I’ve been usurped! Yes, folks, my role as the Queen of the Fourth of July parade was recently co-opted by a young whippersnapper who’s never even heard of me. True, “queen” might be an exaggeration, but in all my years of riding in the Current car, it’s been me that people acknowledge. “Danielle! Woo-hoo! Love your column!”
This Independence Day, however, I did not feel the love. With literally thousands of parade-goers lining the streets, I counted a total of 11 shout-outs, including those from my actual friends and neighbors. That’s a significant decrease from years past and put me on par with my top-of-the-backseat partner, Current’s cartoonist Tim Campbell, and our driver, Dennis O’Malia. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both great. But let’s be honest, I’m the controversial dance mom whom readers want to see. I’m supposed to be the star!
So, what happened? I’ll tell you: A Homer Simpson imposter decided to ride shotgun. Yep, I played second fiddle to a teenage boy wearing a rubber mask of an animated legend. Screams of “Ho-mer!” and “Doh!” filled the air from the get-go and then intensified as the newbie grew more and more comfortable with his fame. What started as shy hand waves soon became standing, double-arm finger points. Kids, grandparents, law enforcement — everybody went crazy. He even inspired an honest-to-goodnes chant toward the end of the route. I never even earned a synchronized yell.
So, I bow to thee, Jackson Neverlearnedyourlastname, for you are truly a master. I hope you enjoyed your 15 seconds, though, because next year I’m taking back the throne. I make a fantastic Elsa.