Early in the month of April, I pulled to the curbside and parked along Sixth Street in Muskogee, Oklahoma, checking the map to see if I was in the right location, number thirty-eight of eighty-nine entrants, right behind Miss Keetoowah. I’d discovered a couple days earlier that my sister-in-law had signed me up for the annual Azalea Festival and Parade, and my wife, Kathi, and I hastily put together some pretty decent signs and taped them to the sides of my already somewhat decorated little car.
I stowed the map in its manila folder then climbed out of the car and leaned against it, waiting for parade time. I was starting to relax when I saw two men dressed as old-west marshals, guns slung low on their hips, walking toward me, and a burning sensation ran through my stomach. I didn’t know if a person could be shot for using a parade for personal gain, but I suspected I was about to find out.
As it turned out, the parade marshals were friendly – just curious about the signs on my car. I handed each of them a bookmark. With the ice broken, we began to talk and a few minutes later one of them said, “You’re not going to believe this, but I just saw the craziest thing. A few moments ago, a lady came driving up in a grey car with no decorations. I told her she couldn’t park on the parade route, but she jumped out of her car holding a handmade sign in one hand and a bottle of glue in the other.” He paused and nodded, as if I’d already ascertained the punch line. “That’s right,” he continued, “she glued that sign to her car right there in front of me. Just squirted that stuff all over the door and smashed the paper sign onto it. She was entry number twenty-one.”
After that, he said good-bye and walked away, laughing. He didn’t have to tell me who had done such a thing. I already knew, even before I saw my sister-in-law, driving her grey Saturn with number twenty-one proudly displayed in the windshield.
Please visit my website at http://www.bobavey.com. There you can read chapter one of my mystery novel, Twisted Pereption, and register for a free autographed copy. Talk to you later.