Saturday, July 20, 2013

Parade of Lost Dreams (and Icky Taffy)

We went to the parade today.  I can't exactly call myself a parade expert.  The last time I went to a parade was the Days of '47 Parade when I was like, 9.  (For you out-of-towners, it's a parade in Salt Lake City commemorating the arrival of the pioneers into Utah.  I think.  I'm an out-of-towner myself, and I was, like, 9 when I saw it on a vacation to Utah, so I'm not really sure if what I told you is completely bogus or not).  Anyway, it would be accurate to say I really have no clue what parades are all about.  Other than the ones where they fly a giant Snoopy in between skyscrapers or dye the river green.  But the local ones, like our city parade today, was....how shall I say...BOLOGNA?

It wasn't all a bust.   The coolest thing about the parade was the cops.  Motorcycle cops doing really intricate maneuvers literally inches away from small children sitting on blankets and almost colliding with each other at certain parts of the show.  THAT was cool. 

My second favorite part was the pooper scoopers.  My kids' favorite too.  Nothing is so fascinating as seeing how fast a couple of 11 year old boys can hop out of a golf cart and shovel steaming horse plop in 101 degree heat without being run over by clowns on 3-wheeled bicycles.

The Chick-Fil-A cow in a convertible got a big reaction from the little ones.  I can't blame them.  I got excited too until I realized they were launching stuffed cows into the crowd out of that t-shirt cannon and not chicken strips.

There were also 4 awesome floats, borrowed from other nearby towns that actually took the time to make cool floats.  Sparkly, glittery, moving parts, mildly-attractive local beauty queens waving from the tops.  Did our town have one?  NO.  Not even for our own parade.  (FAIL.)

The part of the parade I did not like was the other 95% of it, which was people in A) old cars B) giant red-neck trucks  C) red-neck camaros with an advertisement for some local store on it and 15 people throwing salt-water taffy at you while 15 more people ran around and handed you fliers for their store.   Winners such as "Amy's Tae Kwan Do," (nothing says Asian martial arts like "Amy's"),  "Skinner horse training (Really? We're not THAT far from the city!)," and "CANTASTIC trash bin cleaners."  (Ok, I have to admit, I'm a little intrigued by this last one.  Have you seen the inside of trash bins?  I'm not a germ-a-phobe by a any means, but the on thing that gives me the strong desire to wear rubber gloves, a coverall, and a gas mask is going anywhere near the inside of my trash bins!)  But anyway, yes, 95% of our parade was local stores, services, and fund raisers passing out endless amounts of fliers which were sucked up 30 minutes later by the local street sweeper truck.

And what's with the salt water taffy??  Does anyone even like that stuff?  It's the Wal-Mart of candy.   At the beginning of the parade, we would jump out of our seats and scream to the extended family of the various local stores to throw candy to us.  Our kids would dive for it, like a piñata of solid gold nuggets had just exploded.  But after the 300th advertising truck had passed by, we started wrinkling up our noses at them and waving our hands in the universal sign for "No thanks, that stuff is disgusting, I wouldn't take it from you if you paid me."  I feel bad for those advertisers at the end of the parade.  They probably went home with 500 pounds of the stuff they will have to donate to the local homeless shelter, who will hand it out to the desperate, who will take it and throw it in the nearest trash where it will melt into sticky goo.  And it will all have to get cleaned out by Cantastic Trash Bin Cleaners.  Oh the irony.

I could do a whole segment on the fashion faux pas at the parade.  The $2 a pair silky elastic waist black basketball shorts worn by the Tooele High marching band, for one.  Even the hottest person in that band looked like a reject from special ed (not that the Tooele Marching Band is a group of lookers.)  And did you know high-waisted, pleated jean shorts are back?  At least that's what I gather from watching the Bluffdale dance squad sashay past.

So, ya.  I'm so glad I woke up at 7:15 on a Saturday, rushed my kids through half dry bowls of cereal, and carted 6 lawn chairs, 2 blankets, 3 beach umbrellas and 14 bottles of water 1/2 a mile down the street to stake out a good spot to get pelted with mailers and gross candy.   If only the motorcycle cops had run over a spectator.   Now THAT would made for a good parade.

1 comment:

Charlie Holmberg said...

Hey, I like the taffy. ;)

But seriously, parades--especially the Murray 4th of July parade--are becoming so commercial. It's 80% adds and politicians now. :/