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.
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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!
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!