Tuesday, June 26, 2012


FaveYou always meet some folks at the parade. Usually it's a flyby. They take your picture or you admire each other's costumes and that's the last you see of them. Sometimes you get a second chance, though.

This delicious young lady (seriously, could you not just bury your face in those cheeks and feast?) was milling around with her parents while we were all getting randomly lined up to march. As we stood there wondering what was happening she stared at us in our boney greasepaint and asked her mother, none to quietly, "Can I ask what they are?" Mom said yes so over she walked the 3 feet to where we stood.

"What are you?" she asked each of us individually.

We replied in turn, "A ghost mermaid."

She remained respectfully skeptical.

The halfway point of the parade is on a side street, just past the reviewing stand, next to the Cyclone roller coaster. There's about half a block without spectators where one can regroup or hike up one's descending froth of tulle (ahem) before the boardwalk portion of the festivities begins. You don't want to be underprepared for that.

Untitled A moment after we shook off the confusion of the review I caught sight of our curious friend again. She was not asking questions anymore. She was, in fact, sobbing. Latched onto her helpless father's neck she wailed and lamented in a genuine way, though not yet quite out of control. I don't know whether she'd tripped or been disappointed, or what but at that point in the day I was tired and thirsty and sweaty and discombobulated. The whole collapsing into a heap of tears was understandable.

We had saved back some strands of special silver beads to throw when we got to the boardwalk. I dipped into the stash and untangled one string from the pack. Hurrying over to our flagging fishy fellow I gently touched her back and told her what a good job she was doing. When she looked up, shushing while she decided what she thought this big, toothy buttinsky, I quickly slid the beads over her head and told her something about how we thought she deserved them. Then I told her to come on along and join us because the best part of the parade was right up that ramp.

On my way to catch up to the rest of the ghosts, who were muscling our cart over the curb, a photographer swung by me and quietly said, "That was nice. Well done."

He might be right but I didn't have time to look back and see if it worked. I never saw my 2nd favorite* mermaid again. I'm just going to believe she took the boardwalk by storm.

Imp Mermaid

*Alita will, of course, always be my favorite mermaid.


  1. well done indeed, and those cheeks? wow ... 2nd favorite isn't a hard call to make.