Friday, October 12, 2007

I Love a Parade

All that talk of Fall festivals left me thinking about the parades that go along with.

A parade must begin with a police car and end with a fire truck-unless of course it’s the Christmas parade and then Santa comes last-sometimes in the fire truck. It’s always best if these vehicles have the lights flashing and sirens blaring. This is very exciting to all concerned and children love it. Unless of course you have very small children and then they scream and put their hands over their ears. Parents are then forced to walk back to their car and watch from there or stick it out until the candy starts flying and then most kids’ ears stopping hurting immediately and the tears miraculously dry up.

The success of any parade is directly related to the number of marching bands performing and how much they actually play vs. just marching and whether or not they have their uniforms on or just jeans and the official band t-shirt. Bands definitely score higher if they have the uniforms on. It’s also important that they play several times throughout the route and not just in front of the judges.

I love Marching bands. I think I’ll post about them next. I know you await that post with bated breath. You need something to read while you sit on the pot anyway. You’ve already read the Enquirer.

If you’re a politician, yes I’ll take your flyer, but don’t try to talk to me because I’m busy. The Shriners are coming through with their classic Mustangs and little motorcycles and I can’t be bothered with your promises to get trash day moved to Tuesday.

If you are riding on a float in the parade, do not pummel me with the candy. Toss it. Give it a gentle underhanded lob. If you blacken my eye with a peppermint, I’ll kick you ‘till your dead. Not just because of the black eye, but because you’re throwing crappy-ass peppermints at a parade. It’s like Halloween. Nobody wants old-people candy at a parade. Look at the road when it’s over. What’s leftover littering the streets? So leave them at home along with orange slices and circus peanuts.

Along the way, the Grand Marshall will pass by. Usually this is a town elder or other such civil servant. My uncle Fred was the Grand Marshall of the Christmas Parade one year. He never quite got the wave perfected.

Why are the radio station vans always directly behind or in front of the marching bands? They have the radio station blaring away and it drowns out the band’s performance. But then again, the radio stations usually throw good candy.

I love the classic cars. They pass for days it seems. But does your Camaro all done up in gray primer really count? I mean, shouldn't you have a paint job to be able to line up in the parade queue?

But, I'm quibbling. I'll stand in the rain and snow to watch the neighbors and friends pass by. I've been in a parade on several occasions. I can take it or leave it. I like standing on the sidelines cheering on Sarah the flute player. She grins when I yell at her. I like waving at Jimmy on the choir float. I see Kent who lives just down the road from where I'm standing. I don't take the time to visit with him like I should. Is that Maria? No way! She's grown at least a foot since I've seen her last.

It's goofy, I know. But I love the sense of community I feel when the flags go by and a faithful few get busy cleaning up after the horses.

...and throw chocolate, People. Always throw chocolate.

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