Letter: The menace of merriment

As an annual visitor to Aspen who attended the July Fourth parade, I read with interest letters from my fellow attendees who were understandably distraught by the spraying of water on spectators and the throwing of candy into the crowd. Aside from the obvious threats of physical injury and dampness posed by these activities, larger issues are involved. Are firefighters not aware of the current drought in California? Are the candy-throwers oblivious to the obesity epidemic that is sweeping America?

But I write to draw attention to a more insidious threat to parade enjoyment: the incessant shouts, screams and unprovoked laughter from the large number of children who seem to populate every nook and cranny of the parade route. It may be innocent fun to some, but for those of us on medication for high blood pressure, a sudden, high-pitched squeal can be just as dangerous as an errant Tootsie Roll stick. In fact, as I was enjoying a local rendition of the rock classic “All Right Now” from one passing float and reminiscing about the ’70s, a little boy hoisted on his father’s shoulders shrieked right into my ear, causing me to drop my water bottle and suffer a brief anxiety attack.

If parade organizers cannot limit attendance by unruly children, perhaps they can at least encourage parents to tell their little brats to pipe down or take their joy elsewhere so the rest of us can appreciate the motorcycles and sirens in peace.

Tim Poor

St. Louis