Well, we said, we guessed we'd pass on the Hollywood Christmas Parade this year.
Our niece, Deedee, who at 6 is about niece-high to a grasshopper, couldn't believe this heresy. The teacher has already started reading about Scrooge, so she knows the vocabulary. More or less. "Bah bah black sheep!" she accused us.
"You went last year and the year before," we reminded her.
"I know." She pitched the idea. And as usual, a curve emerged. "The Exterminator is gonna lead it!"
"Arnold Schwarzenegger is the grand marshal," her mother translated.
"And there'll be horses, stars, Santa Claus and much more!"
Maybe she'd heard a promo on the radio. Maybe the kid is headed for a career as a press agent. Maybe she'll arrange a gig for us in 20 years to dodder into the sunset for a whiskey commercial.
"What stars?" we wanted to know.
She did not mean those twinkly little miracles of the night sky. She meant glossy good-lookers with glassily glamorous smiles who perch in clean, highly waxed classic convertibles, slowly rolling down the boulevard. Real stars, without batting an eyelash, instantly divide the wheat from the chaff in a parade crowd, the In from the Out, the Young from the Old.