Daddy goes to Macy’s Parade

“Vern hurry up! We’re going to miss it!”

“Daddy I didn’t get up at four in the morning to start the commute to the city at five to just sit in traffic all day. I’m trying to find us a parking spot.”

“Try harder! We should’ve took the train.”

“Nope, the last thing I want to do is sit with you on the train locked in with a bunch of strangers. I can never anticipate what’s going to come out of your mouth.”

“Fine, but you should’ve not taken the damn Lincoln Tunnel.  That’s what slowed us down.”

“I know…”

“Those tourist busses and large trucks think they own the roads.  They cut off all the cars off, slow down traffic to standstill and blow that black smoke out all over the cars. They don’t even have a place to go. It’s Thanksgiving.”

“Daddy, I’m sure those big truck drivers just want to drop off their shipments and head home. Let’s be nice. It’s the holidays.”

“Nooo, it’s more.  This is my first time at the Macy’s Parade. Your mom always insisted on a traditional dinner. I’ve sat in the living room watching the parade for my entire adult life. Now your mom is peacefully resting, I’m going to the parade.”

“You deserve it daddy.”

“Damn straight. Whip the car in there.” Vern’s father pointed to a parking garage near Times Square.

“Got it” Vern took a sharp turn to the right. She got out of the car and handed her keys to the attendant. She grabbed for the backpack, her coat, hat, scarf and bottle of water out of the backseat of the car. “Let’s go daddy. We’ve got a bit of a walk.”

Vern’s father was coming out of the garage bathroom. “Coming sweetheart!” Vern’s father was smiling. He was beaming with the cheer of a child. Then on the bottom of his shoe was a five-inch piece of toilet paper. Vern did not want to ruin the mood for her father so she lightly stepped on it so it would come off her father’s shoe. The two of them started walking West on 52nd Street to Broadway. The gusty winds were freezing. Vern stopped for a moment. She wrapped the scarf around herself and one around her father. “Vern, I’m a warrior.  I don’t need this crap.”

“I’m just trying to help.”

“Then let’s step it up. It’s after eight. I want to see the entire parade.”

“Fine, I got it”

They continued to make their way towards 34th Street, front and center of Macy’s. Closed to traffic the streets were full of crowds of people walking towards the parade.  At the corner of 36th and Broadway, a police officer was turning away crowds. Vern’s father approached the officer. “What do you mean we can’t go any further?”

The officer stood alongside of a group of other police officers. There was a police truck handing out coffee and bottled water to the officers. “You need a V.I.P. pass to go any further.”

“I’m a war veteran. Is that V.I.P. enough for you?”

“Not my rules.  I can’t let you pass unless you have a V.I.P. ticket.”

“Ok, ok, where can I buy one?”

“You don’t. Macy’s mailed them out. If you didn’t get one, I can’t let you pass.” At this, time another officer came up to join the conversation.

“Daddy, let’s go. The parade starts at Central Park and goes all the way to Times Square. We still have plenty of time to find a spot.”

“Ok Vern”

Vern and her father worn out by the long drive, long traffic waits to get into the city, search for the parking spot and tiring walk, started walking back towards Times Square. They stopped on the corner on Broadway and 40th Street. “I can hear it coming Vern.”

The band music was echoing off the buildings. Her father was excited.  He stood at the corner watching the parade with amazement. The crowds on the sidewalks were growing. People were pushing against Vern and her father, but the chilly winds, crying children and pushy people could not ruin the joy that came to Vern and her father. After the parade, they began to walk towards the parking garage.

“Vern, thank you, after your mom passed, I didn’t think I would ever be a happy man.  This is one of the greatest days of my life, but…”

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s just that… I want to see if I could go one more place before we leave the city.”

“Ok”

The two were in Times Square when her father stopped at what appeared to be a restaurant with thick tinted windows. Her father opened the door. Vern stepped in. A hostess wearing stiletto heels and bikini welcomed them. Vern grabbed her father’s arm. “I’m sorry. We’re in the wrong place.”

“Vern, I’m hungry.  It’s almost one o’clock. I want to eat.”

“We are going to eat, but not here.”

“Come on Vern. They serve food.”

“Not the kind I want. This is a bikini dance place.”

“You have to imagine it as entertainment. What could be more beautiful than a girl like that dancing on stage while we eat a steak?”

“You’re pushing it old man…” Vern gave him the evil eye and pulled him out the door.

“Can’t blame a warrior for trying.”

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