Every year, The Girl Child wants to be in the parade. She's walked as a Brownie and she's walked as a Girl Scout. We dropped Scouts this year for a variety of reasons including but not limited to:
1. The meeting time was not convenient.
1. The meeting time was not convenient.
So, this year, she was "invited" by the local newspaper to walk with the Jr. Reporters. She is a junior reporter for her school and is given various assignments throughout the year. I always try to get her to write some type of expose piece on the corruption within the Catholic school system in our town but she always rolls her eyes at me and tells me that she has to write about the new construction, or "stuff that's happening around the school," or whatever assignment she was given. These junior reporter types take their assignments very seriously. I'm trying to direct her to the big news pieces, she's more worried about getting her name in the byline on the piece about the new cafeteria that will be ready sometime in the Spring of 9785 at the pace it's going now.
Anyway, The Girl Child was lured to the parade with the promise of a sweatshirt and cups of hot cocoa after the parade. Nothing tempts a nine year old like a sweatshirt with "Jr. Reporter" on the back and the local paper's logo on the front. She's only a nine year old after all and those swarthy newspaper types know how to lure these kids in.
So, it's Sunday morning, it's very cold, it's rainy, it's windy and it's very cold. Also, it was very cold. I get a text message on my phone and I'm super excited because I just KNOW that the parade has been cancelled due to crappy weather.
I check the text and it says that the parade will go on. Obviously, there are some seriously deranged people involved in the decision making process regarding the parade. Either that, or a lot of folks shelled out some serious moolah for their floats and they were threatening to occupy some part of downtown so the parade people caved to the pressure and decided to have it anyway.
That afternoon, I come up from the basement after watching some riveting television and The Spouse says, "We need to leave the house before 4:00p.m. in order to get The Girl Child to her meeting place for the parade."
I respond with, "Ummmm....it's rainy and cold and windy and cold and icky and cold outside. And, mostly, it's cold out and I can't go outside when it's cold."
She gave me that one look, the one that she thinks is intimidating, and said, "We are going to the parade. You are going to drop me and The Boy Child off in front of the newspaper building and then you are going to take The Girl Child to her meeting point in the park."
I gave her my look...the one that says, "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?!" and I said, "Ummm...no, I'm not."
She responded, "Yes, you are." It was said rather firmly.
I looked back at her and said, "Nuh-uh!"
Then, The Spouse just stood there for a minute, looking at me like I'm some insect she's about to squash, and she says, "YES, YOU ARE! Your daughter is walking in the parade and you are going to drop me and The Boy Child off at our spot and then YOU are going to take her to the park and help her meet up with her group!"
I didn't miss a beat and responded with, "I'm moving to Tybee Island and you can't come. They don't let mean pushy people come on the island, you know. It's also not 32 FREAKING DEGREES WITH A 90 MILE PER HOUR WIND THERE!"
She looks back at me and says, "You are going to the parade."
I have been known to get all religious on people and I just looked at her and said, "I'm rebuking that!"
I guess she wanted to try some pop psychology on me and asked me, "Why don't you want to go to the parade?"
I replied, "Because it is cold outside and I don't like being cold. I'm old, I'm fat and I'm very sensitive to cold weather. I hate being cold. I wouldn't be cold if I were living on Tybee right now."
She said, "You don't live on Tybee, you live here. It's cold but you won't die from it. You are going to the parade and you are going to enjoy it. You don't want to hurt The Girl Child's feelings by not going, do you?"
I don't fall into the pop psychology trap easily so I said, "I could live on Tybee and, given the choice between going back there or staying here and walking in this stupid parade, I bet The Girl Child would skip the parade in a heartbeat. No hurt feelings to worry about then!"
She sat there for a minute just looking at me with a blank stare and said, "You aren't going to Tybee, she isn't going to Tybee. You are going to the parade. She is going to the parade. You will do exactly as I tell you and you will enjoy it!" She must think she has hypnotic powers of suggestion or something because she said it slowly and in a real low tone. Lucky for me, I don't believe in hypnosis or the power of suggestion so it didn't work.
I thought I was going to respond, but when I looked up I found myself wearing jeans, heavy socks, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, my winter coat, gloves, a scarf and a hat while driving to the downtown area.
It's all a blur but I distinctly remember dropping her and The Boy Child off at the newspaper office and driving to the park. I also remember standing in the freezing cold for an eternity waiting for the newspaper people with the sweatshirts to show up. Then, I know I ended up parking in the lot behind the newspaper and taking up residence in the chair beside my wife in downtown Our Town.
If you look at the picture, you'll see that I'm all bundled up and I have a BEACH TOWEL covering my legs! I'm not sure how or why I had a beach towel unless my subconscious self was warring with the voodoo she used on me and the beach towel was some form of rebellion on my behalf. Even though I was under some hypnotic spell, I still managed to be cold and miserable.
The Spouse posted this picture on Facebook during the parade. I bet she earned some voodoo credits with the local voodoo priestess chapter.
My mother called me and told me I looked like a homeless person. I tried to explain that I was married to a Voodoo High Priestess and that I only looked that way because my wife had obviously sacrificed some poor chicken and said an incantation. She doesn't believe me, though. Maybe she's under The Spouse's control, too.
First chance I get to break free, I'm headed for Tybee Island!