|Waiting on the Four Square Gospel Church lawn for the parade to start.|
I love my town. I love the care they take to keep fresh flowers along the bridge. I love the river that courses through. I love the history painted on the wall across from the Post Office. But standing in that arena, beneath that old mural of marching band girls in white skirts and blue plumed hats, seeing sparse tables and dwindling numbers, I was embarrassed. Embarrassed for a town that used to throw a fair worth staying home for on the long weekend. Even the parade - that as a child used to be full of costumed children on their decorated bikes, more free candy than could fit in your pockets, fun floats and silly dressed pets - is just a little bit lame (not to mention starting fifty minutes late - us baking beneath a surprised heat wave along Garafraxa Street). Really, people? A tractor does not constitute a float! Tie a corn stalk on it, at the very least. Better yet, don a rainbow wig and throw Tootsie Rolls at my kids!
There is no mid-way. No clowns roaming about with balloons. No sickening smell of hotdog carts. No chance to vomit your cotton candy on the Whirly-Gig because there is no Whirly-Gig. There is nothing. It's just a grey little bubble of "remember when it used to be really fun?" Kids aren't participating. Their craft table is sparse. Is it really winning if you have no competition?
Zander rushes it with eyes fully dilated - they get like that when he's really tired or really excited. 1st place. 1st place. 2nd place. 1st place. 2nd place. 1st place. 1st place. 1st place. So he won most points anyway - an extra $15 prize - despite his slacking. Because every other kid in this sweet little town of ours was slacking too. I'm thrilled that he's thrilled. But I'm annoyed. Righteously annoyed.
|His "Something Made Out of Lego" got 2nd place because the judge didn't understand what it was - she didn't know who Mario was and I couldn't explain it until after the judging because I'm not a cheater!|