Monday, March 8, 2010

Pipers Pipes are Piping

After several $4 mimosas I still had some time to kill before the “St. Pat’s For All Parade” so I continued my journey of discovery westward towards a mass of barricades and balloon arches. Along my lazy stroll to the land of orange , green and white I overheard two police woman discussing the parade protestors that were gathering at the end of the block – hmm really. So I squared my shoulders, puffed out my chest and marched down the street to confront these exclusionary zealots. However once arriving at my destination I discovered to my surprise the colorful crowd at the end of the block was not a crew of hateful sour pusses but a party of practicing pipers and the most perfect troupe of traditional Irish dancers ever assembled for an “all inclusive” St. Patrick’s Day parade. These tiny tappers decked out perfectly in Celtic garb hailed from the Bronx and were the best African American Islamic step dancers ever to congregate on Skillman Ave. So with no anti-fun protesters in sight and the sounds of pipers piping at my back I returned eastward to stake out a perfect vantage spot along the parade route.

A few blocks down the sun drenched route I eyed the most excellent curb for parade viewing, super tall for good tusch to knee bend ratio with a slender patch of grass to aid in comfort….ahhh perfect. My fellow curbside attendees were adorable, young families decked out in green with babies in Aryan Island sweaters, silver headed grandparents seated in beach chairs festooned in tweed with clover pinned to their lapels, pretty boys and hipster girls frolicking with giant green mardi gras beads, this was a REAL hometown St. Patrick’s day. No drunken stupidity, no pushy “out of towners”, just a conglomerate of neighbors joined together to support…..everything.

Of course wherever there is fun, love, and open embracement of all things wonderful there has to be a villain…damn you villains! While I sat there basking in the sun and contemplating the comedic/heartwarming value of the Asian family across the street purchasing Irish flags and green bejeweled headbands this old hag appeared with two shopping bags bulging with signs proclaiming that the world would end because of the parade – or something like that. Dressed in a floor length black coat, orthotic shoes, and sporting reading glasses that covered ¾ of her face she quietly planted herself behind my line of curb dwellers and set out her cacophony of hatred. At first I thought I should move because I did not want to be mistaken for a supporter but then I decided to hold my ground and fight for my right to LIKE PEOPLE.

Her goolish troupe grew over the next 15 minutes, each one more ridiculous, grubby, and dismal. Some of my happy families removed themselves from the area (who wants their child sitting under a sign that says SODOMY!) but as they gently guided their babies westward their empty spaces were filled with the most spectacular crew of Chilean gays. HA - ha! Yep if you ever wondered how to combat a six member septuagenarian posse of gay bashers ship in a bus load of gay Latins – now that’s a party!
The parade finally started with Mayor Mike at the helm and the crowd was on their feet clapping, whistling, and yahooing for all the participants. Of course our feeble filth mongers tried to shout smut at the marchers but really….did they think they could compete with me and my gleeful loudmouth – HA! The louder they yelled their nastiness the louder we applauded and cheered. We even got two police officers assigned to our area who strategically stood directly in front of the grotesque signs blocking their sightline to the marchers. Whoops were they doing that? Thanks coppers! Their favorite cat call was “SHAME!” but they yelled it at everybody, they even yelled it at the yarmulke wearing bagpipe band from NYU. I couldn’t resist so I shouted, “Is it that NYU is shameful or that bagpiping is shameful cause now you are just confusing us? You should really just stick to one thing, screaming shame at everything is diluting your hate statement”. The Latin boys loved that. One of them yelled at the guy with the sodomy sign, “Oh you are very brave…having that sign in this crowd is dangerous”. And all was right with the world again.

As the parade went on we boogied with a Caribbean band, sang along with a New Orleans inspired brass ensemble, cheered for the throngs of pipers, and were totally entertained by a group of Mexican (?) dancers decked out in spangles, cowboy boots and sleigh bells. It was the best all inclusive St. Patrick’s Day parade ever

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