went pretty much like this.

Stylist: So, are you a baseball fan?

Me: No, not really.

Stylist: ....

I thought about bringing up the Tour de France, but I don't think that would have gone any better.

There are probably some other things I could shed this Independence Day, but it's probably best to start small. Otherwise we'll end up with another incident like my Washington Crossing the Delaware fiasco.

What can I say? It was really hot that day.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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