5 days. I’m just sayin’. 35 in 5 days. Respect. My sister’s birthday was yesterday, and she’s 21 now. 21. We adopted her when she was 9 days old. God, I’m ancient. (Clickity-click on that Amazon button, my pretties. Daddy needs some prezzies.)

Every year around this time, when the leaves all fall off the tree (and into my yard, because we just HAD to have the house with the most trees, and now every time I blow those evil things, rake ’em into piles, bag ’em, and breathe a sigh of relief, down come 244959223994 more, mocking me) and a chill is in the air (or in THIS case, a damn bone-numbing, warmth-lacking, witch’s titty of a frigid cold snap), our thoughts turn to pleasant things (certainly NOT our credit card bills, or that bad case of Dunlap disease; you know, where your belly “dunlap” over your belt) like yuletide, caroling, jolly old St. Nick, and Christmas parades.

Usually we gather all our earthly belongings, made a few dozen gallons of hot chocolate, get on the southbound DART train (hopefully the one that doesn’t smell like urine and unemployment), and trek into scenic (and by ‘scenic’ I mean ‘utterly empty and devoid of human life except whenever I want to be there’) downtown Dallas to catch the Christmas parade. I’ve watched and participated in numerous parades in my day, but I must say, Dallas puts on a nice one. Not only do they have floats and Miss Hicktown Hayeater riding on someone’s Corvette, they have balloons. Real balloons, just like in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, only not quite as big. Still, they float way up in-between the buildings, and the handlers spin ’em around and around. It’s pretty damn cool, but you have to get there at half-past the crack of dawn just to get a good spot on the street…otherwise you’ll have a seat similar to Lee Harvey Oswald’s, only with a much worse view. Then, in order to not get sucked into the 25,000 people who all decided to take the train, you wait around down there, eating lunch and walking about like a damn tourist until you think train traffic’s decreased to the point where your claustrophobia won’t kick in, and you take your hour ride back to your car, and then home. A whole day, basically, all to see a bunch of people walk and ride down the street. Damn all that.

This year we opted for something simpler – the Plano Christmas parade. Plano is, of course, a suburb of Dallas, and much closer to where we live, so we figured why not? Well, as you might imagine, the Plano version offered a different flavor than the Dallas extravaganza offered. Pictures? Why, YES!

I sincerely hope this was just for the parade, and that the cops don’t really use these things to catch criminals. It’s just a little…gay. No offense.

This is Grinch #3 of the parade. I didn’t get pics of the first two, because…well, who expects to see more than one? I decided to track ’em after I saw this guy.

Aw, isn’t this the cutest thing? It’s a miniature DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) bus. The full-sized ones go maybe 3 miles per hour faster than this one.

What is this, “Back To The Future”? No. Digging the moose antlers on the Jeep, though. What’s that you say? It’s supposed to be reindeer antlers? My bad. Looks like Bullwinkle sittin’ on 22s, to me.

Grinch #4. Pay close attention to the front of the truck. Can you see the little dog suspended there in midair? That was pretty cool.

Ooooo, it’s a gingerbread house made of corrugated cardboard! I still saw a kid nibbling on it, though.

Damn. Couldn’t even get the kid a real camel. Or is this a new species, Radious Flyeris?

Too much acid, maaaaaan…way too much acid.

I LOVED this float. I had never before seen a helicoptor float in a Christmas parade. I praise their ingenuity.

As the driver drove down the street, he seriously yelled “What? It’s a float! It FLOATS!” This is pure, unadulterated laziness here.

Grinch #5. Dear sweet baby Jesus. Couldn’t anyone be a Frosty or a Rudolph or even Ralphie from “A Christmas Story”?

Loving…this…costume. The presents as shoes? Priceless.

Hey Fyrchk, I heard he’s available. Want me to get them digits for ya?

Grinch #6. You have to admire their sticktoitiveness. They found a theme, and they ran with it. 6 freakin’ Grinches. Perhaps they figured that we all had ADD, and wouldn’t remember seeing FIVE OTHERS. Even I noticed that shit.

“Mustache rides are free, guys. I mean, girls. Girls. Yes. Girls.”

Ghetto Spider-Man don’t be swingin’ on no webs, baby. Ghetto Spider-Man strolls. Um, can Ghetto Spider-Man borrow $5 till payday? No, YOUR payday.

Interstate Batteries and Christmas go hand in hand.

At first I thought it was a Shetland pony. Then I thought it was the skinniest cow in the history of ever. Then I realized it was one of those Marmaduke dogs, painted up like a dalmation. All this dog needed was a saddle.

911 is a joke in your town.

After this, Santa himself came down, fabulous in his splendor. He wasn’t remarkable enough to warrant a picture. Just a regular ol’ Santa, riding on the back of a flatbed through Plano, Texas. No sleigh, no reindeer, just Santa on a flatbed, just like nature intended. Next year, we’re hitting Dallas.

Peace.

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