Dec 8, 2007

Everybody Loves A Parade

Especially in Louisiana. In Louisiana a parade means floats, agricultural devices (antique tractors mainly,) a bunch of marching bands, a lot of dance teachers showing off their classes, and...well...I'll let the photos tell most of this story.

These were taken at the local Xmas parade last night. Now--a few things to keep in mind about parades in LA:

  • People are gonna throw things at you.

  • In Louisiana the spirit of Mardi Gras runs DEEP, so every parade float that passes will be throwing such diverse items as candy, beads, foam footballs, small stuffed toys and packs of Marlboros. On most floats will be small children throwing these items, and since their range is limited these items will be coming at you on a rather flat trajectory. If you're at the beginning of the parade route they'll be coming at you with all the might these little tykes can muster, which can be rather formidable.

  • It's going to be hot.

  • And by hot I don't mean there'll be scantily clad women, though there will be--these are trailer/scooter trash and will be looking for a good time or a husband or a cheap hit of meth and should be avoided. What I mean is that it will be in excess of 70 degrees no matter what month you're in.

  • There will be Shriners. LOTS of them.

  • I don't know what it is about this area but we produce more Shriners per capita than any other state in the union, which means there'll be large old men stuffed into odd costumes who are then themselves stuffed into very small, go-kart-like vehicles. They will be speeding around all over the parade route, so mind your toes, your children, and your vaulables: how else do you think all those Shriners can buy all those tiny go-kart Corvettes, choppers, diesel tractor rigs and pickup trucks.

Without further ado, the photos:

This little pair was too cute not to photograph. We were near the staging area for the local bands so we were treated to music the entire time, and the young playa there spent most of his night dancing his little heart out: moonwalking, pop and locking, the works, all accompanied by very drum and brass-heavy marching music. John Phillips Sousa would have been proud. Here he's working his game on an unsuspecting young lady.

If you're lucky you'll see some Cruisers: people who spend way too much time and money fixing up a crappy bicycle with reflectors, sound systems and ape-hanger handle bars. If you're really lucky you'll see boots like these.

And what Christmas parade would be complete without--a racing lawnmower.

Yes, you read right. A racing lawnmower. Here one of the proud NASCAR wannabes fiddles with his fuel petcock (I couldn't resist the rooster joke) while puffing on a Doral. I love how he was resplendently dressed in his Christmas finest. Last week's black t-shirt, meshback cap and a nearly new pair of Dickies. (Yeah, again with the rooster jokes.) I wish you could have smelled the funk coming off this entry in the parade--I wasn't sure if it was the drivers or the exhaust.

I wasn't sure WHAT to think about this poor unfortunate, so I took his photo. Someone already seems to have taken his fashion sense. Most of the band leaders in the parade wore sparkly tuxedos or were dressed in slightly more eye-catching versions of the band's uniforms, but this young fellow looks like he either wants to be one of Vader's Stormtroopers or Lawrence of Arabia when he grows up. Or maybe both.

Louisiana being "The Sportsman's Paradise" it's only expected that at least one float will be about forest products and killing the wildlife that live within said forest. It goes without saying then that a deer head wearing a festive red and white hat should be a major focal point on the side of your float.

And honestly, what parade in the Deep South would be complete without the "The South Will Rise Again" branch of the Prefessional Reenactors Of The War Of Northern Aggression. I'm almost glad the fellow furthest away from the camera can't be seen because he was dressed in a melange' of uniforms; a cross of WWI Doughboy, Confederate foot soldier (he had the grey hat right,) Mussolini Blackshirt Flagbearer and to top the ensemble off he wore a lovely loose pair of pre-owned Wrangler's Relaxed Fit jeans, purchased on sale at GoodWill earlier in the week and held up by a piece of hemp rope.

Merry Christmas, ya'll.


Gordo The Geek said...

Oh. My. God. That's priceless.

No military presence? Even we had that AND the Chinese cult marching band. LOL

Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh the Rebel Yeller takes the Confederate Cake! LOL!!

Vulgar Wizard said...

I have a bruise on my left forearm from that damned jawbreaker that kid hurled at me. I swear I do.

Shao said...

Yeah a possible explaination for having none of our local guardsmen in the parade was probably their near constant deployment to Iraq, Afhganistan and...well, New Orleans.

Scott from Oregon said...


Yeah. Just woot.

meno said...

I love a parade!

Irrelephant said...

Gordo, the closest we got to a military presence was a few very fresh-faced baby-eaters in their Class A's walking beside a Hummvee and the local National Guard Youth Challenge Program juvies. They've got a nice Chinese Long March rocket with a rumoured nuclear warhead that they pull behind a battered old Ford pickup truck, so that was cool.

Joan, it's too nice, isn't it? Such handsome menfolk, too. Pride of the parish.

VW, I don't doubt it. I've got a dent in my Nikon's case where it blocked a box of Now-N-Later that was winged at me by some prepubescent beauty queen.

Shao, I think the truth was that they were too ashamed to show up at this pitiful excuse for a parade: there were no less than three funeral homes represented there. I rest my case.

Scott, o my brother, I feel the same way.

Meno, I do too. I wish we'd had one.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I love parades! YAY!

Thank you for sharing this.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Irrelephant said...

You're welcome, Scarlett, glad you enjoyed it. I know I lent it a very hick flavour, and truth be told it was a very nice, very fun parade. Naturally it's more interesting to poke fun at the natives than to make it sound like the Sunday Social in the newspaper: "Mr. and Mrs. X hosted a tea and crumpets party at their home this weekend; fun was had by all." *g*

Nancy Dancehall said...

So would that be a Shrincostgokart? And can I order one for Xmas dinner from Lafayette?

Come on, you had fun at that parade, admit it!

Irrelephant said...

*lmao* Nancy. Yeaaaah, I guess you could say that. As for ordering one I think youhave to contact your local Shriner's Hospital And Restraunt Supply.

And I did, I'll 'fess up. I'm still a ten year old boy at heart. Most times.