Monday, December 12, 2011

Volunteering as an Adolescent

"Hold the banner straight -- Kelly, tell your friend to hold the banner straight!"

Faye, elderly president of the Bohemia Historic Society, was yelling at me again.

The opportunity to accompany my friend on this volunteer gig struck me as just too bizarre to refuse, an urge that can sometimes result in awkward situations.

La la, la la la

went the song strangling out from the tinny speakers of a car idling behind us in the parade. That was all there was to it: five "la"s, backed by Scandinavian-type music, that would remain lodged in your head. And our banner was heavier than it looked. Faye must have been a cheerleader in high school -- but angry, not easy.

"Kelly, hold it lower on your side now!"

La la, la la la

"How are people going to enjoy a parade when all they can hear is her yelling?"

La la, la la la

"Stop making me laugh!"

Faye never did laugh.

The Bohemia Historic Society also held a Chinese auction, though there were no Chinese people to be found anywhere in the vicinity.

It was hosted by a man who looked just like Don Rickles and his general aura was that of a wound Long Island man who was also a mai tai-loving 1950s beach boy, and he blinked like crazy, as in all the time. I started doing it, too, and felt exhausted after only a minute.

I knew that possessing enough energy to send your lashes fluttering as a permanent tic would be dangerous, but all apprehension about the merits of this event and its denizens went out the window when I won a toaster -- that turned out to be broken.

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