Before heading to the Independence Day Roof Party, I contact the host to ask if there's anything he wants me to bring. He tells me "one bottle of cheap Riesling will buy you all the food you can eat." My hunger dictates the purchase of two bottles. One is remarked to taste like granulated sugar; the other is deemed "all but undrinkable." They are finished quickly nonetheless.

Afterward, we make our way to the food. The spread on the dining room table includes a rack of ribs so tasty I want to eat my own barbecue-sauced fingers, curry so good I want to be baptized in it, and an array of grilled summer vegetables that taste exactly like grilled summer vegetables.

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While relaxing on the deck, I glance up at the roof. The realities of us all eventually steadying ourselves up there during the fireworks show with our wine and beer bottles in hand dawns on me. The steady downward slope of the shingles and the flimsy rain gutters forebode the inevitable consequence of roof drinking: roof falling. But once the fireworks begin exploding, the partyers make their way to the upper floor and out the bedroom window. We proceed against the roof slant with caution, holding on to our bottles as we would stair railings. The spectacular view ahead makes me want to start singing the national anthem. A jump for joy seems to be in order, but the urge is suppressed considering the possibility of where one might land. So I keep seated while basking drunk in the glory of America's golden showers. recommended

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