ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
AND SOME THAT AIN'T
Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again!
Here it is the Fourth of July again. Well, not just yet, but it's fixin' to be here purty soon. Yep, it's this comin' Saturday. And they're gonna have a big to-do over in town again this year, gonna set off firecrackers, shoot rockets up in the sky and all that stuff. And that's good. It's good to remember our country's birthday.
Everbody needs to know how our country got to be free. It wasn't always like that, you know. I ain't never been all that good at history but I know that before George Washington, Davy Crockett, Abe Lincoln and that bunch of fellers got together and co-signed the Decoration of Independence, we was ruled by a feller named King George. Or was it George King? No, I think it was King George. And he'd ruled over us a purty good while before the trouble started.
It'd been peaceful enough 'til one day ol' George decided to make it a rule that everbody had to drink tea. And that right there's when the trouble started. And the bad thing about it, most people was prob'ly already drinkin' tea. I do. I drink tea. I ain't too fond of hot tea, but I drink a good bit of ice tea. But I don't like the idea of somebody tellin' me I've got to drink it.
I don't know what the man was thinkin'. Could it be that he wanted 'em to start drinkin' hot tea instead of ice tea? Or, worse, start drinkin' hot tea instead of coffee? That'd shore start trouble with me. If I come to the breakfast table expectin' a cup of coffee and you slide a cup of that ol' hot tea over at me, we're gonna have words. But, for the life of me, I don't know why anybody that's smart enough to get hisself 'lected king would even try a thing like that. He ort to of knowed that us Americans ain't gonna give up our coffee.
Now hot tea ain't all that bad. I ain't got no use for it, but I didn't like coffee either the first time I tried it. It's somethin' you've got to sorta learn to like. If my mama had started me off drinkin' hot tea, I prob'ly wouldn't like coffee. I'd want hot tea with my biscuit and aigs and ice coffee at supper. It's just what you get used to. I'm satisfied that if he'd left us alone, we'd all be settin' around sippin' hot tea and talkin' English. But, no, he had to start tryin' to push people around, tryin' to make 'em do somethin' they didn't want to. But that's the way it is with some kings. They get 'lected two or three times and start thinkin' they can just snap their fangers and make people do whatever they want 'em to. And if it hadn't been tea, it would've been somethin' else.
Still and all, you wouldn't think a tea drinkin' rule would be enough to start a war over. But people don't like bein' pushed around like that. There ain't no way to sugar coat it. But, you've gotta give him a little credit. He did try to smooth things over. He was livin' on this big ol' boat in the Boston Harbor at the time and invited everbody to come to this fancy tea party on the boat. I reckon he was thinkin' he'd get everbody out there and tell 'em hot tea was all they was gettin' and they could just like it or lump it. Yeah, that's most likely what he was up to.
But the trouble was, everbody was already mad at him and this feller Paul Revere got on his horse and rode all over town tellin' everbody he seen that him and a bunch of the boys was gonna go and show ol' George what they thought about his uppity Boston tea party. So, natcherly, everbody in town showed up to see what was gonna happen. And it was quite a show. What they done, see, was they all showed up at the party dressed up like Indians. I mean, feathers and everthing. They got on the boat actin' as natcheral as a body can act when they're all decked out in feathers and war paint. And they drunk the King's hot tea. Then, on a signal, they all went to the side of the boat, gagged theirselves and throwed that tea up right there in the harbor.
Well, that made George madder than a ol' wet hen. I reckon they knowed it would. That was what they was aimin' to do, y'see, make him mad. But you don't go to a king's tea party and puke all over the side of his boat and get away with it. As far as George was concerned, that pukin' bizness was the last straw. He called the law on 'em. Yeah, he was gonna have 'em all 'rested for disturbin' the peace or somethin'.
Well, they all took off before the law got there, and it might've still ended peaceable 'cept for one thing. A bunch of 'em holed up at a place called the Alamo and George found out where they was at and sent this feller Santanny to round 'em up. And that's when the shootin' started. And I reckon I don't have to tell you how it turned out. Yeah, we fit the war with the red coats and George Washington-no relation to King George- and Sam Houston got together and whupped 'em at the battle of San Jacinto.
And that right there, my friends, is how we got to be free. And, as the ol' sayin' goes, this is the rest of the story.
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