“Brace yourselves, we’re gonna crash!”

Not sure this is the amount of progress we envisioned a mere two weeks before the parade

Not sure this is the amount of progress we envisioned a mere two weeks before the parade

I’ve been having this recurring bad dream lately.  In the dream I’m heading to the airport to take a flight out of the country.  I have plenty of time to make it, but as I’m trying to get to my gate roadblocks keep coming up that prevent me from actually getting there.

It becomes pretty obvious that I’m going to miss the flight.  With my anxiety skyrocketing, I then wake up…and usually lay there, staring at the ceiling waiting for daybreak.

I’m sure there are all kinds of interpretations for the dream, but I’m a simpleton and I take it to mean that something in my life isn’t going as planned.  What could it be you ask?  Well, I’m not going to reveal all my baggage (trip reference), but if I had to guess it may be the progress, or lack thereof, that’s being made on the next Dads’ Bucket List experience.

You see, we’re slated to march in the Dunwoody 4th of July parade.  According to the organizers it’s the largest annual parade in the state with an estimated 30,000 people attending.  The plan is to build a totally boss float, crank some tunes that will have us owning the crowd and put smiles on our kids’ faces that will have them all walking away saying “best day ever.”

Here’s the rub though: WE’VE GOT NOTHIN’! NADA! ZILCH! ZERO!  And the parade is a mere two weeks away.

Magic Mike trying to convince me that "Clothing Optional" should be the theme for our float

Magic Mike trying to convince me that “Clothing Optional” should be the theme for our float

Now in our defense, we’ve tried to make this thing come together but forces are competing against us and we’re behind like 15-0 and down to our final inning at bat.

You see, we planned to get together once every week in June to build this thing.  Everyone was enticed by the promise of their favorite beverage being on ice and in ample supply for these weekly build sessions at my house.

The first week just as people are showing up, we had a torrential storm that started to flood my basement.  So as a result, I’m running a wet vac instead of a circular saw.  Using the weather as an excuse that we couldn’t do any work outside, we ended up sitting around my kitchen table throwing out ideas for our float.

The one I was most sold on was recreating the Animal House parade scene.  However, somebody suggested (rightly, I’ll concede) that careening through the streets of our fair town in a cake float that says “Eat Me” might not play well to the parade judges, cops and especially our wives.  So week one ended with a very rough idea for our float and a commitment that we’d really crank things up during week two.

Not a whole lot of building going on here it would appear

Not a whole lot of building going on here it would appear

Well, week two arrived and Mother Nature delivered an even bigger soaker 30 minutes before our big building session.  Fortunately, my water diversion skills kept the basement dry, but the bigger problem was that a couple of large Georgia pines decided to get a closer look at the power lines down below.

As a result we were now without power (36 hours for those scoring at home).  A couple of committed dads showed up in the dark ready to build (in reality I think they really showed up just to enjoy a cold one).

I don’t know OSHA’s stance on operating battery-powered circular saws in the dark, but I made the executive decision to table any construction for yet another week.  Now we may not have a float, but on the plus side each of us still has 10 fingers.

Virgin tools

Virgin tools

So where does that leave us?  Well, we’re down to right at two weeks ’til marching time and we have yet to cut our first piece of wood, hammer our first nail, paint our first stroke or rig our first phase of pyrotechnics (that last part’s what they call “a tease” in the entertainment business, which if you think about it is sorta kinda our industry).

So where does that leave us?  Dunno exactly.  Where does that leave me?  Nervous and with a tinge of anxiety, as I type this lying in bed, staring at the ceiling and waiting for daybreak.

Go. See. Be. Do.


About Matt Boettcher - Dads' Bucket List

Husband and dad to two boys who's always trying to enjoy the humor and meaning in the journey of fatherhood. Check out how things are going at: http://dadsbucketlist.com In addition to these responsibilities I'm also an avid (some would say obsessive) sports fan, very amateur gardener, aging but still active runner, and an always willing to experience a new country traveler.
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4 Responses to “Brace yourselves, we’re gonna crash!”

  1. Susan Boettcher says:

    Some thoughts…….Why not a rental flat bed aptly called Pride of America, costume shop or your own creation from closets, pretty hard to find wigs, however, and each person gets a person down through America’s History, including WW 1 or 2 (Don’t even think of guns for any one of those children or adults for that matter or we’ll be seeing you on Fox News). Could be a learning experience with each child going to the library or unfortunately computer to learn about their character. Always the teacher in me. Back to idea. Everyone carries a flag and something creative for banner. This way the float has crepe paper, balloons, cheap flags and much easier than building? Or cut the float and walk with costumes and banner/flags. Still thinking here.

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Susan Boettcher says:

    …..now I can’t sleep. By flatbed I didn’t mean truck but one from Home Depot etc. Like a farmer uses?

    Sent from my iPad

  3. ksbeth says:

    Good luck with it all I’m sure it will turn out better than you ever imagined )

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