Pet Peeves

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By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

Parade Rest

I attended the 48th and 49th Patriots Day Parade. I grabbed a good spot across from Fire House Engine Number One right after the 47th Patriots Parade. For two years now, I sat curbside and reserved my place for last weekend’s parade festivities. I’m semi retired and had the time. My wife won’t let me say fully retired because she can’t face the reality that I’m around all the time. So, I’ve been kicked to the curb. It’s worked out okay because I believe I got the best curbside seats in the house for this year’s parade. My wife doesn’t agree. She thinks the stone family next to the firehouse has better seats. For two years, I tried talking them out of their seats, but they just stared straight ahead and won’t say a word. They’re tough negotiators. I still don’t get why they held out from all my cash offers, because I never saw them turn in their seats even once to watch this year’s parade. Too stoned, I guess.

There was a lot to see at this year’s parade. There were 98 entries that marched from the high school down to city hall. I’m always amazed that there is anybody left over to watch the parade. But there were plenty of spectators who must not belong to organizations doing the marching. Why not? I’d like to march, if I could find a organization that would have me. I even tried this year. I got the basics down. Left, right, left. “Halt,” said the parade organizer, who worked the Rose Bowl Parade before flower allergies forced him to drier Laguna. “Crantz your shoes are tied together. Hopping is not permitted. This isn’t the Easter Parade.”

Don’t worry readers. I’ll be ready next year. I’ve hired a parade consultant to teach me to tie my shoes. She’s called an au pair because she knows shoes come in twos and tying them correctly requires separate study and double payment. Also I’ve watched this year’s marchers. I picked up a few pointers. The belly dancers were very good. They appeared to float on air by moving their bellies in and out to create forward momentum towards the Marne Room Tavern, again. A few years ago, jealous Marine Room patrons with bulging stomachs that won’t allow movement off their bar stools, took offense and refused to share their tums with the svelte dancers. A milieu broke out. This year the police were ready with gift bags of Pepto Bismol and Alka Seltzer delivered in Ralph’s antique grocery truck.

But just in case I can’t tie my shoes by next year, there’s a backup plan. I’ll buy an old, cool 1930s stake truck. Old cars and trucks were a big hit in this year’s parade. I’ll place a banner across the back that says, “Pet Peeves is Indy Readers Biggest Pet Peeve. Spectators will be given water balloons along the way to hit me with. Each landed shot will guarantee a donated dollar to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, who will then drive me straight out to Treasure Island for my immediate release. Parade rest.

Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.




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