Yes, it was only last year when the organizing committee, as game a crew of well-meaning octogenarians and octogenarian wannabes as you could ever hope to find anywhere this side of the river Styx, decided, in a meteorological situation eerily like the one faced today, that hope, a positive attitude, and municipal pride would win out over a fast moving low pressure system coming in from the Great Lakes and that the parade would therefore move forward, an act that literally and figuratively defines parades, now that I give the matter some thought. A parade that moved backward wouldn’t really be a parade, except in one of the world’s more bizarre locations, such as Boston, Washington, and the slough of urban despond that lies directly across the river from our happy little burg, where such things are commonplace, either for political and social reasons, as in the former cases, or because of the incessant gunfire in the latter.
I am not sure what method the organizing committee used to determine that rain was not going to be a problem last year. One suspects that they disliked the whole idea of checking the matter on the Internet—too newfangled, too full of dirty pictures, and too hard to operate without one of the grandkids nearby. No, I think they went with the tried and true methods of weather forecasting: they looked out the window, they looked in the newspaper, and then they sacrificed a chicken to the weather goddess of their choice; our happy little burg is a very inclusive community when it comes to religion and we hold no prejudices against believing theists, whether they are mono, poly, or a, just so long as they are not Red Sox fans—we must draw the line somewhere, you know; and upon slicing open the sacrificial chicken, an augur who also doubles as a balpeen hammer and triples as a designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals examined the chicken’s gizzard to determine that the United States Weather Service had no clue what it was talking about: there would be no rain at all on the great day. Rejoicing at the good news, the organizing committee rejoiced at the beneficence of the Lord(s) and then proceeded to eat, like Mr. Leopold Bloom, with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls, in this case, the fowl just sacrificed on the altar of meteorology.
Suffice it to say that this method of weather divination, which the Romans also used to divine the workings of Mount Vesuvius, worked about as well for the organizing committee as it did for the Romans in Pompeii. The parade organizers had to get everyone ready to march in a drizzle that steadily became a driving rain before graduating to a monsoon before the vanguard reached the middle of Main Street. As you might imagine, and which the organizing committee clearly did not, municipal pride may lead our patriotic citizenry to do many a great thing hereabouts, but standing in the rain getting wet for no good purpose is not one of them. By the time the vanguard of local solons up for re-election reached the end of the route, there was no one on the street for them to wave and practice their most sincere insincere smiles on except squirrels who, shockingly in this day and age, cannot vote in municipal elections here in the Vampire State, and the wet and deeply annoyed, whose voting patterns are inconsistent at best but in general do not favor incumbents of any party.
The reaction to the organizing committee’s decision was swift and none too happy. After the parade the denizens of our happy little burg wander up and down Main Street, the street becoming a pedestrian mall for a few hours, buying food from various vendors, many of which are church groups raising funds for the coming fiscal year, and stuffing themselves silly while music plays and the kids amuse themselves by spraying one another with shaving cream. This is a heartwarming sight, for reasons I am not quite sure I understand at this point, and one that did not occur last year. I could live with that, but the various vendors involved could not, and they let the organizing committee know that the purpose of having and advertising a rain date was so everyone could wait to the rain date if it rained, which, as I’ve mentioned, it did, in buckets, bushels, and bottles, not to mention cats, dogs, and wombats, leaving the vendors stuck with thousands of dollars worth of food and no one to sell it to. The vendors were not happy about this situation and let the organizing committee know that they were not happy. The organizing committee promised to do a better job for the next parade, impressed, no doubt, by Sister Maria Josefina’s threat to stuff several hundred pounds of frozen empanadas up the committee’s collective backsides if they ever did this to the Comite Hispanidad of Our Lady of Fatima Church ever again. There are few things in the world designed to put the fear of the Lord into the souls of the unrighteous faster as one very angry Puerto Rican nun, even if she is older than the beard of Moses, although I must admit, I would pay good money to see Sister Maria Josefina make good on that threat, but then I am easily amused.