Patriotism Now 50% Off, Thanks to Online Coupons

Image of Groupon for Half Off Patriotism for July 4th

Patriotic Online Deals Also Offer Rare Glimpse into National Psyche

Most of the time, you don’t have to look very far or think too much about what it means to be American. Lest we forget, we are constantly reminded of our duties as a citizen to uphold the lofty values that our forefathers intended to bequeath upon our great land.

Like most mornings, I open my email and begin deleting junk from a list of usual suspects: Living Social, Groupon, Capitol Deal, Amazon Local Deal, the landlord, debt collectors, Eversave, and ESPN. However, this time, I found the diamond in the rough awaiting me in  my inbox:

“Subject: Half Off Patriotism – Fourth of July Deals ‏”

Thanks to the advent of modern technology, I was given a key, nay a revelation, to enjoy my god-given rights as an American to the maximum extent possible by virtue of…Patriotic Online Deals for the Fourth of July!

With Independence Day just around the corner, many of us have already concocted detailed strategies of how we will honor our great nation. For many, this usually involves a simple equation consisting of food, family, friends, fireworks, and copious alcohol consumption. My current plans still adhere to this time-honored tradition, but after receiving the opportunity to purchase a bevy of limited-time offers, my Fourth of July machinations have bloomed into a star-spangled furor, sure to shatter my own personal records of patriotism.

How, you ask? Behold, the keys to freedom enshrined in the Articles of Online Coupon Patriotism:

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Food Truck Fetish Friday: Tasty Kabob

Image of food truck fetish friday tasty kabob

Kebabs, or kabobs, depending on your spelling preference, are a form of food that appeals to the barbarian within all of us. The mere thought of sharp metal and wooden skewers piercing through tender hunks of meat as it sizzles over roaring flames conjure images of Turkish warriors, Arabian knights, and even Greek philosophers gathered around ancient pyres under starry desert skies, awaiting a higher form of sustenance earned only through the shedding of blood or arduous debate over human existence (in the case of the philosophers).

This primal mojo, coupled with my boundless adoration of eating meat on a stick, is precisely what makes kebabs one of my all-time favorite food items. Kebabs, in fact, approach perfection. Easy to handle, you can eat kebabs at carnivals, you can eat kebabs at weddings–both during ceremonies and receptions; you can eat kebabs on your couch, and you can eat kebabs to suppress road rage while suffering through rush hour traffic. On a boat, in a plane, or on the toilet — the kebab allows the eater to fill their stomach in succulent pleasure without the need for elitist plates, forks, knives, or napkins. Simply place the meat in your mouth and chew, swallow, and toss the empty skewer on the ground, and return your focus to the important business of thinking about what to eat next while sitting in front of your TV.

For these reasons, I was particularly excited about redeeming my free lunch coupon for the Tasty Kabob food truck in Washington, D.C.

Boy, did I ever set myself up for disappointment of tragic proportions.

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A Date with Destiny: Bacon on a Stick

Image of bacon on a stick

Fate is one of the mystical forces in our universe that escapes all explanation and is only visible to us through the lens of hindsight. Each day, we wander mindlessly as we suffer through the routine doldrums in the office, at school, in a car, on the train, or on the couch, never quite knowing when fate will move us to achieve greater things in the grand scheme of the cosmos. While we can surely never predict when these unseen forces will strike next, it is impossible to mistake the precise moment our path intersects the threads of existence that profoundly shape our lives, only to be explained by our feeble, mortal minds as destiny.

This past weekend, I found myself under a fading amber sky speckled with a few of the brighter stars in our galaxy when I recognized the planets had aligned in my favor. It happened as I was standing in line for the Holy Grail of ballpark food: bacon…on…a…stick.

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Food Truck Fetish Friday: Rolls on Rolls

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Eating complimentary meals from Washington, D.C. food trucks is a monumental task. In fact, I only have until December 31st to capitalize on the greatest prize I have ever won, which is a pile of 40 pieces of paper, each redeemable for free food. There is something about carrying these coupons around that, well, makes me feel much cooler than other patrons who have to fork over wads of crusty dollar bills or swipe their Visa Platinum Rewards card to get their lunch. Me? I just brandish my stack of cardstock tickets and slam them down on the counter as I demand free food.

It was under this condition that I marched toward the Rolls on Rolls food truck at Franklin Park in downtown D.C., my sails filled with gale-force wind. Knowing that I was entitled to a chicken masala roll, vegetable samosa, and a frothy mango lassi, I nearly realized ultimate enlightenment as I perched under the Bodhi-like awning to place my order.

Typically, when you order Indian food and ask for “spicy,” you receive a warm smile, shallow promise, and a paltry pinch of cayenne basked in politeness so as not to nuke your virgin American palate. At Rolls on Rolls, they do away with the niceties and follow through on the mission to deliver maximum heat.

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Food Truck Fetish Fridays 2: Borinquen Lunch Box

Image of food truck

I must admit, I know little-to-nothing about Puerto Rican food. Had I not won the Trucko de Mayo raffle prize (I really stole the food truck coupons from my wife, the true winner), I would have never discovered the sheer awesomeness that our Island Territory hermanos and hermanas dish up. Having a few friends who hail from Puerto Rico—and who “coincidentally” know a lot about, and like, food—I should not have been so surprised when I happened upon Borinquen Lunch Box.

Borinquen prides themselves on serving up authentic Puerto Rican cuisine from scratch. After experiencing their food, I can understand why they are proud of their product.

As I sauntered through Franklin Park, I spotted the truck and bee-lined to the front of the queue. One of the fun parts of this little food truck “project” is chatting with the good folks who work in these roaming kitchens. Just about every one I have visited so far usually get a kick when this big, fat dude shows up with the winning ticket.

For the Borinquen lunch prize, they offered me the choice of their Cuban sandwich, or something called a Tripleta. Being the food snob that I am (not really—I like it all), I opted for the tripleta, which is far less passé than a Cuban sandwich (that’s like so totally 2010).

My Spanish classes from high school are just some of the myriad pieces of my memory that have been sucked into a deep black void in the time-space continuum. Or just depleted by cerveza. After eating the Tripleta sandwich from Borinquen, the language lessons came flooding back and I remembered that tripleta is Spanish for AWESOME.

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