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“Merry Drink-A-Lot” sang out some boisterous boaters this past weekend during the Holiday Boat Parade…

Merry Drink A LotIn the inky darkness, a man with a glow-in-the-dark silver mustache shivered beside me and muttered to his merry-christmasing wife, “Wish it were warmer…”

It was about 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside with a flimsy breeze.

“More flamingos and palm trees than Christmas trees and reindeer!” one man observed exuberantly, as a boat fluttered by, sporting an illuminated string of rather awesome LED flamingos pulling a sled, with great green and gold, swaying bloaty palm trees billowing up from the stern.

Classic Florida.


“HALLLOOOO! MERRY CHRISTMAAAAAAAS!” came some soggy, sonorous voices, slopping up from the brackish darkness. What were these strange things?

“Oh my…those are paddle-boarders!!” a wee lass cried out.

Indeed they were. Paddle-boarders completely saturated with blinking, twinkly little battery-operated LED lights. One man waved his red illuminated paddle high in the air and the crowd squealed with delight. I felt a strong urge to burst into a husky-voiced and rather guttural Christmas carol, but resisted…

“This is better than fireworks!” someone suddenly exclaimed. With the air of a serene sage, I nodded to the black night in agreement, as more and more brilliant, light-adorned, sirening boats shimmered by.

DSC_9631A child squealed out many holiday cheers to the buoyant and rather briny light parade. A parent scolded, “GET OFF OF THERE! You’re gonna slip and fall!”

She was rapidly removed from the dangerous spot.

I strode up and swaggered about the slick, rigid pavement where the child had been, in order to scrutinize the sea of boats a little more closely, when suddenly I found myself slipping.

boatsAdorned in a fresh coat of decorative green slime, I grinned away as I filmed the rest of the parade crumpled up on the gooey boat slip that was now especially forbidden to all children.

Whale…I was planted there until, suddenly, a twinkly boat came careening up and I bolted into the air, only to find that my left leg was out of order. Apparently, it had gone to sleep. With an astoundingly obnoxious and rather obvious old sailor’s limp, I managed to hobble out of the way.

DSC_2325As the algae-coated denimed leg began to come back to life once more, some onlookers spilled onto the twinkly boat and roared off in a sea of bonhomie.

A hound barked behind me.

DSC_2260What a sight. Yes, it was grand. It was brilliant. It was blazing (and me flash was so violent it nearly sent a poor man tumbling into the rainbow-glinting drink below, blinded by the beam…I do not think he was all that comforted when I spat out, “Oh oopsie daisies! I had no idea it was that bright!”)

Yes, blazing indeed, and…far more exemplary than fireworks, I’d have to agree.


Autumn Jade