Smile Politely

The Washington Street Parade

Every parade should be like the Washington Street Parade.

It should be led by a single fire truck, followed by a homemade sign.

The band should be filled with neighbors who value community and know only one song: “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

It should consist primarily of cute neighborhood kids riding their newly decorated wagons, tricycles, and bikes.

There should be no politicians or capitalists trying to weasel votes or money from the bystanders. There can be a few news people, but they must be roundly ignored by everyone.

There should be someone juggling at all times.

It should last five minutes, tops. Then it should turn around for a messy encore that disperses halfway through.

Let the super-patriots wave their flags, brandish their weapons, explode their fireworks, and boo those who are foolish enough to demonstrate their right to free speech. I want a parade to reflect what democracy should be — far more participation than observation; far more people in the parade than watching on the sideline.

Lastly, there should always be a storm trooper walking with his family.

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