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Saturday, June 07, 2008
Live from the parade route - 8:26 AM
105 minutes until parade time and I'm sitting on my brand new $4 lawn chair. The good folks at Rite Aid opened two minutes early to let in a crowd of grandmothers, bleary-eyed fathers and street kids in search of cigarettes. The chairs are on sale and going fast.
So let's get down to it. I'm going on about four hours of sleep. I forgot to buy anything with caffeine in it and I left my camera at home. Morale at "base camp" is low.
There's cops all over the place. One just went running down Broadway after someone's baseball. A, er, "rotund" kid is pacing back in forth in front of me singing. A kid across the street is hitting his sister with an inflatable, medieval-style mace just purchased from a guy wearing a florescent umbrella hat. He's pushing a cart up and down the street. It's full of toys, balloon weapons and Spiderman paraphernalia. Wait, isn't Spiderman played out? Shouldn't he be selling Iron Man or Hulk stuff?
A weird mix of stuff in that cart and I'm getting some odd vibes from the crowd but that's probably just the lack of sleep and a slight hangover talking. My guess is that the weapons are selling the best. The kids on my block are bored out of their skulls. A long wait in cold weather and on a morning with potential rain in the forecast could make a few of them turn violent. If they stage some sort of grade school revolt against the Grand Floral Parade, it's probably for the best that their weapons are made out of plastic and vinyl. I'm thinking there's enough cops around to offset any potential coups.
A four year old across the street is stabbing the head of a Stewie from Family Guy balloon with a plastic sword. Over and over and over and over again. It's a fairly disturbing sight to behold but her parents think it's funny. Good God! I may not make it out of here alive.
Also: isn't Family Guy a little risque for kindergartners? Another thing: is there anything unusual about selling 5-year olds balloons of an R-rated cartoon character that spends his free time trying to kill his own mother? Naw, I'm probably just over-thinking this.