Parade Day

Schools are cancelled and the streets are closed. I’m sweating like a pig in the high noon sun. The whole town lined up early to welcome back its fine young heroes. It’s homecoming day and they’re as close to heroes as we’re gonna get around here anyway. They’ve come from all walks, because everyone loves a parade.

The whole thing starts with the motorcycle cops doing tricks. Their pimped, black and pink cruiser lets us know how aware they are of breast cancer. And I never knew the department around here had so many horses, can’t imagine what they’re all for

The band strikes up the march. Everyone’s little girl is dressed up like a cheerleader. They jump and wave when they play the fight song. Sweat and sunscreen burn my eyes, and the child, not my own informs me of how hot it is.

Shriners adorned with fezzes zoom by in tiny cars. A steady stream of politicians and business men roll by in convertibles. Our parents generation might have built floats, we’re somehow content with couple of yahoos on a flatbed. The only ones with any style are corporate shills the freaking Krishnas. Up and down the avenue smells like boiled peanuts and diesel fumes.

The local ROTC goes by looking smart and sharp and brave. All I see is a string of sad mothers and future corpses. I can’t be the only one. The crowd cheers them by. I doubt the chamber of commerce would put on such a grand display when finished soldiers return from war. They don’t seem to like parades that much

Then, finally, the football team comes by. Our darling boys, the stars of show. For them it seems just the business of the day, half of them fidgeting with smartphones. Savor your moments boys. The hard truth is for at least one of this is gonna the best day of your life.

When it’s all over all that’s gonna be left are food wrappers and horse shit.

Everyone loves a parade.

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