Random musings on things distantly related to each other, sometimes: The best entry in the annual Alameda Fourth of July Parade is always the "People Who Weren't in the Parade Last Year" entry, which is basically just a car full of people who weren't in the parade last year with a handwritten sign taped to the side of the car designating them as such. This year, they were there again, although they had not been there before. They always ride along and wave to the crowd as if they were official and important, like some sort of municipal dignitaries or real estate brokers or Santa. This year, the people who weren't in the parade last year were the "People Who Weren't in the Parade Last Year -- On a Boat," riding in a boat pulled by a car with a sign designating them as such. What'll the people who weren't in the parade this year think of next? The overall best thing about the Alameda parade is that it is in Alameda and not Muscatine, Iowa. Muscatine may be very beautiful, leading Mark Twain to have once commented thusly on the town's summer sunsets: "I have never seen any, on either side of the ocean, that equaled them." But it was so hecka hot on the Fourth, it nearly equaled the surface of the sun instead. My sister-in-law called to say they'd all gone down to Muscatine to watch the local parade, but it was 100 degrees in the shade with 80 percent humidity, so she left and was sitting with her granddaughter in the car about a half mile away from the festivities with the A/C on full blast. The American way.
Too much of a small thing In the summer, I like to buy refreshing clementines, but why do clementines, small as they are, always come in such a huge bag from the store? I cannot eat 40 clementines (I counted). And certainly not fast enough so they don't turn into little fuzzballs, and not the good kind of fuzzball -- like Chewbacca "laughing it up," as referred to by Han Solo -- but the shriveled kind of fuzzballs of green moldiness that more closely resemble Yoda. Such huge quantities of produce don't usually arrive in nature. At least bulk delivery is not in the nature of my two tomato plants. So far, we have about five tiny green blobs the size of dimes and it will clearly be a long, long time in a future far, far away before they're edible. Perhaps I should give them an adrenaline kick-startï»¿ by installing gnombies in my yard. Gnombies are zombie garden gnomes, selling for 200 bucks on Amazon. They have their traditional red pointy hats but look evil and are frothing at the mouth. The product description says, their "decay and details are airbrushed." Nice touch. After they frighten my tomatoes into production, I might sell them at a yard sale. The latest thing at yard sales seems to be a "cause." Many will have signs saying proceeds will go to cancer research or "water filtration in developing countries." That's great, but how do you really know it's going to a charity? It's all a ruse, I tell ya, so you'll pay more for those VHS "Dukes of Hazzard" tapes. Why does History, nee The History Channel, carry "Pawn Stars," a show about people hawking stuff at a pawnshop? Why is it "history" when someone brings in a 1989 Super Bowl ring or a collection of VHS "Dukes of Hazzard" tapes? Did History (channel) run out of newsreels of Hitler shouting or pointing or breathing? How is "Swamp People" historic? How is "Shark Wranglers" historic? On the History (channel) website: "July 5, This Day in History: The bikini introduced, 1946." And a promo for "The History of Food Trucks."
Puff, the magic food truck I went to a food truck extravaganza last weekend. Clearly you have to have clever truck names to be in the food truck biz. There was Nick's Wheely Good Breakfast; Seoul on Wheels -- Modern Korean Awesomeness; HiYaaa! Kickin' Flavors on a Roll; and Curry Up Now, Indian Street Food. Clearly you have to have patience to be a food truck customer. It's mostly the customers in front of you ordering food that takes forever. Not sure why it takes so long to order a cream puff at the Pacific Puffs truck. When I got up there, it took me 10 seconds for the following: I ordered a puff. They gave me a puff. I ate the puff. I got back in line. Why is Food Network star Giada de Laurentiis currently hawking Clairol hair color on TV commercials? She looks very lovely, but what does hair color have to do with cooking? Will we next have Bobby Flay selling, oh, I dunno, harpsichords? If I wanted said harpsichord, I could not buy one today because I have no money in my checking account and my bank "enhanced" its automated phone-service line and now won't let me transfer funds unless I set up a new access-ID number and a separate PIN and answer these three questions: What is your name? What is your quest? What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow in the Alameda parade on a boat?