Born and raised as a city-dweller, The Wife has gone through a significant cultural education when it comes to greater Minnesota (largely thanks to myself). When driving out to the family home, I am happy to answer her questions and identify unknown objects: “That’s a grain bin…That’s a giant ball of twine…That’s an ethanol plant draining all of our aquifers…”
When we drove through Delano on the 3rd (and then Litchfield on the 7th), The Wife was able to figure it out for herself, but admitted it looked like some serious hobo-camping was going on, or a youth group sleep-out had been abruptly interrupted, or there was a “free lawn chair give away” event going on. However, it didn’t take long to figure out that the slew of empty lawn chairs, blankets, tarps and saw-horses were simply “saving spots” for the following day’s parade.
It’s amazing, even to me, how this habit has grown over the last few years. I remember being able to stroll up the day of a parade, lawn chair in tow (or heaven forbid sit on the curb!), and politely look for an open spot. Not so in these towns- every lawn and boulevard for blocks and blocks was claimed in some jerry-rigged fashion. The most offensive were the spots that were simply staked & roped off around a chair- as if to say “This is where I’m gonna sit, and I don’t want no one even standing within arms reach of me!”
Can you imagine if this same logic applied to the lines that formed before big release movies, or when the newest apple product was released? There would be a lot of stolen/destroyed lawn chairs and missing blankets, I can tell you that. It just doesn’t seem right that people can lay claim to parade-viewing seats in hours if not days in advance – “must be present to win” is more along the lines of how I feel.
If you want your spot that badly, you bring your lawn chair and you sit in it until the parade starts. Obviously, the blanket strew-ers disagree. What are your thoughts?