Saturday, October 29, 2005

They shoot horses, don't they?

Since yesterday was an important national holiday in Greece, that means there was a parade. Not your standard, colorful, float-filled parade, but your standard, monochrome, military parade. We did not go to the parade, but my husband wanted to see the parade on the news last night. Which leads me to my confession: I hate parades. I loathe them. I never liked them. The only thing that could raise a modicum of interest in me about a parade as a child was the prospect of seeing Santa Claus, and even then I always knew I could just see him at the mall.

You may wonder what exactly I find so objectionable about a parade. There are a few things. For one, going to a parade always sucked for me. I’m a short person. I can’t see over 99% of adult heads. And no matter what I do, or how hard I try, I always end up counting the lint on the back of someone’s sweater. That is not exactly a fun filled activity. For another, I don’t care how many pretty floats, beautiful girls and handsome hunks there are, you are basically looking at the same thing repeated over and over. Sure, they all look different, but it is the same old thing. Someone waving at you from an overdressed float, or a high school marching band playing the theme song from Shaft. This just doesn’t cut it for me. (This is the part where I say I am not prejudiced against marching bands. Marching bands are a fine establishment. My brother was in the Virginia Tech Hokies’ Marching Band, and they did a swell job. Still, I don’t want to hear the same crapped up versions of popular tunes at a parade)

In the case of a military parade, it is the same exact thing every time there is a parade. No variation in color. No variation in order. No variation of any kind. All the units dressed in their finest military attire, all the tanks and miscellaneous crap, with a few fighter jets swirling above, a couple of pathetic helicopters and a boat in the harbor. Everyone trying to look important and official and like they really want to be there. But none of them do. They would rather be at home on their day off. I don’t blame them.

Call me a freak (you freak!) but for some reason I have always been bothered by people marching together, doing the same thing. I don’t really know why, but it creeps me out. Now a parade where everyone was walking down the street doing various versions of modern dance or jerky movements of some kind I could get on board with. But the uniformity of dozens of people doing the exact same thing is weird. I think it goes back to my youth, when I was afraid of robots. Or maybe it is the idea of herd mentality. Either way, it freaks me out.

I think the only time I ever took any delight in a parade I was about 5 years old. At that age my father could still support me on his back. There were horses in the parade, and one of them pooped. That was the best damn thing I had ever seen. But then again, I seemed to always have an interest in scatology. If I went to a zoo of any kind I would get thrilled by defecating animals. Feel sorry for me. It’s a sickness.

So when Bing Crosby (or whoever the hell it was) said “everyone loves a parade” he was sadly mistaken. I don’t. I really don’t.


The SeaWitch said...

I'm a sucker for pipe & drum marching bands. I love Abba and I love bagpipes. Now, who's the freak? LOL

hobbes said...

hm - will have to agree on the parade thing. Life's too short to spend watching people marching with nowhere to go.