Happy 4th of July.
I went to my town's Independence Day parade, and it was completely fucking awesome. The highlights:
Our town's mayor was at the beginning of the parade. He works in the shipping center (read: mail room) of the company I work at.
The Grand Marshall drove past in the back of a convertible. He's 99.
My boss, who was one of the 4 people marching in the Republican Party delegation, waved at me.
The NRA gun safety float had a guy in an Eddie Eagle costume. A pleasant wave of nostalgia washed over me as I recalled his acting debut with Jason Priestly.
An old-fashioned pickup truck died in the middle of the parade, and had to be pushed out of the way. I felt bad for the people riding in the back; they looked like they didn't know if they were supposed to keep waving as they were pushed into a parking lot.
The beauty pageant winners: Tiny Miss Smalltown looked happy. Teen Miss Smalltown looked surly, blowing air through her lips in an irritated gesture. Regular Miss Smalltown just looked bored.
A row of Confederate soldiers in period costume. They paused to fire their rifles, and were followed by an enormous fat man, also in costume, without a rifle but carrying a book.
The town's fire department had all of its vehicles in the parade, and emergency vehicles from nearby counties were also present. I hoped that no one had an emergency while the vehicles were stuck in the parade.
There was a float for Boston Red Sox fans. I did not expect to see one south of the Mason Dixon line.
6-8 Shriners were present, wearing their fezzes, zipping around in tiny cars. It was difficult to count them all because they were wheeling around in synchronized formations, giving hand signals to each other to coordinate their movements. There were more Shriners in the parade than Republican Party marchers.
A group handed out freeze pops, which were eagerly accepted along the hot parade route. As an added bonus, they were attached to Jack Chick Tracts. Sadly, we got 3 copies of the same tract ("Party Girl").
I also met an old man who introduced himself by poking me in the ass with his cane and telling me not to move. He was going to sit in my shadow to stay cool, which was a sound theory but lacking in execution because I have seen lampposts and stop signs with more burly silhouettes. We helped him move his chair into the shade of a nearby sapling, and he talked with us through the rest of the parade. He wondered how the fire company could afford so many big vehicles with the current state of the economy, and noted that you don't see many niggers in these parts ("You probably call them black people," he said, "but I call still call them niggers"), and that it's horrifying how many obese women can be seen in the area (said while looking at an enormous, 300+ lb woman in a wheelchair who was sitting within earshot).
The obese woman held an infant that looked less than a year old. The infant was drinking diet Dr. Pepper, straight out of the can, and ignoring its nearby bottle.
Best parade ever.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, UNITED STATES!