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The Fish Parade
Brought To You By The Hunts Point Fish Market
(formerly of Fulton St.)

To be quite frank, I'm not really sure how we ended up there. Pretty much what I got from Ben was there was this guy who liked ATF, and there was this city councilman, and they were somehow the same guy, and did we want to march in the First Annual Hunts Point Fish Parade?

Yes. Yes we would. I think, in fact, that we would consider it a moral imperative.

There was a fair amount of discussion as to what should be the nature of the ATF presence in the parade, in regards to both content and scale. Not knowing much about the parade (floats? Giant blow-up ballons a la the Thanksgiving Parade? Brass bands?), made the planning stage difficult, but not caring about being inappropriately situated eased that someone. We knew that, in respect to the reason for the parade, what we needed to do was celebrate that special something, that je ne sais poisson, that. . . inherent fishiness of Alltooflat. And to do that, we were going to need some appropriate gear.

To further that end, Kennyb raided the garage of his parents house, and picked up some things he thought might be useful. To wit:
  • Pair of Rubber boots (x2) (that's two pair of rubber boots, making a total of 4 boots)
  • Hip waders, two pair
  • Plastic buckets, (x3 - one of each primary color)
  • Crawfish trap
  • Fishing net
  • Fishing Poles (x2 - one with reel, one without)
  • Extra reel
  • Bright green foul weather jacket (x2)
  • ATF Floppy Hat
  • Life preserver

    The next stop was Toys R'Us, where we were able to purchase some stuffed fish. This included a large stuffed Nemo, the cost of which had just dropped! Bless the short attention spans of our nations youth and it's affect on pricing cycles.

    Two more stops following the toy store - K-mart (for all of your camo-shirt, rubber boot, and fish bait needs. Well, ours, at least), and Home Depot for paint and dowels. We had considered buying some plywood and casters to build a boat on wheels, but decided that constraints on time and space (we had to have it done by the next morning and bring it to the Bronx) made that something of a bad idea.

    Friday night found Ben, Kennyb, and Allison at Kennyb's place in Queens, our standard spot for pre-event prep. Settling down after a nice meal of turkey burgers (and more than a little late-night nonsense [seen left] to stave off the dreaded turkey-burger tryptophan coma), we started to get to work.

    We got our painting caps on and started to get to work. Here we see Ally gettin' her paint on in re: one of our bait buckets. It has been a dream of ours to have our own line of ATF-branded bait buckets, and now that dream is here!

    Any reasonable vision of an Alltooflat involvement of a fish parade was definitely going to have to involve some representation of our mascot, Eric. A few ideas were tossed around for how we should actually go about his implementation, and in the end we decided on using foam-core. Reasons for this were that it was strong enough to hold up some to abuse, light enough to be carried a long distance, and for some reason there was a pile of it in Kennyb's living room. We connected two of the pieces we had with some gaffers tape, and started to realize our mascot.

    While Ben was hard at work on the fish, and Ally was working on the parade banner, Kennyb was making sure that the important jobs were getting done, like setting up photo shoots for the stuffed animals

    Ben should really be commended on his work with the halibut. It was pretty much his handiwork, and it came out beautifully. Especially considering the brown paint that Kennyb brought home from Home Depot was purple. Some evolution shots of the fish:

    After the fish was prepared and the banner was painted, it was time to model some of the outfits we had prepared! Ally was looking positively heroic in her fabulous ATF Floppy Hat and nylon waders (not shown: Black Rubber boots, suitable for trudging through swamp, fishing rod in hand).

    Ben, wearing his own home-made hat, eating some of the bait. Why do all of the funniest pictures with Ben involve him putting things in his mouth?

    Kennyb, looking. . . Honestly I'm not sure what is the correct adjective for this.

    And the prep session just wouldn't be complete without a frank and honest dicussion of our bait situation. As far as we could tell, we were in fairly good hands. Best part about buying plastic bait? Having the "Crab vs. Salamandar" debate, and deciding on going for both. Worst part about buying plastic bait? The feel of your neck after a bucketful of the things have been dumped on your head. Why the bait, you ask? Well, the extent of our knowledge of parades we learned during the ATF trip to Mardi Gras 2002 - if you're going to have a parade, you're going to need something to throw out to the crowd, otherwise there will be a complete lack of post-parade debauchery. We figured: Going to a fish parade? Throw fish.

    Go ahead! Read The Fish Parade Page Two!

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