Happy Independence Day Clammers (Oh by the way you are all walking in the Horribles parade next year)

So happy America’s Birthday, everybody. You know what you’re getting it next year? You’re going to put on a rainbow-colored afro wig and blast children with a super soaker from the back of a dump truck wearing flashing ‘America’ sunglasses.

Everyone within the sound of my electro-voice needs to be in the Fishtown Horribles Parade next year. Everyone, all of us. We went last night and clearly it’s one small step from being just a bunch of khaki-clad politicians wandering around with people wearing their T-Shirts. It was as if Kim Ill Sung left North Korea and was put in charge of a regional insurance carrier.

Notes in the bullet points you demand from us, at knifepoint:

A HUGE clam “Eff Yah!” to those who did turn out and who did something cool I’m gonna miss folks, but overall Smith Hardware had a great float. So did the Y, Art Haven, Lego Lady Liberty, people dressed as schooners,  the hockey kids, the cheerleaders, the Farmer’s Market, the “Sad Parade”, Anisquam Players doing Peter Pan, bagpipers, calypso band, dancers, gymnasts and great marching bands. Dude squirting people with a hose from the cement mixer, huzzah to you sir. You are our hero. Large elephant that was on Route 114 when we were a kid, great seeing you there. Anyone generally loony and costumed, we salute you. CLAM HUZZAH TO YOU ALL!

That elephant is totes hipster

That elephant is totes hipster

Veterans If you’re a veteran, you can be in any parade ever forever. That’s the rule. Jesus, we should be carrying those guys in sedan chairs considering what a lot of them have been through. Veterans, including Veterans for Peace, always get to be honored in any parade.

The church with the big cross float Some people complained about this, but I’m like “At least they were there and doing stuff with a well made float”. If we were there with a huge Star of David or a Flying Spaghetti Monster or somebody had a huge statue of Ganesh we hope folks would be cool with that.

Isn't there an Italian restaurant that can sponsor this?

Isn’t there an Italian restaurant that can sponsor this?

But you need to have a fricking float! Look kids, I’m as lazy as the next person, if there is a next person (I can’t bother to look). But you gotta do something more than just tape a hand-drawn paper sign on the side of a Chrysler and call yourself a float, unless your float is “World’s Most Craptastic Parade Float” in which case, again, huzzah.

When they throw candy, it hurts

When they throw candy, it hurts

Politicians, WTF  The biggest complaint of this year was the hordes of politicos in matching T-shirts. Look, we know a bunch of the folks in the political groups, we know a couple of the candidates themselves even and they are great people doing important work. The pols we know are good folks and I mean that on both sides of the political aisle. But it seems like the Horribles Parade without any other content to break it up has morphed into some kind of odd whistlestop tour. Next year there needs to be a simple requirement: If you political float is more than one car and ten people then you and your folks need to randomly pull items out of a community-supplied chest full of feather boas, lighted headwear, sparkly platform shoes, masks and your entire group must perform at least one (1) choreographed dance routine every 200 yards or fewer.

Bruce Tarr? We're all thinking of Bruce in this, right?

Bruce Tarr? We’re all thinking of Bruce in this, right?

“But Jim, I’m your friend Steve from Australia. Surely you don’t mean for all The Clam’s entire readership to be in the parade? I’m 15 thousand miles away.” Shut up Steve and get over here. EVERYONE is in the parade next year. Everyone. It’s going to make the Haj look like the line for carob-covered kale popsicles at Fiesta. You can be on a float called “Longhaired Aussies Who Love Jimmy Buffett For Some Reason.” Book now, it will be cheaper.

So there will be a Clam float everyone can be on? Yes and no. There will be a Clam float. Oh yes, mark our words, if we are out of jail and still able to show our faces on the streets The Clam will be there, along with family and one or another close followers selected for their ownership of large construction vehicles and access to hepatitis-free circus monkeys we can dress up as strippers. But one additional float will not be enough. We need tons of people out there to turn this thing around.


What should I do? Thinking is hard! This part is actually simple: what is your “Thing”? Are you a Trekkie? Do you love Game of Thrones as apparently everyone on the entire Internet does and won’t shut up about?  Do you have a bizarre fetish involving kitchen utensils? THIS IS YOUR TIME! It’s the freaking Horribles Parade. Here, we’ll help: Close your eyes and shake your head a little. Now open them. The first thing you see is what you’re going as next year. Apparently I am dressing up as the classic board game Yahtzee, which we were playing last night after we got home. Fine. Who can lend me a professor hat? See? Simple as that.

When we were young every year Perennial Mayoral candidate Dan Ruberti would come out in his K-Car done up in some weird way. He was a UFO one year. He was a gladiator another. His floats consisted of tin foil and stuff he found.  Shep and the Artspace folks would do something semi-comprehensible. There was a family where Mom and Dad were the Cut Bridge and their kids were little boats. There was that lady who was a flower or a rocket or…something? Yes, yes and yes. More of that.

Ironically, as it stands Rockport gets the horribles concept better than Gloucester. Sorry, but this is true. No matter. See everyone next year.

Clam, out.


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  1. Love this! Granted I watched the parade from my parents’ deck so not sure if that counts as being engaged with the parade, but I must say we all thought it was better and bigger than previous years, though I love the Fishtown Horribles Parade in all of it’s glory and non-glory. Tons of great bands, but most were too close together so we could just hear a massive battle of the bands the whole time, still enjoyable though. I did feel bad for the poor horses at the end, they were right in front of the huge honking firetrucks with sirens blaring, they looked really spooked, not good placement. I know, I clearly need to be in charge of the Placement Committee next year, don’t want to begrudge how much work,time, money and overall effort goes in to putting this on every year. I will get more involved next year..promise!

  2. Cheryl DePrimio

    I’ve been in the Rockport parade twice, once when my kid and her friends dressed up as a tree! Sorry, but I have done my part.

  3. Cheryl DePrimio

    Sorry, but it was dismantled and shipped to the Smithsonian.
    Secret instructions- step 1) Wrap someone up like a mummy in brown strips of cloth. step 2) put a brown hat on them and use duct tape to fasten many strips of green cloth from the top of their head. You’re welcome!

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