[StBernard] Parading

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue Mar 13 10:11:41 EDT 2007

I've learned a few things on Sunday's Irish, Italian, Islenos parade or
(eye, y'ai eye, for short). One, I've learned that "ducking" is the key to
not getting beaned during a cabbage throw. ;)

Firstly, do not attempt to take video of the parade while using a digital
camera in the other hand simultaneously. Primarily, because you tend to put
your guard down for "imcomin' missiles" (aka cabbage, onions, Domino Sugar
bottles, potatoes, carrots, and a swaddling of Mardi Gras Beads from any
range of directions of tiers of float riders. It hurts. In fact, someone
next to me had to have an ambulance called because it beamed him unconscious
with a gash to the head (the EMT took 5 minutes ;)

Secondly, well, while that was happening, we're told an altercation occurred
instigated by someone who decided to throw a beer bottle near/towards
someone' child, we're told. It took 30 or 40 cops to stop the battle which
escalated to several (and perhaps multiple arrests) culprits/combatants.
Cops running here, culprits running there, then one would see cops running
there, and combatants running here, followed up with handcuffs and

I felt so sorry for the poor guy that collected the thrown object with his
forehead. Perhaps he got the attention of two riders at the same moment and
focused on but one. His plight and attention needed was lost in the action
of the fistfights.

Too bad, because I got TWO "meat cleavers" (yes, not a typo!) thrown at my
body which landed bluntly, luckily. Imagine, these 6 inch non-sheathed
blades hurling towards someone's eyes or chest? What are these riders
thinking outside of safety riding and throws? Certainly, it's not a
complement to the tasty vegetables for the consummate cook? Sorry, but I
already have a meat clever and I didn't get it thrown by last year's riders
but bought one at Target.

There's always a moral to most good stories I read. I wouldn't wish to read
a story that didn't have one, since I'm from the old school that believes
people learn from stories that teach good lessons. This story was about a
day of happiness (and I believe that I was makin' rather merry) marred by
violence whereas someone who can't drink without
responsibility-----shouldn't at all, where a parade organization should be
reprimanded for those sadistically throwing hard and dangerous items (one
can remember changes made by the Zulu Club for once throwing their jungle
cocoanuts), that follow the law of gravity towards a catcher on the
receiving end.

Wasn't beads (which almost seem to travel at the speed of light with the
correct arm) hard enough to give someone a lump or bead burn?

I'm rethinking next year's event. My 3 yr. old grandchild didn't make it
with me this year. I kept her home with her dad this year because we wanted
to give my daughter a break so as to be entertained (the old "peace and
quiet" condition). As a rule, I would have had to hold her in my arms or on
my shoulder so that she can see the parade and not be affected by
bead-catchers. I don't know if we've beaten "FATE" and a meat cleaver,
getting smacked with hard vegetables or in the line of fire from
altercations which could have included weapons of mass destruction to
innocent parade-goers.

--Pray for peace and harmony.


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