Friday, September 11, 2009


I don’t really buy that old canard, “Freedom isn’t free.”

Seems to me that most of the examples people cite to support the claim aren’t so much wars of liberation as they are battles for economic supremacy. Even the Revolutionary War can be construed as an more of an effort to secure financial rather than political liberty, and certainly, none of the armed conflicts the U.S. has been involved in over the last half-century or so have obviously contributed to the maximization of we citizens’ freedoms.

On the other hand: to the extent that the victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 are our nation’s most powerful symbols of lives lost in support of American independence, I wholeheartedly honor that sacrifice.

Where else in the world, I ask you, would a person be unconstrained from joining several score of fellow bike riders on a cross-town jaunt to a bar where a grease and potato-eating competition was taking place, or from consuming 11 12! baskets of French (aka “Freedom”) fries to win said contest, or from ingesting so much booze you’d have to lie on your back around an outdoor fire for a solid hour or so, sitting up only to see if the night was still spinning and then puke out your guts when so affirmed?

Fallen freedom fighters, I salute you!

This year’s .83 9/11 Never Forget (How Fat You Really Are) Bike Ride and Freedom Fry Eating Contest was once again an unrestrained debacle in celebration of all we hold dear and the valiant eaters who gave freely of their innards to compete a heartwarming embodiment of rights—notably that inalienable one to pursue happiness—we cherish.

And the fact that yours truly was free to (over)-exercise that right but still sufficiently looked-after by compatriots sharing the evening’s struggle that I wasn’t left lying on my back outside makes me not only proud to be an American, but grateful beyond measure to be alive.


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