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Rage on the Fourth of July
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Rage on the Fourth of July

Fall 2005

Winning on a Budget
Winning on a Budget: The winner of the Grand Marshals' Prize wows the reviewing stand.

TAKOMA PARK, MD—The Takoma Park Independence Day Committee has formed a task force to review its operational procedures after a number of “parade rage” incidents marred this past summer’s Fourth of July festivities. “We usually have a few run-ins between spectators,” commented the task force chairperson Miranda Hudson, “but this year even parade participants had anger management issues. Idiots!”

At the top of the task force investigation is the riot that erupted as the GOP-Pride float approached the corner of Maple and Tulip. The float, consisting of a bright red Dodge Ram pickup with a papier-mâché bust of President Bush rotating in the back bed, was accompanied by a small group of Takoma Park Republicans who chanted, “We’re proud to be…G.O.P.! Deal with it!” Onlookers reported that representatives of the Coalition for Peace and Nonviolence pummeled the GOP float with organic tomatoes. “We were just trying to make our presence known,” remarked GOP-Pride chief organizer Guy White, “You know, politically speaking we feel that Takoma Park isn’t all Blue and Green, there are patches of Red too. We just didn’t expect to get covered in red in the process!”

The task force will also investigate the arrest of several members of the group known as “Lawnmowers Against Global Warming.” The group traditionally marches in the parade with push-mowers promoting a truly green approach to lawn care. In this year’s parade they were in the middle of their interpretation of a Scottish reel when six kilted members abruptly broke off and assaulted a man who was mowing his front lawn aboard a riding mower. “We were completing our signature dance when we heard that horrid machine start up, and I guess something just snapped,” admitted group leader Ian MacDougall who was arrested along with five of his comrades. “Aye, it was truly a slap in the face!”

Finally the investigation will look into the clerical error that resulted in the awarding of the Grand Marshal’s Prize to a Budget moving truck that had inadvertently wandered into the parade route in front of the intended recipient of the prize, the Greenbelt Dog Training Marching Drill Team. The driver of the truck, Franklin Stoles, was first enraged when he encountered what he described as a “freak traffic jam.” When informed that he had been awarded the parade’s top honor he became ecstatic. “I’ve never won anything in my life!” Meanwhile the GDTMDT lodged an official complaint but has so far been rebuffed in its efforts. “This breaks our string of 23 award winning entries in parades!” lamented GDTMDT drill sergeant Muffy Schultz.

The investigation has uncovered one bright spot—the incidence of parade related clown-on-clown violence was down by 75% compared to past years. The task force expects to release its full report in November.