"I can't use these. They have ear penises."
I'll get to the parade in a minute. Before that though I need to announce that if I don't come back then I've been killed by squirrels. One - hopefully - has penetrated (steady on...) my residential defenses and is clearly living in the attic. I have also heard it mincing about in the wall. So prior to just calling some Dale Gribble-style marsupial exterminator I'm going up to confront the bastard myself. This is America people - there will be no diplomacy or dialogue. Balls to that. I'm going to try climbing about in the attic amongstt he insulation we had blown in there and locating somewhere it's been or likes to go. Then I'll be leaving it a nice, pleasant rat trap loaded with a blob of peanut butter and a slice of get-out-of-my-bloody-house. Then I'll be stuffing any cavities (again, steady on...) with steel wool, some of that expanding sealant you stick in walls/roofing and soting out the place it seems to have sneaked in. Part of me is weary that the squirrel may be armed (again - this is America) or that the attic is actually loaded with hornets. I'll find out very soon.
If that whole plan works out I then have to fix the invisible dog fence. It stopped working at an odd tiem when nobody was digging or no snow plow man was dragging thirty foot of wire up the driveway with his poorly-executed blade-placement. We have tried a method of getting an AM radio and trying to find the break but with no success. Can't even get a signal clear enough to get that to work. Add my wife is reluctant to plug my headphones in so all she hears is the broad static and spattered noise of radio stations around the frequency we need combined with the sound of passing traffic. You can't really hear well enough, in other words. I find that by plugging headphones in you can concentrate on that more. But upon handing them to her she announced air of surprise my wife that she couldn't use my headphones because they have "ear penises" on them. Basically little sticky out bits that go deeper into your ear. Which I don't think are really called ear penises. But both my children found that amusing. Of course now my son and his mother are taking their Sunday nap and my daughter is returning to this issue by cleverly pointing out that she doesn't have an ear penis because she's a girl. Her "ear whoopsie" (her words) is, "made out of my bottom." A more interesting twist on the Christian assertion that man was made from the dust, woman from Adam's rib and parts of my daughter from her own arse.
Yesterday on the way to the big parade I decided to drive past the Oneida County Correctional Facility. There's only one road into the huge parking lot there. Oddly there was this sign (apologies for the naffness of the photo - but I was clearly taking photos from the main road of a prison while my son screamed like a demented demon) but I promise you announcing, "Wedding" with an arrow pointing into the prison parking lot. Which either means someone is surprising their fiance with a fucking awful location for a wedding. Or that the guards at this prison have - on behalf of an inmate getting married - have stuck up that sign and some balloons. I bet the honeymoon locale (the third floor drinking fountain) is beautiful.
Also, speaking of signs, I have a problem. Anytime I see a Help Wanted sign I immediately assume that someone inside the establishment is being held hostage by criminals - but has somehow still managed to put up a sign outside asking for someone heroic (like me perhaps) to come in and help them. I did consider taking photos of it but again - it seems weird doing it with an actual camera. It seems much more sinister than using a smart phone. Add the only one I have that is in focus is the one below - and looks like I'm being a strange person who photographs gas prices and then calls conservative Talk radio to angrily rant about how Obama is bankrupting us all and I have photographic proof.
I had mentioned that the big parade we attended - when viewed objectively - is basically people lined up to watch logging equipment. Which in that context sort of fits in with that odd celebratory innocent thing that Americans seems to like, but that appears to Europeans as akin to North Korean parades of farming prowess. I've seen US air cadets ponce about with actual guns, yell about the USA and climb in a tank. To a European like me that had odd shades of the 1930s to it. Anyhoo - I couldn't shake that feeling whilst watching the big yellow machines rumble past.
Speaking of how it all seemed quite odd even parts where (between the logging trucks and machines) normal sort of stuff happened seemed odd. For example - here are some of the local kids in the parade exhibiting some of the finer aspects of American and local culture.
And my wife and I both found the sheer number of fifteen/sixteen year old girls who had won local beauty queen competitions to be seedy and creepy. Partly because they'd won competitions that had names like "Earl's Muffler Repair Princess" and "Tractor Supply Queen." Although in reality that actually meant that they'd entered a competition to get money to go toward college. But mostly it was weird because there was so many that it quickly becomes obvious that their place in the parade was for the hordes of well-bearded local men to have a public ogle at the pretty, young teenage girls being wheeled by on the back of a snowmobile trailer o pickup truck.Probably about ten of them. All jiggling about in prom dresses, tight clothes and eager to get drunk at the tractor pull later that night.
I liked that Smokey the bear made an appearance too. Never can be too careful.
As for candy and whatnot - it was not as ludicrous as last year. There were no yo-yo's, pencils, trinkets or lots of various things like that. Someone did throw out beach balls though. And my daughter did display a really weird behavior of frenetically screaming, "CAAAAAAAAAAANDDDYYY!!!!" when people wiht buckets showed up. The ferocity of which was quite unsettling. She was like a mix of one of the screaming hysteric women you get at Justin Beiber events combined with the death-stare oddness of Mark David Chapman. My son was more methodical - just wandering out to pick up the candy (Tootsie rolls aplenty, as you can well imagine) and placing it in his grocery bag. They got about 1/5th of a bag each. Not too absurd.
I also experienced something that happens to me a few times throughout the year that I like to call the Celtic Tingle. I'm not Scottish. But put me within 500 foot of a good bagpiper and I feel something similar to what I imagine a real Scotsman does when hearing Flower of Scotland thundered out. Marvelous sound.
Alright squirrels - it's Dale Gribble time. I should be careful with the Gribble metaphor though as this means that my wife is having an affair with a local native American, who is also my son;s real father. Win some, lose some.