Fourth of July gatherings are like any other gatherings: Some are a lot better than others. Thing is, by the time you discover the picnic you've attended is a dud, it's too late.
Sometimes, however, you might overhear a key phrase uttered by the host that will signal looming trouble early on in the proceedings -- early enough, hopefully, for you to graciously excuse yourself.
Here are ten things your host can say that will strongly hint at a less-than-stellar event:
10. We decided that you don't need beer or alcohol to have a good time on July 4th!
9. He may not have the cleanest hands, but nobody can form hamburger patties from a vat of chopped meat faster than Bill.
8. Our daughter Missy wants to be a chef when she grows up. She made all the desserts for today by herself -- and she's only six years old!
7. ;We're grilling local meat from a Hialeah ranch -- we don't need the damn USDA meddling with our food!
6. Oh goodie -- the mariachi band has arrived!
5. It's starting to rain, but don't worry -- we thought ahead and downloaded the film Yankee Doodle Dandy just in case we got stuck indoors.
4. Unfortunately, the air conditioner is on the blink.
3. Instead of the tired old hot-dog-and-hamburger thing, we've recreated an authentic July 4th meal circa 1776 -- wait'll you taste the pigeon bisque!
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2. Once you slather on enough miso mustard, you won't even know it's a Tofurky Dog.
1. We're doing this again on Labor Day and would love for you to return!