Making Mummer Magic
Every year on January 1, the city of Philadelphia throws all decorum aside and has a day-long revel. It's called the Mummers Parade.
Where I grew up (Hagerstown, MD, basically), there was a big Mummers Parade on Halloween every year. In both cases, Philadelphia and Hagerstown, I think the original idea was to give all the crazies some goal beyond drunken rioting.
Turns out that the sheer energy and good will of these events can sweep away even the most dire black magic heaped on a city. This is why I, Anne Johnson of "The Gods Are Bored," sought membership in a Mummers comic brigade.
And found it. Early on New Year's Day -- like, really really early, before the well-oiled string bands and fancies -- I will be stepping out with the Two Street Stompers.
Like every other Mummer unit, this one is a conglomerate of family and friends, some of whom are third and fourth generation Mummers. They bring their kids and their grandparents. I'm invited to bring Spare, if she wants. These are the good God people, and they will cleanse the city with their cheer.
We will have a bountiful three practices in the alley behind the captain's house in Gloucester City, New Jersey. Then it will be off to the parade!
This will be the 25th anniversary of the first time I ever watched a Mummers Parade. For a quarter century I've been sitting by a warm fire on New Year's Day, sipping hot tea and saying to myself, "Why am I not out there in the cold rain, dressed like a wench and pumping a parasol?" Well, no more. This year, I have been moved by great karmic events to restore good will to Philadelphia. Here at "The Gods Are Bored," I will tell you all about it.
Video below of the brigade I have joined. They're even providing a costume!