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I have met the Grinch

November 17, 2013 by Mark McGlothlen 

If you have any doubt as to whether the Grinch is real, I can attest that he is and he looks nothing like the green creature with the heart three-sizes- too-small that we see on TV.

For my family, the Grinch was a middle aged man (I might be a little too generous with that comment) who tried to dampen our spirits at the annual Holiday Parade in downtown Kalamazoo this past Saturday.

Arriving at the parade at least 30 minutes before kick-off, we, along with my sister-in-law, staked out a spot that seemed pretty nice. We were on a corner “island” that fit the five of us pretty comfortably. What I failed to realize was that, when the police closed off the streets, people would surround us. But even then, we had a spot right on the street, so the people around us were not going to be a problem.

Well, not a problem, that is, until they began to inch closer and closer toward the street, rather than staying even with the curb. The crowd kept moving forward to the point where we could no longer see the parade route to our right and our visibility was shrinking in front of us right before our eyes.

While we were irritated that people, both children and adults, were moving in front of us to watch the parade, we hoped that it was temporary and they would move by the time the parade started. Most of them did.

As my girls sat on the curb anxiously waiting to see the parade, a woman with a stroller and a few other children parked herself right in front of my girls. After we asked if they could please move out of the way of our girls, they grudgingly moved over, enough so that my girls could see at least right in front of them.

A few minutes later, the Grinch walked over from the spot where he had been standing for at least 20 minutes and stood in front of the girls. This ticked me off. We were the first ones in that area, and I know for a fact that he saw us all there, including my children.

I was about to ask him if he could kindly move because he was blocking the view of my children from the parade. Before I could say a word, he yelled out to some of his friends and said “come up here, you can see great here,” or something along those lines.

I was fed up by this point and said, “No, you are standing right in front of my children and they can’t see. Can you go stand somewhere else?” The Grinch shot me a look and mumbled a few things to me as he moved back into the crowd.

I was so fired up that I kept talking. I told him that we had been sitting in these spots for nearly 45 minutes and I found it rather rude that he thought it would be a good idea to stand in front of my children who were trying to watch the parade.

I never swore or raised my voice, but rather made my points in a “matter of fact” kind of way. The last thing I wanted to do was to start a brawl at a parade, especially with my children there.

I thought the entire situation had died down when I heard the Grinch say, rather loudly, that people needed to be careful because the “parade police” were around.

I looked over and he said to me, “You are a bad parent.”

At first I just smiled and continued watching the parade. The Grinch said again, “You are a bad parent.” I looked back and said that, if my asking a grown man to move out of the way of my daughters’ view so they could enjoy the parade made me a bad parent, then yes, I am a bad parent.

The Grinch faded back into the crowd and then disappeared from our area. Did I mention that those around us were not as kind to him as I was?

I guess I was not sure what to make of the whole situation, but in this instance, I will gladly take the “bad parent” title if it means my children came out as the winners and a grown man who should have known better was put in his place.

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