Sunday, July 29, 2007

Everyone Loves A Parade!

This is, in my opinion, a very good thing. After another day spent visiting with the family, the vast consumption of grilled foods and a chocolate pie that I cannot discuss without drooling profusely on the keyboard followed by a most necessary nap, I have little else to discuss today. There was the barest attempt at spinning last night before I dragged my parade-attending hindquarters off to bed, but nothing that might make for interesting blog compositions. Thankfully, I am in possession of a relatively new camera and have many, many more parade pictures for you all! Today, we focus on that most enthusiastic of parade participants: The Shriner!

You gotta love a Shriner. Sure, they do all that good work with the hospitals and stuff... But, if you are a small town festivities planner, you know the value of The Shriners. Without them, your resources are somewhat limited. Sure, the local fire departments will generally commit to bringing every truck in the firehouse to the event. And there are any number of citizens who will probably be willing to decorate their riding lawn mowers and aim them down Main Street. These are the makings of small town life and treasures beyond measure. But it could all go wrong. You could plan the event during Bob's vacation and his lawn mower might be locked up in the shed for the week. There might be an actual fire that requires the ripping of the tissue paper flowers from the ladder truck in order that it might be pressed into more practical use.

In short, you might be left with nothing save The World's Grumpiest Goat:

And he does not project the "I love a parade" image that you really want for such an event.
Enter the Shriners! There are any number of parade-related roles into which they can leap at a moment's notice! They can provide a band:

Maybe not a "marching" band...but an enthusiastic group nevertheless!
They have floats just ready and waiting for the call to roll:

Why nooooo, Mr. Shriner...this creative use of recycled store mannequins isn't creepy at all. Why do you ask?
But, more importantly, they provide the one thing that is synonymous with parade fun! They give us happiness in miniature. They make the drive to wherever you may need to go in order that you might see them worth every penny in gas money. They give us...
The Little Cars!!!!

The merest glimpse is enough to start a Sheep's camera a-clickin' no matter the distance from her parade perch!

Full grown men, speeding around in tight, controlled circles, piloting their wee little cars with all the seriousness of jet pilots in combat simulation...

Seriously...does it really get any better than Shriners in little cars? It's a little slice of America, by gum!!!
There were also Shriners on mopeds performing similar motor vehicular routines. But I didn't get any pictures of them. They were, shall we say, a bit less "practiced." I'm guessing that this is something of a second string team for Shriners who want to ride but haven't actually passed the Small Car Motor Vehicle Test. Maybe it's what they do for practice. Or, and I suspect this may really be the case, it is a kind of retirement for those little car drivers who are no longer capable of death defying feats of synchronized driving. No one wants to hurt their feelings or anything, but they probably shouldn't be driving the shiny yellow cars at this point. Whatever the reason for their being astride the mopeds, photography was impossible what with all the "getting ready to leap to safety" and whatnot. There was a bit of curb-jumping and crowd-scattering with the moped team.
Now that I know this, I'll be prepared. When I see the mopeds, I'll leap up to the nearest tree branch ahead of time and see if I can't get some pictures of the Shriner carnage for you. For now though, the parade has passed us by and it is time to get back to the business of the blog.
Tomorrow I'll see if I can't get my truck to break down for you or maybe catch the cats doing something nap-related. Or I could knit something...


trek said...

I always liked being near the Shriners and their little cars when we were marching. Ours always had those funky hats and the satin outfits!

Beth said...

I feel rather sheltered because I didn't know about the Shriners' cars. My husband did, though. I guess I'd better get myself to a parade. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I have internet access and was able to view all the Shriner pics! I've never heard of Shriners on Mopeds, though.

Lorraine said...

Gosh, our Shriners were on huge motorcycles, complete with saddlebags and double seats and wearing leather vests. Guess we got the H***'s Angels division of Shriners.

Per your comment on my blog - WTG and if I thought I was the source of your luck, you're more than welcome to rub my head but perhaps Gnorm is who you should be stalking. ;-D

kmkat said...

The Minneapolis Shriners were also of the Hell's Angels variety. Upstanding citizens, I'm sure, but with a bit of a wild streak.

Love your parade pics.

Jeanne said...

Why DO Shriners drive those little cars?

Donna Lee said...

Gotta love big men who squeeze themselves into little cars just to drive in the parade. I was a marching band geek (a majorette, and yes I can still twirl my batons) so I was usually in the parade and not on the sidelines. I always watch for the bands if only to remember how execrable marching band music can sound when you only have 25 band members.