Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Scavenger Hunt: The Rose Parade Edition

First, a Public Service Announcement: Pasadena's Rose Parade is January 2, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. PST.  Wait, what?  Isn't it supposed to be on New Years Day?  Did somebody reschedule New Years Day?  No, silly, New Years Day is still on January 1, 2012.  But the Rose Parade is never held on a Sunday, so this year, it has been pushed to Monday, January 2.  (Long ago, God struck a deal with Pasadena).

Part of me loves the Rose Parade.  They make floats out of flowers!  How cool is that?  But parades are slow and tedious.  When I go to a parade, I always pick the wrong spot: the floats speed by, and the bands linger.  I end up hearing a marching band's rendition of the Macarena five or six times but only see each float for approximately 0.7 seconds. 

Lucky for me, I live within walking distance of the Rose Parade.  Rather than camp out all night and stand in one spot for the entire parade, I just walk along the route.  If there's something I want to admire, I stop and look.  I don't see everything, but I see enough.

But I realize some of you are committed to watching the entire parade.  In that case, I recommend playing a scavenger hunt to pass the time.  This is not the sort of game that involves knocking on neighbors' doors and collecting weird items.  This is a game where you just look for "moments" and "sights."  You can play alone, with friends or even with your worst enemy. 

If you are watching the 2012 Rose Parade, try to find:
  • A skittish horse about to throw its rider.
  • A marching band from a city you have never heard of.
  • A vendor selling cotton candy and wearing an absurd hat.  (Last year, the vendors by my house were wearing hats that looked like panda heads).
  • A person riding on a float who looks bored.  (Bonus points if she's a member of the Rose Court).
  • A vehicle in distress - e.g. moving erratically, not moving at all, etc.
  • A child asking his parents why the parade is so boring.
  • A float that looks like one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
  • A tuba player on the verge of a heart attack.
  • A float with a message/theme that makes no sense - e.g. "The Humble Water Tree Unites The World" or "Let's Be Jubilant and Weep."
  • A float that makes children cry.
  • A float that is bigger than your house.
  • A marching band that makes you want to stand up and dance.
  • A marching band that makes you want to leave the country and avoid parades for the rest of your life.
  • An extended family that has been camping along the parade route for several days.  Bonus points if they have installed a couch on the roof of their RV.
  • Onlookers watching the parade from a precarious position, e.g. children sitting on collapsible lawn chairs on the slanted roof of a house.  Which I actually saw last year (and briefly, thought about alerting the authorities).
  • A lost car trying to drive across the parade route. 
  • A police officer ready to defend the parade's integrity with his dying breath.
  • A pizza being delivered to someone watching the parade.  Bonus points if you ordered the pizza yourself.
  • Onlookers who seriously misjudged the weather. 
  • Cheerleaders who are entirely too excited about the fact that they are in a parade.

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