I guess the bus ride down to the St. Patrick’s Day parade should have been indicative of what was to come. There was the guy around 35, across the aisle, picking his nose, examining it (and yes, I could see his boogers too. YAY!) and then slurping them up before digging for more gold. There was the Loud Talker, as they might call her in a Steinfeld episode. She’s actually my new neighbor. Usually when new people move in, you barely know they’re here except for the moving van. This one? She’s been out sitting out on her back screened porch, which faces my apartment, in 20 degree temperatures, yacking so loud I can hear it through double paned windows. Oy! I can barely wait for summer.
We finally got downtown, and it wasn’t soon enough for me with Loud Talker talking at 500 decibals the entire ride. It was about 15 minutes before the parade was supposed to start…11:45 a.m. and it was immediately apparent that cocktail hour had already started. According to something I just read on the web, we have the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade per capita in the country. Over 50,000 people attend. I’ve lived here about 19 years now and I’ve only gone about 5 times. Its usually weather related, as in 15 degrees and snow banks, but it was decent yesterday, so I thought I’d give it a try. Next year? Not so sure….
A friend from my art class, who is also a musician, was supposed to march in one of the first bands. I tried desperately to get closer to the parade route, to take his picture, but no dice. It was like the freakin’ Berlin Wall. (sorry C.T.). But I was finally able to squeeze through a hole and run over across the street where I met my first new “friend” of the day. Heh. She basically told me I could not sit on the ground in front of her (she was standing), but I could stand behind her if I wished, you know, where the other, 49,999 people were standing. What were the choices again, bitch?
I tried standing behind her, but she must have hit me in the face and ribs about 150 times with her little delicate Botoxed elbow. Gee, I wish I would have known I was training for the Passive Aggressive Olympics. I would have practiced harder. Sheesh!
I finally moved on up the parade route a little further to what I’ll call The Future Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting Group #129 corner. It was comprised of about 5 guys, yelling, screaming, getting up on the police blockades and yelling “King of the Wooooooorld” and then doing a kamikaze dives into people walking by. One kid finally threw beer across a bunch of people and hit an old lady pushing a baby in a stroller. So I went and told a cop to get the assholes on the corner under control.
After that, fearing retribution, I moved down in front of our classic old theatre downtown. It turns 80 this year. There were a bunch of old grannies, lines up in wicker chairs and I figured they wouldn’t be too bad. Unfortunately it turned out they were right next to the Teens from Alcohol Hell. These kids had several huge backpacks full of beer, and later I realized jello shots.
I tried watching the parade, I really did. But how can you when the people behind you are howling like coyotes and trying to knock 400 pound cement garbage cans over and playing hockey with beer cans making your ass their goalie net. I mean , there were cops standing about every 20 feet, but what were they doing? Absolutely nothing. Even when Jimmy Joe Bob was feeding his 15 year old girlfriend jello shots five feet from a cop. Like what the hell? Isn’t that against the law?
His girlfriend did disappear for a while…probably to go puke and buy condoms or something and he started to talk to me. Can you imagine? A teen boy talking to a 50 year old woman? A parade character that looked like a loaf of Italian bread had just walked by and he said that reminded him of his favorite cartoon on Channel 51. He said some name….but god knows what it was since it sounded Lithuanian. But he said it starred a loaf of bread, something else and a “wad of meat”. Umm, ok. He kept drunkenly talking to me, although I wasn’t really listening, except to hear him say how proud he was that the sidewalk where we were standing had the most garbage, so we were probably having the most fun.
Yup, I was having fun all right. Incidentally, that’s my new “boyfriend’s” leg on the right side of the photo. Don’t tell Guardcat. She’ll try and bite my aorta while I’m asleep, if she thinks I’m cheating.
Anyways, basically our parade consisted of three things: Irish dancing school kids, tractor trailers with lots of people hanging off them and guys in kilts (the REAL reason I went. I can never get enough of Guys in Kilts. Woo hoo!!!!!! Woof Woof!! Like what is under yeeer kilt thaar, Sean O’Shanaughnessy???? A couple of Lucky Charms, yee say?????). There were other random things in the parade like Biker dudes and the SPCA with a bunch of Irish Setters wearing green scarves.
And then there was a guy dressed like the Statue of Liberty. He was about 9 foot tall with lots of foam rubber parts. I mean how else could he be 9 foot tall? So one of the Drunk Idiots from our Sector decided it would be kinda fun to give the Statue of Liberty a big ol’ drunken kiss. He was kinda tall though, gosh darn it! So when he approached him, instead of just asking for a kiss, like they do in polite society and British movies starring Dame Judy Densch, this asshole decided to just tackle the poor guy, knocking him down and knocking his head off. I mean, WTF? You just knocked the Statue of Liberty’s head off, dude! What are you…the freakin’ Al Queida??
Fortunately, there was a stunt double Statue of Liberty that helped the lead one, retrieve his head. But in the meantime, the cops all rushed the Drunk Idiot. Initially it looked like they had him. But just when they were on the verge of putting on the handcuffs, the Drunk Idiot broke loose and took off down the street. By now the parade had come to a standstill as 2, than 4 than 6 cops started chasing this little bastard down the street. It looked really absurd, especially since the crowd was cheering like we were watching “My Dad is Better Than Your Dad” or something.
They finally nailed him over across the street and when they were walking him to some unseen cop car, the people over in the drunkest part of town (my side) started chanting, “Attica, Attica, Attica”. Of course they were the same people who had earlier started the whole street chanting “U..P…S” when two UPS trucks were in the parade. Like what the hell? Why are we chanting UPS? Oh, 98.9% of us, are drunk…that’s right!
By time 3 p.m. rolled around, very few people were even looking at the parade. Cops had absolutely no authority. Garbage was now ankle deep. I was desperately afraid somebody was going to puke on me. Fights were breaking out. Yeah, I was so proud to be Irish at that point. Truly.
But at least I got to see some guys in kilts.
And isn’t that what St. Patrick’s Day parades….realllllly about? Woof.