78704th of July
The cool thing about the Gay Pride parade - aside from the fact that it is, naturally, FABulous - is the crowd. The crowd is also fabulous; it's a great mix of gays and lesbians, friends and family of gays and lesbians, and people who are just there for the spectacle, all mixed together and laughing and happy and friendly. The excited crowd presses gradually forward as the classic cars and floats go by, until every so often a few of the marchers must coax the spectators back onto the sidewalks because they're making the parade route too narrow for some of the floats, which toss out trinkets - beads, literature, promotional items, candies, glowsticks, and little packets of flavored lubricants and condoms - to the crowd.
Ribbed condoms, in fact, which leads me to ask if any women reading this actually enjoy them; because while the packaging says they're "for her pleasure," the only time I ever used one (or it was, more accurately, used on me; or actually "on" is probably not the correct preposition, but I don't want to get too graphic here), it felt like being internally sandpapered, which, incidentally, I do not enjoy; or at least I imagine that I wouldn't, based on not having cared much for the whole ribbed condom experience, and also on the fact that it just sounds very unpleasant, not to mention a little more weird than my tastes, which in many ways, let's face it, are pretty vanilla, would allow; which brings me to suspect that the advertising executives who are blithely assuring us that the ribbing is for our benefit are indeed, not to put too fine a point on it, men.
But I digress.
Anyway, the 78704th parade was not so much like that in that it's a great deal smaller, the parade route is much longer, and there are not so many spectators - a few scattered neighborhood residents here and there along the route, probably outnumbered by the marchers - especially since, as the whole thing ends up with a bandstand and cookout at Little Stacy Park, the spectators simply join the parade at the tail end and march or bicycle along with it to its terminus.
And no Flying Spaghetti Monster this year - unless he was straggling way behind and I missed him. I was bummed. But Lloyd Doggett was in the parade, and somebody did throw me a string of red beads.
No condoms, though. Maybe next year.