I was in a Fourth of July parade. I know, I know, Big Freakin' Deal. Well, it was for me.
Allow me to explain. I don't like parades. The whole idea of sitting on the side of the road and watching people and vehicles move past me doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. I just don't get it. I've seen fire trucks while I'm driving around. I see marching bands at football games, and even then, I can't stand them. Why sit on the side of the road and watch them? When we're at Disney and the parades start, I run the other way.
Anywho, I got the job of driving the Gator behind the local high school marching band. My job was pretty simple. Follow the band and pickup anyone who passes out. Bring out your dead. Fortunately, none of the band members passed out or had any injuries, so my job was pretty easy.
Except when my fans saw me...
I was just driving the Gator and not looking at the crowds. I figured I was just backup for the band, and any action by myself would detract from the band. So, I just played it cool. I tried to keep about 10 to 15 feet behind the band and faced foward. Pay no attention to the man on the Gator. I was doing good until "Hey, kmcardle, Hey, Hey, kmcardle, Hey!". I was forced to turn and wave. For the most part, my fans were other band parents. I'd give a little wave, and be on my way. Then the group of just graduated band members saw me. "kmcardle!" "Lookin' sexy" (not that I minded that one) "kmcardle, yo!" "hey, it's kmcardle, look, it's kmcardle." It was one of those moments at a party when you say something just after the noise level has dropped and everyone turns to look at you for what you have just said. I of course, had said nothing, but it felt like every person watching the parade took that moment to stare at me. Just the paranoia acting up.
All in all, it was a good experience. The really neat part, for my inner geek was that the Gator in question was an E-Gator. All electronic. Great acceleration. Quiet as all get out. The only thing you hear when this thing moves is the sound of the tires rubbing on the road. Really cool.
And, when we got home, a two hour Junkyard Wars was on. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.