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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Parade won't be as sweet

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Since I was a little kid I have loved parades. And what's not to like? There are the bands, police cars, fire trucks, pretty girls riding in convertibles, politicians handing out stickers and, of course, getting to see horses poop in public. But the greatest thing about parades is coming away with bags of candy.

Of course, this year there will be no candy thrown at the Cotton Carnival Parade. Myself along with the hundreds of kids who frequent the parade have been devastated by this news. A parade without having candy thrown is just a line of cars and people walking down the road. I can see that every day, so why even go to the parade?

I know there has been a safety issue with stupid kids darting out in front of cars trying to get the candy. A good parent would just throw a leash on their kid like my wife does me. Granted it is a little embarrassing but every time I get close to a tire my wife jerks me back to the curb like a yo-yo.

What amazes me though is that it took until 2008 for this to become a problem. This is going to be the 63rd Cotton Carnival Parade and it has taken officials until now to put a stop to the throwing of candy? Was it not a problem in 1965 or 1985? I guess times were different back then and I remember it well.

Trust me, in some neck of the woods I was known as a candy-grabbing god as a child. I knew the tricks to scoring all kinds of candy. Things like positioning yourself at the beginning of the parade and surrounding yourself with other cute children and parents who know a lot of people were key. A polite wave instead of screaming "Give me candy!" always worked and you had to be quick and mean. My bony elbows always came in handy when it came to working my way around a crowd of kids loaded up on sugar needing another fix.

But somewhere along the way something went wrong. I blame adults. That's right, adults. First, who is throwing this candy now, Bob Noodlearm? How can you not get candy from the middle of the street to the curb. I could throw the stuff behind my back with my left hand and still get it to the curb. And if you get candy to the curb you don't have to worry about running over kids in the middle of the street. Maybe there should be tryouts for who is allowed to throw the candy. You know, like baseball tryouts.

Unfortunately, that isn't the only way parents screwed up. I wasn't kidding about the leash. Some of these parents who refuse to watch their children during the parade just need to invest in one. Then the kid can only go so far or pull their parent out into the path of traffic, too.

Of course, if parents would actually discipline their kids there would be no need for a leash. If I would have run out in front of a car at a parade my dad probably would have made me stand there until the car hit me and then said something like "see, doesn't feel good does it?" Then he would have spanked me and wouldn't let me get any more candy the rest of the parade. I would have learned that running out in front of cars meant no candy and broken bones.

And what parent hasn't taught their child that getting hit by a car is not a good thing? A car is going to win that battle every time. Maybe Dora the Explorer needs to spend more time teaching children they shouldn't get hit by cars instead of teaching them how to say "I want a banana" in Spanish.

Not to mention the throwing of candy is completely against the anti-littering campaign of Sikeston. The littering hotline would have been lit up with people calling in complaining of candy being thrown from cars and the Tootsie Roll wrappers that lined the street. Our mayor might have had a coronary every time he saw a handful of candy go out the window.

So because of puny arms, bad parenting of a few and city officials who care way too much about littering, there will be no more candy thrown at the parade and that hurts the economy of Sikeston. No more buying bags of candy from grocery stores. No more doctors appointments for the children with stomach aches and no more cavities for dentists to treat. And no more candy for sarcastic columnists. Thanks adults. Way to screw it up for everyone!

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David Jenkins
Sarcasm De Jour by David Jenkins