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2004-09-21 @ 12:00 a.m.
why we didn't invite george w. to our parade

So Sunday was our once a year Bunch of Former Crazy Hippies Who Used to Smoke Pot in the 70’s but Are Now Respectable Volvo-Driving Democrats Who Want You To Get Out and Vote for John Kerry in November and Drink Lattes parade day. Fortunately, they let me in even though I didn’t fit all the criteria (i.e., the Volvo part). I actually love this hippie-de-festival, because when you live in Stepford, its nice to know that there are still a few of “My People” walking around.

The event, of course, took place in our tiny artsy/hippy shopping area (a mere block and a half long). I drive through there every Wednesday to get to my drawing class. I got there a little early (as you can probably tell, that’s an obsession with me. I must arrive first. I must arrive before the vendors. I must arrive before sunrise while the coyotes are still out) and took a quick spin through the vendors and information booths along the street.

The vendors included a lot of booths with Anti-Bush t-shirts and buttons and bumperstickers. Hey, it was a tree-hugger festival, what do you expect? I did buy a bumpersticker with the words “Create Peace” with a Picasso drawing on it. That’s about as radical as I can get. I live in a Republican neighborhood ya see. I don’t want any Republicans egging my car.

Then there was the Three-Psychics-No-Waiting Booth (that is unless they foresee that you are about to die of a heart attack while you’re waiting for Xcheng-Turtle to channel Ted Koppel’s election night report).

And then if you wanted to get a little Christmas shopping done early, there were many booths of silver jewelry made out of forks, healing crystals and tie dye shirts for weekend hippies. I particularly liked the woman who was selling hats made out of Scrabble tiles. Just think if you had the word XANAX on a triple word score space, you’d have to decide what was more important. Triple word score....hat....triple word score. Hmmmm.

I, of course, wanted the 240 million old Himalayan salt crystal lamp. It looked like a giant crystallized dinosaur turd but anything that took 240 million years to make must be worth $59.95. So “A”, if you’re reading this...H-i-m-a-l-a-y-a-n S-a-l-t L-a-m-p...Christmas 2004. wink, wink!

My favorite booth was the one that belonged to the Radical Cheerleaders. Radical cheerleaders you ask? You mean the one who didn’t dye her roots before a big game? No, these were the radical cheerleaders....

For a mere DOLLAR you could get kissed by a radical cheerleader. Besides being a fund raiser for some organization, it was also suppose to cheer people up. Being kissed. I did think about it for a split second. My kissing life is sorely lacking, and kissing my pillow pretending its Married Guy my future soulmate is getting kinda old. Unfortunately though, most of the radical cheerleaders were young female college students and I didn’t want to start a precedent.

Oh, and by the way, for $10 they wouldn’t kiss you.

Finally a little after noon the world’s shortest parade started. It lasted exactly 5.01 minutes. The local old guys with guns and uniforms marched. And then there was our local politicians. Oh the joy! At least our current mayor didn’t engage in the embarrassing behavior of our last guy. Our last mayor, a rather bland, bespeckled Republican who later went onto a job in Washington DC, had marched in the parade a few years ago, in this unnaturally bright tie-dye tee-shirt, which he had obviously just purchased for the occasion. It was so fucking funny. It was like dude, you’ll never be One of Us, unless you get a liberal Democrat surgically attached to your ass.

And then came our local Weapon of Mass Destruction. Yeah, we hide ours in plain sight around here. A large nuclear warhead attached to strings. Ok, maybe it was a very large balloon shaped like a bomb with anti-nuke messages on the side of it, but its always impressive to watch a nuclear warhead float by the Cinco de Taco restaurant every year.

And then next came some ladies from our local Gardening Club.

“More trees, less Bush”. It seemed a simple enough message. She was wearing a beaver on her head. Another woman, dressed like a sheep, had a sign, “We will remember in November.” I guess they were talking about mulching.

And then there was a fire truck for the kids to hoot and holler about. And that was the end of the parade... Or was it???

Ok, I was only kidding about a 5.01 minute parade. It was actually 10.02 minutes, because then the parade came back up a side street and walked the entire block and a half parade route in reverse. heh, heh. Aren’t we cool? A backwards parade with a nuclear warhead. I bet YOU don’t have one of those in YOUR town. Neener, neener.

The parade finally broke up and I visited my drawing class booth. I actually hit there 3 times during the day. Talked to “J”, my first potential art class husband who is turning out to be a very nice person. We talked about our board meeting yesterday. He asked what I thought of it, and like any good, unfiltered bipolar, I just blurted out that it was fine except for Charlemagne disrupting things. Hope that didn’t ruffle any feathers. As in no Board Membership for you, missy!

I had hoped to see “K” there, but he wasn’t there at his scheduled time. When I went there later in the day, there were about 4-5 artists from my class drawing out on the sidewalk. It was kind of fun to see them in the light of day. I talked to “E”, who I had taken the art class with in June. He’s probably about 51 and I think he might possibly have a little “thing” for wittykitty. Unfortunately, he’s not my type at all, but I’m always nice to him. I think he was trying to fit in with the tree-hugger crowd, because he turned to me and said, “I didn’t get to be a hippy. I got married at 19.” heh, heh.

Oh sweetie, being a hippy isn’t a career choice...like gee, I should have gone to business school...it's a frame of mind. I call myself a hippy in my diary, but what is a hippy? Its not like I wear love beads and flowers in my hair and sing “Kumbaya”. I don’t even know the words to that.

The only thing that really makes me a hippy is that I don't think that people should be constrained by randomly imposed rules, I don’t like guns and I think everyone should be able to do their own thing.

You have now officially just completed the first chapter of “Idiot’s Guide to Hippies.” Learn anything?

It was great day to people watch though. Kids with two mommies. A guy riding a unicorn. Oh, maybe that was after I ate one of the "magic" cookies being sold along the street.

I saw one kid around 17, carrying a large “Bush in 2004” sign right down the center of the street, and I was like does this kid have a death wish? I guess he was being defiant, by showing his Bush in the middle of a bunch of tree-huggers.

I later saw him embroiled in an intense conversation with a 20 something guy with a John Kerry tee-shirt on. I really wanted to take their picture and sell it to Newsweek, but I also thought they might yell at me, which was the reason I never pursued my career as a photojournalist. Fear of being yelled at. A real career buster.

Later I saw a big swell of people out in front of the taco restaurant and I managed to squeeze in to see our local troupe of bellydancers. All the men had their video and digital cameras out, while the women were just standing there looking consternated. A woman next to me said to her friend, “I might do that once I finish Weight Watchers.” I think extreme weight loss to look like a television super model is probably pretty low on the list of priorities for a bellydancer. Why? Because most of the chicks there had BELLIES. And hips. And voluptuous boobs. You know, like real women. And they were damn sexy. You can ask all the guys with video cameras.

I also hit several music venues. I heard a heavy metal Jesus group. And then a really old scaggy female folk singer in a velvet beret singing, “The moral of the story is...drink while you’re alive.” And it looked like she had already started. And then there was the woman leading some little kids in “Old MacDonald had a Farm”. And then some African drum music. And then there were several really good blues bands who were really tearing up the street with their melodious tunes. I love free music. All kinds.

And the funny thing was, with all of us tree-huggin’, pot-smokin’, tie-dye and Scrabble hat wearin’, vote for John Kerry types walking the streets, I never heard anything less than total joy.

And I think there is a lesson there.

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