I hate the Seafair Torture-Lite Parade. For one thing, it runs right in front of my apartment. So does the Gay Pride Parade. The bad thing about the Torture-Lite Parade is that ten times as many people attend it as attend the Gay Pride Parade. Which gives you a chance for attracting ten times as many assholes. The only place in Seattle that could be worse this weekend is the Capitol Hill Block Party.
This thing is an institution in Seattle, and you know what they say about institutionalizing anything. It’s not good. So many people turn out that they start camping out at noon, and it doesn’t start until 7:30 PM. I don’t know what that is in metric. Actually, when I took Friday out for the last walk of the night last night about midnight, somebody had already put out some chairs and staked a claim.
This kind of snuck up on me this year. It’s usually the first weekend in August, so the first clue I had was the “No Parking” signs in my block a couple days ago. No, I don’t watch the local news. I don’t care who shot whom. I haven’t had the usual week or so to steel myself. This was made worse by the fact that I had books due today, which necessitated a trip to the library. I was going to go early, but I kept putting it off until about 4PM. Too late, the crowds were already staking out places in the curb ramps. That’s the first fail. Around this time the curb ramp squatting was light, and I was able to get people to move. Finally got on the bus and got down to the library. The parade is so long it runs past the library, too. Which means that all the buses will be re-routed after 6 PM. No time to dawdle.
Any time I walk out of the library with less than I walk in with, I call that a success. Today I had twice as much stuff waiting for me on hold than I brought back. Fail #2. However, I think I now have every CD that Fleetwood Mac ever made, except one, in my possession for a while. But I’m going to have to read like hell for the next week or so.
Getting back on the bus was interesting. There was still a half-hour until the stop closed, but about that time people were coming along going, “Oh look, there’s a blank spot. Let’s fill it.” Hello, see that big triangular thing? It’s a bus stop. There’s a reason nobody has parked their duffs there. I moved one bunch along while waiting for my bus. Another bunch wouldn’t listen. And gee, they were surprised when the bus lift encroached into their territory. I was not polite to them. I had already politely told them it was a bus stop, and not closed yet, but… And they said, “I just didn’t think.” And that’s the problem. Unless they don’t have two good legs, or are involved with people who don’t have two good legs, they can’t envision what you might need. Like a little room.
By this time I was hungry, and thought I would get off the bus at the mall downtown and eat at the food court. Epic Fail. That’s where the put up the bleachers for the fancy folks who actually pay to sit in them. Fools. So they had the park blocked off so that you could get on the bus, but you couldn’t get to the mall. Damn. So, I figured I might just as well ride the bus home, and eat nearer home.
The best pizza place in Seattle is around the corner from me. There is a pizza place nearer, but it isn’t as good. I thought all the restaurants around there would be doing land-office business, but the only one that was busy was the one I wanted to go to. However, since I live in the neighborhood, and they know me and the dog, they tucked me in the corner. And I endeared myself to the waitresses by knowing what I wanted when they came to get the drink order. I tip well, too.
So that took some of the edge off, but I needed some soda. Pop to you midwesterners. I headed to the drug store a block away, but by this time not only were people populating the curb ramps, they were populating the cross streets. Took twice as long, but I got there. Got my goodies, and started home. The plot had thickened, or at least the crowd had. However, it amused me to no end to see a large contingent of folks sitting at the top of Dog Crap Hill, proud of the view they were going to have. And I managed to move some people out of my way so I could get across the street again. I think I’m writing to the police chief and the mayor and everybody else about making it illegal to block the curb ramps. Hell, even people with two good legs would probably like to have a place they could walk, and I imagine it would make it easier for EMS to get to somebody in the back of the crowd, too.
I’m a little crabby. The parade hasn’t even started and the crowd noise is loud here on the 10th floor. Heaven help us when the bands start. But what I’m really dreading is:
- 1.The Seafair Pirates and their damned cannon that scares the bejesus out of Friday every year. Usually I go to the movies, but it’s difficult without Epona.
2. The garbage that will be knee deep when everybody goes home.
3. The plastic air horns that everybody will blow until 2 AM. Or later.
4. The smell of full port-a-potties in the morning.
And yes, Maxine is my hero, and I try to model my life after her.