Happy Birthday, America! It's time for a day of people gathering around grills so they can critique someone's meat-cooking technique (don't flip it yet!), fireworks being set off in unnecessarily close quarters and lots and lots of freedom of speech. If you are wary of venturing out to the barbecues and pool parties and whatnot, let the most America-loving man on television, Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), properly prep you for today's holiday.
Just follow these 13 Ron Swanson-approved guidelines and your Fourth of July will be the best one yet!
1. Don't let people judge you for bringing an oversized drinking container to a barbecue. If your cup is "toddler-sized," then so be it. Giant devices used for holding liquids are what make this country great.
2. Ice cream is best enjoyed using slow and lazy licks.
3. Dance as if no one is watching, but remember that they definitely are. Especially your Aunt Judith. She's always watching.
4. Feel free to really enjoy the buffet offerings. No regrets, no mercy.
5. But if you don't like something at the food table, don't be afraid to show it. In fact, let your opinion of the party be heard loudly and often. Shaming the hosts is a grand American tradition.
6. Remember to say "America" at least once during every conversation, even if it has nothing to do with the subject. If you can't get from "Kerry Washington's secret wedding" to "America is great" in less than three steps, then what are you even doing with your life?
7. Drink in moderation. Try and stay classy so you don't end up shouting "I'm a majestic manatee!" before belly-flopping into the pool like you did last year.
8. If you didn't drink in moderation and you have a hangover the next day, be sure to hit up the nearest diner for some sustenance.
9. We get it, you don't like people. We don't either. But it's America's birthday, so try and get along with everybody.
10. There might be games involved at the party, so be a good sport and remember to have fun. Unless you lose, in which case you should destroy all the furniture in a 10 foot radius.
11. Mind your manners when eating. You don't want to embarrass your date. But if you're dateless, go nuts. Eat those chicken wings in one bite.
12. There will probably be children at the gathering you are attending, so try and be nice for their sake. Refrain from using terms such as "devil spawn" and remember you were a kid once, too.
13. Basically, there is no wrong way to celebrate our beautiful country if you do it like Ron Swanson. He is a true American hero.
Have fun and be safe out there!