Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day For The Unemployed

The Long Weekend
The Parade
Monday, there was a parade. I stood on the sidewalk watching the floats and the marching bands go by; and the representatives from the "United" this and the "United" that. There were the pipefitters, the electricians, the Communications workers, etc.
I couldn't but wonder why I wasn't a member of the "United" anything. I noticed how generally plump (borderline obese) were all the marchers, and wondered how many would have to drop out of the parade, before completing the course.
People Turn Into Seagulls
The family standing in front of myself and a friend, consisted of two adults, presumably the parents, and two portly (borderline obese) kids. Whenever a float came by, and candy was thrown, this whole family scrambled for it in a manner which I hadn't seen since watching seagulls going after bits of food thrown to a flock of them.
I made casual motions to bend down and retrieve a thrown piece of candy or gum from the ground, only to see it whisked away by one of the members of the two families who stood in front of me, "boxing" me out, the way a basketball player is taught to do, when they want to secure a rebound, and to prevent others from doing the same.
There was little conversation. None of them turned around to offer a word or less, a smile.
They were all business. They had sacks in which to store their candy and gum in.
I watched in disbelief, and continued to test them, by showing an interest in getting one of the thousands of Tootsie Rolls, and the like, which were raining down from out of the passing floats. I told my friend, Thomas, that I was going to stamp my foot down on the wrist of one of the kids and grab the candy from out of their now-useless hand.
I figured that, at some point, at least one of the more mature members of the families would conclude that they had gotten enough, and would defer to myself, and a friend of mine, who stood with me, and let us have a few Tootsie Rolls. This was not the case. They continued to contest every piece of gum, every string of beads, every frisbee thrown in our general direction, until the parade was over.

"You Are The Most Selfish People That I Have Ever Seen In My Life"I was ready to say, to the whole family; mom, dad, 11 year old girl, 9 year old boy: "You are the most selfish people that I've ever seen in my life. What the hell are you going to do with all that candy, anyways?"
That was what I took away from the Labor Day Parade in Mobile, Alabama. Every family that I saw at the event, seemed to be equally competitive for the free treats.
I had thought that the homeless were bad, in the way they act like pidgeons, but I'm starting to think that it is a cultural thing.

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