These Friday Fragments are brought to you by the lovely Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time. She has funnier ones there.
Alpha rode in the bike rodeo at her school today, and I went down to watch her. There was a pretty good crowd of parents there — I guess it's not hard to coax people to start their Memorial Day weekend a few hours early. Alpha's bike had several parents reliving their childhoods. "Is that a sissy bar? I had a banana seat and a sissy bar!" "Is that a vintage bike?" "No, it's gotta be retro; see how thick those tubes are?" "Yeah. You know what the worst thing is about how thick they make them these days? You can't clip a playing card on with a clothes pin to make noise." "You used playing cards? We always used baseball cards." "You know, this time last year, in the dollar bins at Target, they had a little gadget that would fit on the bike and make noise. My mother-in-law got one for each of the kids." "Really?"
Another conversation among the parents was much less fun. One of the moms was attacked on her early-morning jog. Fortunately, she and her attacker weren't the only people awake at that hour, and a witness hollering out of a nearby window scared the attacker away. I'm glad the school principal sent home an e-mail warning parents, but I think she went too far when she suggested children should not so much as say hello to anyone they don't know. I think it's possible to be safe without being rude — I'm not talking about engaging strangers in conversation; I'm just talking about saying a simple, "Hello," or "Good afternoon," as you pass someone on the street. If the idea of "don't trust anyone over 30" created a generation gap, I think this notion of "don't trust anyone over 13" is far more dangerous.
OK, I can see how you could possibly get from Point A to Point B, but "Byfuglien" = BUFF-len? Really? This is just going to mess with my mind through the whole Stanley Cup.
The girls are much less thrilled with being in the Memorial Day parade now that they realize they will be among the people throwing the candy, not among the people gathering the candy. (If you sit where we usually do, near, but not too close to, the beginning of the route, you can come home with a haul rivaling Halloween. The kids who sit near the end of the route, though, are lucky if they end up with a couple of Starlight Mints.)
As for me, I don't care if I'm marching or watching, or where I sit, as long as I never, ever have reason to ride with the Gold Star Mothers.