Tuesday, July 4, 2017
The simultaneous firing of a thousand black and chrome motorcycle engines will not drown out the drone of bagpipe inflation. Fire truck sirens scream and the people gathered on the square clap and shout: the parade of death is begun. The Parade Marshal, dressed as Old Man Unle Sam and seated on the back of a borrowed convertible, next to the Poultry Queen (wearing her tiara and ceremonial sash of feathers and throwing chicken feed to the crowd) waves, and the people cheer again. The armed honor guard follows close behind to ensure the audience, the whole audience, and everyone in the audience makes the necessary, and obligatory salute to the glorious flag.
We seat ourselves again as a motorcade of classic cars with aoooogah horns passes by. They are followed by a hundred different tractors (Farmall, John Deere, International Harvester) each one towing a nuclear tipped ICBM behind.
A troop of tap dancing children and star-spangled gymnasts waves at us. We wave back. The high school marching band blared out the school fight song. We sing along. Behind us a trio of unsupervised teenagers light a string of firecrackers and throws them into the street.
War veterans of the last seven wars in a fleet of jeeps and humvees with mounted machine guns drive by us now. They swing their machine guns back and forth in an arc along the crowds on either side of the street. They pull the triggers and fire. The crowd screams in delight; the guns have been fitted out with water cannons. It is great fun.
The trio of teenagers light another explosive. Larger this time. One of them loses a finger in the blast. The crowd cheers again. It is great fun.
Soldiers on tanks throw candy bars and chewing gum. Hellfire missile drones fly over dropping t-shirts and bumper stickers. Bombs burst in midair and in the rockets' red glare red glare we scramble in the gutters for free candy and merchandise. It is, everyone agrees, great fun for all.