Chances are you have been to a parade in your life, right? Homecoming parade? Pride Parade? Something. You may think that the thing that you are supposed to do for a parade are along the lines of the following.
1. Get up at the crack of ass and lug your lawn chair to the parade route to save your spot.
2. Sit on your keister and watch the parade go by.
3. Perhaps holler and clap while keister-sitting.
4. Perhaps dance along as marching bands or music-playing floats drift by slowly, as if being pushed by the breeze.
5. Flash your boobage in exchange for getting pelted in the face by junky fake beads.
Well, guess what parade goers. You have been doing this ALL WRONG. Parade-spectating, which seems to be an activity with very little room for evolution, has been taken to the next level. By me. And now you can follow in my paradey footsteps.
Last weekend, I heard that a local high school marching band was going to march around my neighborhood to celebrate the end of the year, to have fun, to practice, to…whatever. I don’t know why they did it, to be honest. I just heard that it was happening and was all hell yes let’s parade it UP.
1. First of all, look up the parade route. Once you find it, only give it a cursory look and interpret it to mean that the parade route is going right past your house. Right past your very own front stoop, even! Disregard that the map clearly shows that that is not the case. Invite a friend over to sit on your stoop with you and watch the shit go down.
2. Gather said friend, your loverman, and yourself at the appointed time and sit on your stoop. Wait, and wait. Watch your loverman bail on this whole idea and start to do yardwork. Convince your friend that you should walk down the street to meet the parade that is FOR SURE COMING. Start to walk. And then walk some more. And then even more. Get hot and tired. Finally get to the actual high school where this whole thing was supposed to start and stand on the corner. Look really confused. Listen for music in the air. Notice that this whole time, there don’t seem to be any other spectators. Watch a tumbleweed blow by. HAVING FUN YET SUCKERS?
3. Continue to walk some more in a random direction. Start to give up hope. Suddenly, your friend will claim to have heard music. “I think it’s coming from that way!” Start to speed walk in that direction.
4. Walk up and down blocks and hear parade music drifting in and out of range. Wonder if this is how those people who walk along the beach with their metal detectors feel. Also, think about the futile journey of life.
5. Start to hear louder music. Break into a run toward it. Know it’s here somewhere! SOMEWHERE.
6. Discover the marching band playing “Pinball Wizard” while standing in a drugstore parking lot. Note that they are clearly not marching and they are not in your neighborhood but at all.
7. Stand and watch for a while and wonder how all of the customers of the drug store must feel because their cars are trapped in this parking lot. Hope that there isn’t some sort of pharmeceutical emergency that is being held up.
8. The band director dude will then announce that they are going to start an actual parade now. And then watch as the band takes off like they are ON FIRE. Which they just might be, considering it is 78 degrees and they are wearing full suits that look like a poly-wool blend. This is not merely a marching band, everyone. It is a band that only has two speeds. Drugstore-Stand-Still and Carl Lewis.
9. Follow along as a crowd of onlookers begins to literally chase the band down the street. If not full on running, at least speed walking. Because parade watching equals hauling ass as if we are running with the bulls. Only they are the bulls and we seem to be chasing them. Der.
10. After blocks and blocks of chasing, decide to turn off the parade route and circle around so that you might, as they say, cut them off at the pass. You kind of want to see them marching from the front.
11. As you turn off from the path of the rest of the crowd, feel as though you are outsmarting all those other parade goers and think to yourself that you would be awesome on The Amazing Race, if strategizing about frontal parade viewing was part of that show.
12. See the parade from the front. Act like this is a HUGE accomplishment. Feel smug. Take a photo.
13. Drag your ass home.
PARADE WATCHING, REINVENTED.