Monday, September 8, 2008

Nostalgic Despite Myself

This weekend, Slayer had to work, so I took the kids to our local parade. We're living in a pretty small town these days, and we've got the typical small town parade thing going. I wonder what aliens would think of parades:

"Garblesnack here. The Earthpeople have captured some prisoners and garbed them in strange ribbons, probably to denote their prisoner status. Now they're parading them through the streets in a strange ceremony, probably as a precursor to roasting them alive. Oh no! There are hordes of hungry children waiting to tear them limb from limb! What did the female Earthpeople do to deserve such a tragic end?! The female Earthpeople are pelting the young children with small sugary projectiles in the hopes of staving them off! Throw, female Earthperson! Throw like the wind!"

Yeah, we had a lot of beauty queens this year, and some of them had some pretty amazing aim. My poor forehead.

My favorite part is always the marching band, because I spent four years on our high school drum line. This may explain why my books almost always have a female drummer in them, because girl drummers rock the casbah. Now, I was watching our marching band this weekend and feeling a little nostalgic. High School Me would think this is absolutely pitiful. High School Me didn't think that marching band was anything to get all nostalgic about. Then again, High School Me also liked to make fun of people who were lame enough to get married in the gazebo in our town square.

Modern Day Me is that lame.

And really, when I think about it, there isn't much to get nostalgic over. High school marching band was full of embarrassments. Our school colors were yellow and green, and our hats had these big yellow plumes that stood straight up over our heads like unicorn horns. But being in high school, of course we didn't compare them to unicorn horns. We decided that they looked like Big Bird's privates, or what we would imagine Big Bird's privates to look like.

I wonder what Garblesnack would think if he overheard all of us bandies getting dressed before a game:

"Hey! Who took my Big Bird penis? Give it back!"

And we also had these little do-hickeys called "dickies" to wear under our jackets. If you're unfamiliar with the dickie, the concept is simple. It's a faux shirtfront that velcros on around the neck and waist. In our case, the shirtfront was a narrow strip of white ruffles edged with green that you could see peeking out from inside the jacket. And let me tell you, those things were stylin'. You've never seen anything until you've seen the entire tuba line standing around in shorts, long black socks pulled up as high as they'll go, and dickies. No shirts underneath, so it's a good thing they were all guys. Because those dickies were narrow enough that there was definitely some nipple action going on there.

Gotta love the tuba line. They used to stand behind the drum line and make comments about my butt, only they were so hilarious that I could never get offended.

Man, I could go on for days. And while I was in the middle of it, I never realized how great it was. Seems like there's a profound statement about life in there somewhere, but I'm too distracted by dickies and Big Bird's bait and tackle to get there.


Susan Sandmore said...

I was worse than a band geek--I was a band geek hanger-on. They called their plumes "chickens" and the pants made everyone unattractive.

They no longer seem to throw candy at parades where I live. Boo!

Unknown said...

I was in middle school band, and there was this one prep rally where we played Tequila (extremely suitable for middle schoolers, don't you think?) I was only supposed to play the snare but I grabbed my friend's cymbal in the middle of the song and went off on this solo. The band teacher was really angry, but the whole crowd cheered, and I was a hero for about two hours.

Those were the days.

PJ Hoover said...

Oh, dickies! I still have a couple in my dresser somewhere. Is that embarrassing to admit or what?

Tabitha said...

I think I have a future marching band-er in my house. Madonna has a new song with marching band instruments and beat, and every time it comes on the radio my oldest always stops what he's doing and then dances around the room. Hmmm...

Cate Gardner said...

Ooh, they throw sweets in parades in the US! Must buy a plane ticket.

Carrie Harris said...

Susan: Chickens? That makes for a very VERY funny mental picture!

Jeremy: Hilarious. Reminds me of the conniption I had over getting to play the solo for Wipeout.

PJ: You have a dickie collection! I knew I liked you for some reason!

Tabitha: Maybe your oldest can team up with mine. He thinks he's Billy Idol. :)

Catherine: Wanna come to Michigan? Snarf.

Laini Taylor said...

Love "Garblesnack." As for dickies, when I was pretty young I had a chapter book that must have been British, and in it the character got out a marker to draw a bow-tie on his cat's "pure white dicky" and I was scandalized. That poor cat! I had no idea what was going on. I'm not sure when I figured it out :-)

Adrienne said...

They throw candy at parades? Where have I been? I feel gypped.

Carrie Harris said...

Laini, I know exactly what you mean. I had the book version of "Grease" and learned all the words to the songs, having no clue whatsoever about what they meant!

And Adrienne, they throw candy in our small town. Kids also still play outside in the streets on most days, so I think we may be stuck in a time warp. I rather like that, actually.