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A parade in winter? Sacre' bleu!

So we're very close to the official start of the holiday season here in the Twin Ports: the Christmas City of the North Parade. (The unofficial start of the holiday season varies from year to year depending on how long it takes my neighbor to turn on the lights that he never took down the year before but at least had the decency to stop plugging in around Arbor Day.) The Christmas City Parade not only marks the start of that long, slow, inexorable crawl to the holidays, it also shows the rest of the world just how silly we are here in Duluth.

(Californian: "Dude, who has a parade in November? All the roses would, like, crystallize and die, man. You're harshin' my mellow.")

(Georgian: "Yee-hah! We have a Duluth, too, but they ain't as hornswaggled as all that. What happened up there to y'all? Did a bear kick ya in the head?")

(Parisian: "Sacre bleu! I love ze extremity numbness caused by win-tair. But a parade? Don't ze French horns freeze in zat wea-thair? Oui!")

Hasty generalizations aside, everyone loves the Christmas City Parade, except for the people who actually participate in it. For instance, our daughter Kaylee is a senior, so this will be the last parade she marches in with her high school band. This fact makes her giddier than Darren Danielson unwrapping a new toupee on Christmas morning. I recently interviewed Kaylee to get her thoughts on her final frozen trek down Superior Street:

ME: Kaylee, why won't you miss the Christmas City of the North Parade?

KAYLEE: *grunt*

ME: You seem more articulate than usual today. I guess you have strong feelings on this subject.

KAYLEE: *double grunt*

ME: Well said.

I should note that, although it may appear that she was being surly, this interview did take place at 6 a.m. on a school day. Any sort of attempt at communication at this hour is usually met with sullen silence. Since there was an actual response, I could tell she was fired up. I dug out my Teenager Translation Guide and transcribed those monosyllables.

"I love the parade! Itchy band uniforms that stink like moldy ducks! Slipping across icy bricks for an hour and a half! Frostbitten everything! What's not to love?!!"

Hmmm. Either the guide doesn't know how to read sarcasm or my kid has finally embraced her last parade. Either way, I'll be cheering her on from the comfy confines of my warm living room. I'm not standing outside in November.

Do I look French?

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at twitter.com/rchickentheater, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at www.RubberChickenTheater.com. He would like to wish his beautiful wife Sue “happy birthday” this weekend and he promises not to reveal her age in this year’s column. It would be rude to do that to a 45-year-old woman.

Brian Matuszak

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at twitter.com/rchickentheater, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater and visit their website at RubberChickenTheater.com.

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