Reported By Tré Taylor
It was a crystal clear morning, and after a night of horizontal rain from the storm that had just passed, the birds were chirping extra cheerfully, a perfect day for the 34th Annual St. Stupid’s Day parade in San Francisco, CA. St. Stupid’s Day is organized by Bishop Joey, seminal and secular head of the FCLL (First Church of the Last Laugh) the world’s fastest growing snack religion, 150% less dogma (it's a lite religion) and happens on one holy day a year April 1st.
This year it fell on Palm Sunday, and I drove my Squirly Whirly artcar downtown and joined hundreds of very silly bay area stooges dressed in the stupidest outfits they could muster. Over the years, I have relied on my trusty duct tape nun costume and spread the importance of supporting the “Coalition for Silly Nun-Sense”. “I’m the nun with a bad habit.”
File photo from 2010 Parade
I found a great parking spot right on the main street. I and my artcar were swarmed by tourists before I could even get out of the car. Think about it, seeing a Nun drive a car? RARE. Seeing a Nun get out of car covered in garden ornament squirrels & toy pinwheels parked in front of a Catholic church on Palm Sunday? PRICELESS.
At high noon we gathered at the Trans America building or (The big pointy building in the middle of town, as the pamphlet read) to start the parade.
A woman wearing flippers walked up to me and stuck a small round sticker over my left eye and said, “There, I dotted your eye,” and then walked away. A man who must have been close to his 80’s walked by holding a sign that read, “Don’t read this sign,” then he said, “Remember, don't forget......no it's ...Don't forget, remember....Or is it Remember, don't forget...Hmmm? I forgot,” and as we paraded down Columbus Street, while whoopee whistles and the drum core rhythm section lead the way, numerous goofy people kept shouting, “You’re going the wrong way,” whenever we came to an intersection.
I bumped into poet and artcar artist Blake More, creator of Eartha Karr and Gonzo author and fellow artcar artist Rick Mc Kinney, creator and Captain of the famous “Lord Duke the Mighty, Mighty Mobile Museum” and artcar artist Avril Hughes, creator the “Grooovalicious Purple Princess of Peace”. It was a glorious day for artcars, artists and the creative spirits. On the way up to the park, I even saw an artcar in the wild, one I had never seen before. New artcar artists are popping up everywhere.
Celebrating the fool in all of us, it is a funny liberating experience it itself, but sharing it with that many hilarious folks of all ages, sizes, colors and marching up in the North Beach of San Francisco was a contagious glorious spectacle.
It’s great to take at least one day out of the year and just let yourself play with stupid abandon. We ended up at the Joe DiMaggio Playground and gathered for 2 minute talent contest, s(n)ackreligious rituals and happenings.
Wavy Gravy our dear and beloved icon of playfulness, usually joins us for the celebration, but he broke his leg a couple weeks ago, Bishop Joey was able to call him on his cell phone from the stage and we heard him over the sound system loud and clear bid us playful wishes. The huge crowd all said in unison back to him, “GET WELL WAVY!” It was great to share it with him, even if it was just over the phone. I hope he felt our love and buffoonery.
It has taken me a day to recover, but I feel like I extended my life by at least a year from the rich experience. My face and stomach still hurt from laughing all day and that much laughter is good for the soul. That is what driving an artcar is like too, it keeps you young in all the best ways! If you ever get a chance to come to the San Francisco bay area, don’t miss this silly fun event because, THE CLOSER YOU GET THE NEARER YOU ARE.
Check out Tré's video's of the event
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