Stew Miller Musings and Rants
I Complain (Oh, and Doodle), You Read and/or Comment, Everyone is Happy… IT’S SO SIMPLE!

I Love a -Hey, is that another tractor?- Parade!

     So, as it goes yearly with the Fourth of July traditions, we went to a lovely parade in Schoolcraft, Michigan. Now Schoolcraft is, by its very name and nature, a pretty small town with precious little going on at any given time. That being said, however, they put together one serious butt-kicking parade. Well, if you like parades, that is. I am one who could, for all intents and purposes, take or leave a bunch of costumed tards marching in an impression of a straight line while doing their best not to, if you know what I mean. But, since I have kids who just go ga-ga for loud things three feet away, I have no choice in the matter.

     As most parades do, this one started with the police cars followed by the veterans of past wars (God Bless Them) including two fellows who were actually at the flag-raising in Iwo Jima, absolutely stunning and a bit sad at the same time. I honestly only had a vague idea that these guys lived so close to us, as I’m sure a good portion of the folks attending did, as well, and they need a parade for everyone to realize just how close we were to two wonderful men of such huge hystorical significance. Oh well, I guess it’s possible that’s the way those proud gentlemen want it. Anyway, after those heroes came even more in the form of current war military men and women to the onslaught of praising applause. God Bless them all, as well. Then things got really insipid.

     The rest of the parade included some really old and really scary clowns who looked as though they could potentially pounce on us vampirically and sup on our very life’s juices. I mean these dudes were, for lack of a better term, made-up corpses. I hate clowns as it is, but seeing thse guys all festooned with make-up and clothed in ill-fitting colored jump-suits actually made me cringe a litte and wet my pants. Further on we were treated to bands, dancers, businesses on sloppily-made floats hocking whatever wares they procured, and, of course, local and state governement folks out promoting the hell out of themselves. And then, there were tractors.

     The most prolific piece of machinery in this parade was the tractor. And I don’t mean just a tractor here and there, oh no, at least three tractors every time a new set piece trundled down the road. I have never, in my nearly 33 years on God’s green earth, see so many tracors on one street at one time on purpose. There were green Massey Furgusons, yellow John Deeres, red… other company ones, damn I have no idea, but let me tell you, my son Simon who is a farm impliment junkie was in his on little Heaven on earth. Every tractor was just that much more exciting than the last. So, at least he enjoyed it, because eventually they all started looking and sounding the same to me. I’m a tractor racist.

     Oh, and guess what flew over us mere feet fom our gawking heads? Yup, jets. Big, fat, loud A-10 Thunderbolts or, affectionately, ‘Warthogs’ soared overhead scaring the bejeezis out of all of us, especially Addison, whom I was holding at the time. I believe, in all honesty, she pooped a little. I thought her head was going to cave in, she was so surprised and stunned. Everyone clapped though, because it was so totally unexpected and damn cool, too.

     The one draw that keeps us returning to each and everyone of these parades is not so much the goings on within, but the tossings without. Yeah, candy. This time we weren’t as close to the curb as we most frequently are, yet the kids still managed to collect their fair share of the chucked Tootsie Rolls and Laffy Taffy. In fact -and I saw him do it- Charlie stuffed three little Tootsies in his mouth at one time. Not only could he scarcely chew, but he has pretty nasty allergies much like myself, so he sounded exactly like a vacuum with some small bit of rodent cought in its hose. I think he worked on those bits for about thirty minutes.

     So there you have it, the wonder that was the annual Independance Day Parade. I suppose all in all it was pretty cool seeing all the patrons truly enjoying themselves, and the crowd seriously getting into the festivities. I do, however, wish I had not seen the most disturbing human body ever to grace the planet. She looked like The Great Pumpkin with, ahem, breasts that could have easily doubled as slides on a playground. No, I was not staring, just making my way through the collective with a packed stroller, and there she was. Parade or no, I’m not forgetting that image any time soon. God Bless America.



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