Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Everyone Loves A Parade... Except Everyone

I am a sucker for the Santa Claus parade. I’m not sure why, being that I usually shy away from crowds and sentimentality of all kinds. So don’t expect me at your funeral especially if you are popular. I think it comes from my childhood in a small Ottawa Valley town where the Christmas parade had less floats and music and more drunken farmers driving tractors while wearing Santa hats.

Me, dressed inexplicably like a bunny vomiting over the side of a float. Festive!

The Toronto Santa Claus Parade has tons of bands, clowns and festive floats.

Ho-ho-whoring out the parade. Own it on Blu-ray today!

Yearly I take my daughters out to the parade. My wife rarely joins us as she has a) many social engagements, and b) brains.
"Have fun in the cold."

It took a few years to find the right place for us to watch. We used to go to a main street in the city in order to watch the crowds prevent cyclists from crossing the street before the parade started for fear of losing their section of curb. I saw parents bring ladders for their children to sit on while they spilled scalding hot chocolate on the children below like the monarchy in a castle defending themselves from rebelling citizens. Because we don't have a car (again, because we are better than you) I resort to hoisting my daughter up on my shoulders, known as nature's ladder.

I'm not smiling, that's the face you make when your spine is being compressed beyond the body's natural limit
 The last three years we have gone to the same place where there is lots of green space to play.

Another fine view this year for the small children. This photo was taken moments before these two were punched in the back of the head.

It’s a big lead up to the parade waiting for it to start while denying my child the cotton candy that obvious hobos are selling along the route. We check the "Santa Tracker" on my phone every twenty seconds to see if Santa is on the way. That is until my daughter notices I have Angry Birds and although she has no idea what that is, enough kids at school have hats and backpacks adorning their likeness that she knows its a thing she should want and then begins to whine to play it.

Then it begins! Empty transport trucks that are sent ahead to store the floats until next year are the first things we see. Nothing says holiday fun like teamsters.


They no longer throw candy at the kids, instead promotional materials are lightly tossed into the crowd. Last year upon receiving a promotional activity book for the Smurfs movie, my daughter asked me, “Why isn’t this fun?”

"Just cuz"

The floats are always the real reason to go to the parade. The craftsmanship of the sign advertising a company is always breathtaking.
Look, he has enslaved his own kind to do his bidding.

Yes, human is hard to digest properly.
Then the fat man arrives. I am of course taking about our recently ousted mayor. It’s refreshing to see people boo and throw knickknacks back towards the parade.


We then hear a roar down the street, it’s the sounds of a urine tsunami as children pee their pants with excitement. Santa has arrived sitting high up above the crowds looking down on them like the benevolent dictator he is. After all he sees you when your sleeping...

Seen here with his pre-show Fluffer

Then it’s all over, everyone packs up their lawnchairs and Drambui for another year. Leaving only the magic of Christmas swirling in the empty streets.

It's like Fairy Dust only smelly

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