Marolt: Best advice for the Fourth of July parade – duck and cover!
Is it happy birthday U.S. or happy anniversary? I think it’s an anniversary. Birthdays are oftentimes a product of passion encouraged by margaritas or hope with fertility drugs, either way the results of which may not be known until about 18 years later. Anniversary? Now there’s the result of a thought-out plan that seemed like a good idea at the time.
It doesn’t really matter how we look at this day of celebrating our country managing to make it through yet another year. The important thing is that we are going to have a parade and street dancing. Fireworks would be nice, too, but on a dry year like this, it may end up like somebody forgetting the tap at an Elks Lodge picnic.
Let’s do water balloons instead. Yes, we take the risk of somebody catching one across the cheek and nearly losing an eye, but has anyone actually ever known of someone that this has happened to? I think it is an old parade fable made up by fuddy-duddies who didn’t want their hair to get messed up. I mean, it’s going to happen anyway after a few draft beers and a valiant effort in the pie-eating contest anyway, right? As the old saying goes: The earlier you mess up your hair, the better chance you have of enjoying yourself.
Along these same lines, let’s not act startled or surprised when the firefighters politely squirt us from their trucks as they pass. We need to keep in mind that the hoses they are aiming at us have the potential to blow us across the street, if they really meant to do us any passive-aggressive harm. You know it would be premeditated, if they tossed you a Jolly Rancher as you lay their with your conscious mind starting to come back to reality as the people around you ask if you know where you are.
Speaking of which, please don’t let your kids run into the middle of the street to collect the gobs of candy that are tossed around. This is a very dangerous tradition and could lead to poor dental outcomes. Remember, you are the ones paying the dental bills; you might as well be enjoying the sugary delight that comes with creating cavities. You are the adult here. You can easily push the kids out of the way to get to the candy first.
As for those well-meaning parade watchers who get up at dawn to set up their folding chairs and blankets curbside so they can then go enjoy a leisurely brunch and come back to claim their prime viewing spots just as the Navy jets fly over, be sure to remember which tree you stowed their stuff behind when they show up and look confused about the rearranged state of things. Remind them that this is Aspen, where we don’t save tables at Bonnie’s or sections of sod along Main Street. If you want a good spot at the parade, plant yourself there early and enjoy throwing someone else’s junk over a hedge.
I don’t think we should continue the tradition of booing the Republicans when they walk by in the parade, either. It is a time-honored local tradition that has outlived its usefulness. Booing implies that we are aware of the crazy stuff they are doing. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If we are as honestly clueless about their purpose as they appear to be, the appropriate response is to stand in dumbfounded silence, staring at them in mouth-open, gaping amazement.
If you decide that you would like your child to participate in the kids’ bike rally, but you want to run beside them to protect them from some unforeseen accident that has never happened in the parade, please don’t feel self-conscious. We in Aspen are used to helicopter parents. There are almost as many of those aircraft in the parade as there are private jets at Sardy Field this week. As soon as the parade begins to move, you will realize that, if there is going to be a catastrophic accident, you are likely going to be the cause of it, but by then it will be too late to back out and the rest of us will enjoy watching you doting hoverers tip-toe jog and sweat your way to what you will consider the merciful end. We’ll let you know how you performed at the annual ski club barbecue afterward.
Above all, remember that whatever awful things might happen to you at the parade, none of it is as harrowing or sacrificial as what others have gone through to allow it to happen. May we never forget that, in their honor, nobody has the right to enjoy a Fourth of July parade in peace!
Roger Marolt wishes the U.S. a happy anniversary! Let’s enjoy the cake while we still have our original teeth! Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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