California Dreamin Pinedorado Poopin

In the last month, I’ve had fantabulous trips to Seattle and to Costa Rica. But on my drive back from Santa Barbara this afternoon, I realized that today is my every other hump day blog post due date. Since I can’t give those trips their proper due, I shall submit to you an another kind of ‘trip’ I had last Saturday during the Pinedorado days of Cambria…

The theme of the parade was “Let Your Light Shine”. Being a New Orleans girl-at-heart, I costumed accordingly: Navy sequined tank top, blue crushed velvet pants, red sequined platform Converse tennis shoes, Mardi Gras beads, a disco ring-thing that illuminated flashing colors, and 50’s orange cat sunglasses. Parade ready.

I parked my motorcycle at the end of the West Village with intentions of walking a mile to the beginning of the route in the East Village to meet my former neighbor who was in town visiting. The morning air was light with festivity as I briskly walked up Main Street, hooting, hollering, and applauding in support to parade participants. When I reached our designated meeting place, my neighbor was nowhere to be seen. In the parade line,  “dancing horses” proudly and methodically stepped and I watched their moves with delight and admiration. Behind them followed a John Deere mule with a Farmer’s Market sign perched in the back. The driver called out, “There’s an extra shovel if anyone wants to hop in. Be in the parade!”

Deceiving Signage

Parade of Horses

After my quick-paced mile under the unusually warm sun for Cambria, I was sweating like a barnyard animal – a ride back to my motorcycle sounded pretty darn good. “May I?” I asked the driver. “Hop in,” he said.

Whoa…hold the horses! This was not a Farmer’s Market float. In my haste, I hadn’t noticed the cab full of poop until I jumped in. There was a reason he was positioned behind the steeds. “Oh man. You know I’m not going to shovel this stuff, right?” His name was Jeff; he was the manager for the local Farmer’s Market (hence the sign), as well as a former organizer of many Pinedorado parades. “No problem. You can still ride.”

After a few times of seeing him get down to business, I felt like some kind of prima donna just sitting there. I didn’t like it. So I got out, grabbed a shovel, and scooped. My technique lacked his flair — he scooped in one graceful swoop, I jarringly scraped pavement and my ‘load’ would fall of the end of the shovel and splatter about — but we developed a “schtick”. He’d say, “It’s not a glamorous job. But there’s extra shovel if you want to be in the parade.” And I would join in, “I thought I was just getting a free ride and now I’m an apprentice pooper scooper!”

Scooper Patrol

Poop in da behind

I recently read that a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. As we rolled by on our mule, folks on the curb responded with applause, waves and “thank yous’!”  I remember smiling inside and thinking, “I’m shoveling fresh shit, and feeling All Right”.

“Cause there’s too much to do before I die, hey
You feelin’ alright?” – Joe Cocker


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