Mermaids on Parade
Josh Ring

I went to the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. People paraded dressed as Mermaids. I didn't dress up. No one told me to. It was my first Mermaid Parade. I did wear a blue T-shirt, like the color of the ocean. My jean shorts were shredded. They could've been seen as something a shipwrecked man might be wearing. That's sort of in the spirit of the parade.

I went with my brother, his girlfriend, and her friend. I met them downtown and we took the subway to brooklyn. The subway took 45 minutes. Our subway car was filled with people going to the parade. One man was wearing a blue sequined dress. Another woman was wearing a crown. She wanted to be the queen of the sea, I think.

Anyone could march if they wanted to. We didn't want to. We got there too late to march anyway. We saw mermaids, mermaids from outer space, punk mermaids, pregnant mermaids, and mermen. Most of the mermaids were dressed in bikinis. Some of them should not have worn bikinis. They got cheers anyway. It was a supportive crowd.

After the parade ended we ate pizza. Some sauce dripped on my hand. It burned. I sucked on the hurting part for a couple of minutes, then finished my pizza. I was careful not to drip again.

We spent the rest of the day at Coney Island. We went on the Wonder Wheel. It was a ferris wheel that swung. It combined ferris wheels with roller coaster technology. It's the only one of its kind in the world. My brother's girlfriend's friend didn't come with us. She is scared of heights.

Then we played skee-ball. We won a total of 19 tickets from the arcade. We traded them in for 3 deputy sherriff badges, 2 yin-yang erasers, and 1 plastic airplane. I don't know what the plane is supposed to do. It does not fly. We wore our badges. I lost mine.

On our way up to to the boardwalk, we walked up a ramp along a fence. On the other side of the fence there was a kiddie ride. It was a small version of a free fall ride. We stopped to watch the kids go up and down. Whenever they fell, they would yell and smile. Their smiles relaxed as they went back up, until they fell again. Their smiles got bigger and they screamed. They were happy. We clapped for them. Their parents did not ride with them.

I bought a funnel cake while on the boardwalk. It had a lot of powdered sugar on top. When I took a bite, sugar would spill on my shirt. The wind was blowing it on me. I tried to face downwind, but it didn't help. I was making a mess. My brother laughed at me. I laughed, too. We sat on the beach until 8 o'clock. Then we went home.

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July 2002

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