WHICH PARADE WILL WE MARCH IN:
OR D. TRUMP'S?
“The parade, of course,” I said.
“I thought you didn’t like parades,” he said with that little cat smirk that means he’s about to say something mean. “All those muskets, bagpipes, and drums. Makes a dog nervous, I’m led to believe.”
“Yes and no,” I said. “I obviously didn’t go by myself – the Nice One and the Grouchy One were with me. And we all agreed it was important to go this year, given Trump’s plan for a military parade in Washington in November.”
“Explain,” Cat said. “But keep it short.”
“As you know, or maybe you don't,” I said, “the Saint Patrick’s Day parade is probably the biggest parade of the year in Newport, and it always ends at the end of our street, just four houses down from ours.”
“I didn’t mean to keep it that short – you still didn’t say why you wanted to go,” he prodded.
For the contrast with the kind of parade Trump wants - a military parade," I said.
"What's wrong with a military parade, as opposed to one for a saint?" he persisted.
“Yup, seen one parade, seen them all, I’m thinking,” Cat said. “And given that Newport is a big Navy town, it’s likely that any parade here will be lots of military types marching.”
“In fact,“ I said, “there was a Navy band, a contingent of Marines and even Army gentlemen and ladies. But the difference, Cat, is that in the Saint Paddy’s parade, there’s plenty of other people to see.”
“You had the Shriners, in their miniature cars; high school and junior high school marching bands; bagpipers from the Hibernian Irish organization; 5 zillion fire trucks. Old fashioned trucks. Big ladder trucks, my favorites, personally. And some of them with dogs riding in the cabs up front.
“You talked to a pirate?” Cat said, with a note approaching respect.
“One of them talked to me,” I said. “But, of course, neither you nor I talk. It was the usual one-way of conversation. The pirate who seemed to be the head man said that I was very pretty dog. He may have even used the word ‘sweet.’ ”
“That’s because he doesn’t have to live with you every day like I do,” Cat said. “Did you tell him there’s more to you than soft ears and a pink nose, that you are a stuck-up, selfish, bossy and very moody creature?”
“There wasn’t really time to get into all of that,” I said.
“The difference, for one thing, is that the Newport parade one is a happy parade,” I said. “And I can’t imagine that a military parade has much of a party atmosphere, what with guns, and tanks, and rocket launchers, and weapons of mass destruction and whatever else you expect at a military parade, is exactly a party.”
“Well, you don’t really know, because the Trump parade hasn’t taken place, has it?” Cat said. “I’m betting there won’t be any weapons of mass destruction, just weapons of moderate destruction.”
“But that’s all there will be, just military things and soldiers,” I said. “It’s the symbolism.”
“Symbolism?” Cat said.
“That the military-type parades are the kind they have in North Korea and Russia,” I said. “They are meant to scare the bejezzus out of everyone. Dictator parades. Do as I say.”
“But he acts like he wants to be one,” I said, “calling the press the ‘Enemy of the People,’, firing people at the White House when they don’t agree with everything he says, insulting the courts and judges, sucking up to Putin, making everything about him, not doing anything about Russian messing with elections.”
“Cat,” I continued, before he could get in any of his lame thoughts, “all you have to do is look at the pictures of the North Korean parades, with acres of goose-stepping soldiers, doing exactly what they are told. And you can just imagine Trump reviewing his military thing, looking for all the world just like Kim Jong Un at one of his parades: I AM the commander-in-chief. I’ll fire Bob Mueller and march him in chains down Pennsylvania Avenue.”
“Because they are part of the community,” I said. “They belong, along with all the other parts, the Scouts, clowns, the band from a nightclub, people from churches, men and women dressed in Colonial costumes, and my new best friend, the big pirate, the big, shiny truck from the local bio-diesel company.”
“Personally," Cat said," I’d rather see a good old M1A1 Abrams tank, with a 120 mm smoothbore cannon and CBRN protection system, than some bio-diesel truck hauling grease from restaurant Fryolators."
“What did you say?” I barked at him. “You aren’t challenging me on this, are you, Cat?”
“I said: ‘I catch your drift, Chief,’ ” Cat replied.
“Good,” I said to him. “Because if there’s one thing I won’t tolerate is disagreement.”
“No argument here,” said Cat. “I’m just trying to keep the peace.”
“See that you do,” I said.