As I await the start of the All-Star Game, I can’t help thinking, “How can life possibly get any better? This has been the best Fourth of July week ever!”  

Glancing in the Independence Day rear-view mirror, I consider it the holiday gift that keeps on giving. Sure, most visiting Cody alumni have returned home, but the party atmosphere remains. The Fourth brings people together better than a Nevada madam, and I hooked up with former best friend blasts from the past like Mark and Kelli Wilson, to name just a few.

I used to be about the Fourth of July drinking, but wild boys grow up and now I’m about the visiting and all the glorious red meat on other people’s grills. Over four cholesterol-packed days, I made a culinary living off crashing Beemer extended-family cookouts.

The mooching began Thursday after the parade at the traditional Beemer picnic in the park, where I kept it light with a couple chicken breasts shared with my best gal Ginger. Later I was “kinda” invited to Bart and Stacey Grenz’s BBQ shindig, where my ravenous display seemed to generate prying eyes and good-natured obesity jokes that rolled off my back like marbling from a succulent ham.

Too abdominally uncomfortable to hang around to watch fireworks, Bart caught me sneaking out a brat for later and insisted I fill up a large baggie with ribs and what not. It’s considered rude to refuse leftovers, so I ate again after a beautiful couch nap.

Friday, I was more or less invited to Shane and Millie Roemmich’s cookout at their new digs on Cooper Lane. Between many competitive games of cornhole, I must have polished off several pounds of brisket and the Beemer women’s legendary potato salad. Again I departed feeling really fat.

So what were the odds of a Donnie Beemer fish fry falling on the same Saturday afternoon my great-niece Taylor Blough would become Mrs. Kenton Boogerd? 

Donnie’s house barely a block from the Lutheran Church, who could blame me for having a bit of Derrick Cook-caught, Alaskan salmon before hoofing it over to the wedding?

I crammed in a lot of brisket at the reception, then returned to Donnie’s party, still going on at a fever pitch, for a second helping of healthy fish and complimentary trimmings. After all that feasting of Biblical proportions, on the seventh day I rested.

And then came this All-Star game which just ended and I shoulda known something would ruin it. I foolishly bet on the National League losers, but had a $3 side bet on Joey Gallo for MVP that would pay $99. He got in for one at-bat and hit the first pitch far over the fence for his team’s winning run. 

That was surely the MVP swat, but MLB shamelessly grovels for fan approval, so they gave the award to the home-town, mid-game pitcher Cleveland’s Shane Bieber, who threw all of one inning. It was an epic robbery and I should sue MLB for loss of income, pain and suffering, and ruining this column.

You bet I’m angry and bitter. This was the worse week ever!

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