December 07, 2003
chapel hill christmas parade
the parade went brilliantly. well, except that sarah and georg weren't there :(
dan and i went to pick up the keys'... and they were cleaning their cars. of course! they're pretty fanatical about the car cleaning thing. i'm not so much. in fact, i did a piss-poor job of cleaning spacepod, but honestly-- who besides a car geek is going to notice? even at the slow pace of a parade, people are so overwhelmed by the spectacle-- and are so busy reading the lettering on my car-- that they're not going to notice that my wheels could be a little cleaner.
nevertheless, we had plenty of time to decorate the cars and do last-minute touch-ups when we arrived at the parade line-up. after i'd gotten spacepod, a very enthusiastic woman who was going to be marching ahead of us with a brood of children with signs around their necks insisted on having her picture taken with my car and the alien santa.
(I really love the jingle bell wreath on the luggage rack, so i'm going to leave that on and see how it fares in the winter weather. Hopefully it'll stay nice looking til christmas.)
dan had the brilliant idea that we should drive in a staggered pattern with spacepod and kirby on the left, inky and rhythm on the right. we were very fortunate to have such a good color assortment-- blue and silver, red and green. we had our walkie-talkies so we could talk to each other during the parade, which was fairly amusing.
my boss' boss lives in chapel hill and has little kids. he was at the parade last year, and i wasn't too surprised to see him again this year. i spotted him well before we reached him and pointed him out to everyone over the radio. he's got a good sense of humor, so i told them that they should feel free to give him some hell as we passed by. he was looking elsewhere so i thought we were gonna sneak up on him, but he turned and spotted us coming, and much to my surprised he pointed at me and started yelling! i think it was something along the lines of "HEY! HEY! BIODIESEL!!!" it was actually pretty damn funny. and tim said he yelled "GIVE LISA A RAISE!" as he passed by :)
the local am station, WCHL, was doing live color commentary on the parade. they were a bit baffled by us as we passed; we were listed under "art car" on the parade roster, because sarah just added us to her original registration, and we were also out of position, so they couldn't figure out who the heck we were. so they sent a guy over with a mic to talk to me as we passed. since there was no way to gracefully explain that we were registered as art cars, but weren't actually art cars-- nor was there any point-- i put on my best radio voice and plugged the hell out of Newbug Carolinas . we may not be a very active club-- well, ok, we're not active at ALL-- but i might as well get publicity wherever i can!
about 3/4 of the way through the parade, tim suggested we try to do some fancy driving, like the shriners on their little trikes. we did a little weaving, but just didn't have room to do anything really cool. i was actually pretty busy trying not to run over the cub scouts in front of us, because they kept darting into the crowd and back to distribute candy. due to the 14" christmas tree in my bud vase, it was a little difficult to see :) but that's something we'll have to plan for next year.
(another note for next year-- bring hot beverages and some food. it's cold, and i found out later the keys' never had breakfast because they didn't have time.)
just as we entered carrboro, my cell rang-- it was tyler . he's a freshman at UNC now and was pretty excited to hang out with us. well, i really wanted to talk to him so i answered my phone-- and of course one of the parade spectators started yelling at me to get off my cell phone. "You're breaking at least three laws!!" sigh. I told Tyler I'd call him back after the parade was over.
there was one particularly crowded point where the street was quite narrow and there were HUGE crowds on either side of the street. someone asked me to honk my horn, which i did rather timidly. the whole crowd cheered! it was pretty amazing, actually, i didn't really expect a reaction like that!
it's a pretty long parade, and smiling, waving, not running over cub scouts, keeping a manual transmission car going at a semi-steady 3mph, talking on the radio, and trying to keep warm all takes a toll, so we weren't sorry when it was over-- but everyone was pretty elated, said it was a lot of fun and they definitely seem to want to come back for the parade again next year. so that's good.
we arranged a well-coordinated pickup of tyler from franklin street after the parade, and then headed out to the q shack for lunch. sarah and georg did meet us there with undersea mah jongg. i think nicky especially loved sarah's car, and tim said that he may take the golf that he's saving for nicky and make it into an art car to sidestep the body work that it needs.
tim likes to fix things for other people; i think it's one of the ways he shows affection. anyway, he noticed that my aluminum billet antenna had gotten bent-- i must have done that while removing the decorations too hastily. but he fixed it! it's perfectly straight now-- and he noticed that it was developing a haze of oxidation. "Shel-- get the billet cleaner!" she emerged with a bottle of this lavendar stuff, which he used to polish the antenna back to its original sheen. tim rocks! he makes me feel kinda bad that i don't take better care of spacepod. oh well.
there's more i guess, but i'm tired of writing, and you're no doubt tired of reading.
Posted by lisa at December 07, 2003 01:39 AM | TrackBack