Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Zippity Doo Dah

Happy Independence Day!

OK, so I might have been born in Ohio, but I’ve never been to a Doo Dah.

What’s a Doo Dah you ask?

Basically it’s like a mobile Comfest; same hippie intent with added doses of motivation, paper maché, and ridiculousness.

Funny fact…I never knew that Doo Dah abstention was a sin but apparently (according to everybody I spoke to), “How in the hell have you [I/we] never been to a Doo Dah Parade before?!?!?” I took this to heart, considering the horse’s mouth was our 8-rum-and-diets-deep-neighbor-from-Boston. Did I mention this was 11:00 am?

Sorry…I always meant to attend, but the wifey and I are usually still hungover from Comfest this time-o-year. Fortunately for us, we now have a certain little someone that puts us to bed early and makes damn sure we’re Amish by the crack of dawn.

Today, thanks to little Hezekiah, we were up before the barn-raising with a whole lot of nuttin’ to do. After dishes were done and coffee was made, we looked at each other in amazement as the house…get this…hummed silently. The local parades weren’t sparking our fancy and I’ll be damned if Doo Dah wasn’t starting till 1:00, so Doo Dah it was.

We arrived about two hours early, a feat unheard of in usual situations. Fortunately for us we had no preconceived notions of even showing up, so it was easy to be on time.

The streets were surprisingly bare upon arrival and I was beginning to think that this year’s Doo Dah was a bust. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

About a half hour before the parade, the crowd started forming. No big deal. Few people here, few people there. Then the Southwest crowd started showing up. For those of you who’ve never flown Southwest before, I’ll explain it like this. The Southwest people are the people that show up 5 minutes before a flight. Right before the initial boarding call these same people stand right in front of everyone else, thus impeding their voyage to the boarding lines and slowing down early-risers. A small minority (with boarding passes CLEARLY stating “C”, will also join the line in hopes of a jerk-free queue and a consequential “cut” in line. Unfortunately for them, I am not one of these people.

Queen Spray-On and Captain Sleeveless (not their real names, but obvious Southwest frequent fliers), showed up five minutes before the parade with their two Campbell’s Chunky cans in tow. Their friends, obvious to my disdain, suggested that maybe RIGHT IN FRONT OF US was not a good place to camp their Ford Excursion behinds, but being Ohioans, they didn’t seem to think the event called for a democratic vote. Rachel, acting as my Zen harness, quietly slipped me a verbal Prozac and calmed me down.

Regardless, the damage was done and people followed their lead; all flights were boarding and the cattle herd was underway.

I would go on about the orange pelts, but I’ll stop it here. By the way, are Mike and Henry adorable or what?

My point is this (do I ever really have one?): why am I upset that Downtown Columbus, a once a horrible, blah blah blah, nothing-to-do metro area grew into a party too bounding at its britches? Example: ComFest was out of control insane, bordering on where’s-my-wallet-scared in both size and mass, but amazingly, still fun nonetheless. Now Doo Dah, a once financially exhausted event, has taken off to the point that the country club set now surfaces to see how the other half lives? Part of me is insulted, the other part appreciates all the hard work these people have put in over the last few decades to make these events so fun (as well as wonders how I can be insulted, considering this is my first year).

Anyway, an EVENTFUL parade was coming to an end and we had a very grumpy baby in desperate need of a nap. While I pondered various questions, like why we couldn’t revoke the freedoms of Southern cattle, we passed a fire truck loaded up with some of Columbus’ finest. Not ever one to miss a good photo op, I politely asked the firemen if we could trouble them for a shot. Without even thinking twice they scooped Tenzin up. Do we need a picture at the front of the truck or the back of the truck? All of them or us included? Hold on to him or in the Flyer? How old is he? What’s his name? Do you guys live down here? He’s a cutie!

I’ve dealt with firemen before (imagine me, six years old with a pack of matches) but never as a parent. You could see that mini-citizens like Tenzin are what these guys live for. Although it was the Doo Dah parade, far beyond the reaches of suburbia, holidays like this happen solely because of these men and women.

Left wing or right, politically motivated or not, these people are the glue that binds. We began to leave early, but were quickly reminded why we came. If anybody knows anyone in Engine House Number 1, tell them I said thanks.

Yes...that's plaid shorts, Hawaain shirt, tiedye onesie, and newsboy cap. You're just lucky we took his bandanna off.

By the way, here's the link to the Kodak Gallery of the today's festivities. The You Tube channel (in the links section) has also been updated.

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