The Fourth of July was celebrated in a big way in the town of Bluesky. It began with an old-fashioned parade. The people at the senior center dressed up like clowns and handed out American flags along the parade route. To the delight of the Handy Helpers, they invited them to join in–also dressed as clowns of course.
The afternoon was filled with a variety of events including hot dog and watermelon eating contests. One of the more popular activities was Bark in the Park–the dog parade. Amber and Beth Anne were put in charge of the event, which didn’t exactly go according to plan. Here’s how it turned out:
“The parade began just ten minutes late, with the dogs cooperating more or less. The stroll around the park would take only about twenty minutes, even allowing for nature calls. Everything would have gone off without a hitch except for one oversight. Mr. Brooks who was preparing for the hotdog-eating contest in the picnic area near the parade route, momentarily left a tub of hotdogs on the ground while he went to get the buns. It was Bosco who saw it first, or maybe he smelled it. Mrs. Brooks did her best to hold him back, but the desire was too strong. Tearing the leash from her hands, he made a beeline for the tub of hotdogs. Once the other dogs saw what Bosco had in his mouth, there was no stopping them. They raced to get their treat–all of them, that is, except Cher, who only ate gourmet dog food, and Wilber, who waddled over at his leisure to find the tub empty.
‘I’m so sorry,’ Mrs. Brooks apologized over and over. ‘I’ve told Craig not to feed him hotdogs, but he does it anyway.’
The dog owners grabbed the leashes and attempted to pull their dogs away. Dogs snapped and growled and chomped on hotdogs until every scrap was gone.
‘It looks like Bosco is the winner of the hotdog-eating contest!’ Walt said, laughing.”
On a hot July day, nothing can be more fun than water gun wars. That used to be big in Prescott, near where I live. Every Fourth of July, people would come together to soak each other silly. Unfortunately those armed with soaker guns didn’t confine their blasts to the park, but later in the day, some of them would ride around the courthouse square in the back of pickup trucks and spray unsuspecting tourists. Eventually, the city of Prescott banned the water gun wars, and that was the end of it.
Similar occurrences in Bluesky also brought an end to the water gun wars.
“It was the year that someone with a colossal soaker gun took aim at Mr. Pritchard’s toupee and blasted it clean off his head. It flew twenty feet before landing in the lap of Mildred Parsons, who mistook it for a rodent. After jumping up and down on it for a few minutes, she kicked it in the direction of some children who were playing nearby. Before Mr. Pritchard got to it, a scruffy-looking dog picked it up in its mouth and ran off. Eventually, Mr. Pritchard was able to rescue his hairpiece from a group of boys who were using it as a hacky sack.”
Fortunately, in Bluesky, the town council, at the urging of a group of parents, reinstated the water gun wars under a strict set of rules. That’s where Spike headed, wanting to cool off after the parade. As things turned out, he should have gone anywhere put there. His participation in the water gun wars set in motion a series of events that would forever change the way he thought about the Fourth of July.