Before I moved here, what did I know about parades? I'll tell you.
I watched them on TV over the holidays and saw throngs of people smiling, with floats, and blow-up balloons, and mayors and beauty queens. That was it.
But now - in my own neighborhood - I actually expect policemen on every corner with those horn-things, stopping thru-street traffic, with barriers and whistles. Making my life - temporarily - miserable.
As I yelled to one cop from the street, "I NEED TO GET TO RALPH'S IN MY CAR!" "Yeah, lady, well, you'll just have to wait for it all to end." "Like for how long?" "Forever," he answered. Funny, you jerk.
So back up to my loft I go. A prisoner of parades. The good news though is that I have a front row seat - even if I am trapped inside. I've seen thousands of teachers protest. They are very quiet. An endless stream of policemen in formation on motorcycles. They are very noisy. I've watched the flamboyant Cinco de Mayo parade, the horsy Ecuadorian parade, and on and on and on.
One parade though - took the big cake in the sky. I literally felt my building shake. I also heard what sounded like a rumble of humanity, and I looked out my window and saw a sea of people, looking like colorful M&M's.
En masse they shouted again and again, "Viva la," "Viva la," "Viva la," - which means "long live the" - but truthfully I couldn't figure out the end of the sentence or what they were viva la-ing about. Yet, they seemed so strong and forceful and determined.
At that moment, I decided (since there was no way I was going out into that crowd) I would "Viva la" things I saw from my loft window. So when they shouted, so did I. I screamed "Viva la LA Times Building!" "Viva la Bradbury Building!" "Viva la murals!"
I was so revved up, I starting viva la-ing the things in my loft.. "Viva la bed!" "Viva la Mac!" "Viva la chopsticks!"
"Viva la chopsticks!" ????????
Granted I do find forks and knives dangerous. Particularly if you aren't wearing your glasses. But, I don't even use chopsticks.
It was then that I knew, that I had become a parade victim, and I quickly dialed 911. "So what's your problem, lady?" "I'm stuck in a parade and I can't get out."