Cliff and I, along with three teenagers, arrived about a half-hour before the parade started, found a choice spot, and settled in. In front of us were some horses ridden by members of the Jackson County Sheriff's office (I guess). They were milling around in that area, every once in awhile pooping, as horse have a tendency to do.
In front of me sat an older couple (my age, probably). Every time a horse crapped, the old fellow groaned. He and his wife had strong east coast accents; I heard them later telling someone they were originally from New Jersey.
The more horse poop dotted the pavement, the angrier he got. He turned around and told me, "They should be scooping that sh*t up! My grandchildren are going to be marching there in their new shoes."
He got up and stomped off to see why nobody was cleaning up the horses' mess, and came back even angrier: "Nobody is going to clean that up! They are supposed to be responsible for their own horses, and I asked them if they were going to clean it up. They aren't!"
From then on, he told his sad tale to every stranger walking by who would stop and listen, never failing to mention his grandchildren's new shoes. "I'd volunteer to pick it up myself," he said, "if I had a bucket and a shovel."
Since Cliff can't hear, I had to whisper to him what was being said. "By rights, they should clean it up," he said.
Hmph. I'm sorry, I was less than sympathetic. I walk barefoot in horse manure without thinking twice about it. It does clean off. Big deal. I guess that's the difference between city attitudes and country attitudes.
And then a gelding took a leak, and I thought the guy was going to either cry or have a heart attack. He acted as though it were the worst possible thing that could ever happen in a lifetime. I sat there wondering what he proposed to do about the situation, because a shovel and bucket certainly wouldn't help in the case of urine running to the curb.
Other groups of horses passed by. All of those had their own cleanup person, or people, following them and picking up poop. The old man turned around and demanded that we applaud those picker-uppers for their cleanup efforts.
Sometimes I just have to thank God I was raised in rural areas. How did these people ever manage to change a diaper?
I wish I had counted the times he told the story about his poor little grandchildren having to march in horse manure: I'm sure it was at least two dozen times. My granddaughter, Natalie, will back me up on this. I'll bet he's still complaining.
Somebody needs to say to him, "Hey, sh*t happens."
But he gave me something to blog about.