So, yesterday was the Fourth of July. Good times had by all in a holiday full of great American traditions such as parades, bbq's, and fireworks. I tend to think of myself as very patriotic. I love the country I live in and am thankful everyday I'm not living in the 14th century in a place such as the middle east. But being so cynical I don't really get into many of the festivities. We were lucky enough to wake up earlier than reasonable and fight traffic to get to a local parade. Keep in mind that parades are clearly meant for those actually in them (their local fifteen minutes/fifteen miles per hour of fame), and for children under the age of 11.
So, we get there and I find myself standing in the unforgiving independence day sun. I never knew the sun could be so scorching at 9 in the morning! I am standing because apparently the parade die-hards have previously placed their rows of chairs in the grass and shade three days earlier. In all my sweating shiny glory I am praying that I don't see some random acquaintance that I gratefully haven't seen since high school. Who doesn't love the game of "Hey, what'cha been up to?" and "Let me get your number and we'll have to do something." Likely story. One of the first things I notice in the parade is the constant barrage of taffy being thrown mercilessly to the awaiting throngs of children willing to shove their little sister under a float for that peppermint taffy. I couldn't help but laugh as these large groups of children are on their hands and knees to pick up taffy and they are pelted in the head by the next barrage of taffy. I swear to you that I saw at least three children fall on the ground due the "drive-by taffying." As I see this free candy being thrown I can't help but think that Taffy isn't very good. Yes, it may be a guilty pleasure much like candy corn, but it still isn't very good. So I've come to the conclusion that the only reason that Salt Water Taffy is able to stay in business is the immense sales that it receives during the 4th of July weekend. What's that you say? You have Salt Water Taffy in your cupboard months past July? Yes, those are remaining uneaten taffy left over from the 4th. Another thing that makes me laugh inside are when floats drive by and no one is really clapping or waving from the sides of the parade anymore, but somebody in the crowd feels pity for those driving by staring awkwardly and they cheer and clap too loudly, but it is all for not, because they are still the only ones clapping, but at least they get waved at. For example, I live in a predominantly LDS community, and there were a few floats/trucks with banners from the Episcopal and Lutheran churches. The silence was deafening. I felt so bad that these people were getting no love and almost, I say almost, brought my hands to a clap, but thankfully a larger woman on a rascal with her own collection of taffy in her basket, presumably a member of that faith, clapped first and took a fraction of the tension away. Ha, classic. And let's not forget the 29 year old guy, you know the one, he played a lot of hacky sack in high school, who has the unusual talents of riding ten feet high unicycle and can juggle flaming bowling pins at the same time. He was there too, clown nose and all. When else would he be able to use his skills if there were not an Independence Day Parade. God Bless America!