Sunday, March 17, 2013
St. Patrick's Day
The only fire-breather I know lives in Texas. Also, the only woman I've ever met who didn't know she was pregnant until the baby was crowning. Also, the only person I know who owns an air cannon for the specific purpose of launching tee-shirts into a crowd—this person, too, lives in Texas.
I mention the last because Texas loves itself a St. Patrick's Day celebration. In Chicago, I never questioned the parades and the river dyed green, but the first time Dustin and I tried to take the light rail to the movie theater and found ourselves pressed among revelers in varying states of inebriation and Leprechaun-inspired costuming, I was unprepared.
I was also unprepared, a year later, when friends invited us down to the beach and we saw them next as pirates on a parade float, the green of green beads rubbing off on their sweaty necks, the pirates throwing more of the same to the outstretched hands lining the parade route, and from the prow of the boat twirling the ends of green feather boas. I had, until then, been most charmed by the golf cart resurfaced for the parade in an armor of green Solo cups, but upon seeing us, waiting as we were at the end of the route, our friends the pirates jumped off their pirate boat float and walked us back to the beach house—but only after the last green tee-shirt was launched, not at the boy yelling for it and standing close enough to take the apparel projectile point-blank in the chest, but over him, deeper into the crowd, the cannon launcher aiming towards us and connecting instead with the woman in front of us, who grasped the shirt in her green-painted fingernails and jumped up and down.