Disclaimer: Daria and associated characters are owned by MTV. This is fan fiction written for entertainment only. No money or other negotiable currency or goods have been exchanged.

Written in response to Brother Grimace's challenge to present the events of I Loathe a Parade from Tad Gupty's viewpoint.

Richard Lobinske

My Parade Adventure
By Tad Gupty
Grade 4

Last week, Mom and Dad took my sister and me to see the Lawndale Homecoming parade. It was so exciting to see all the people gathered downtown. That's when it all began. We passed by the toy store and there was a big, blue windmill in the window. Dad's talked about putting one on the roof as a clean energy source, so I stopped to look. I was a little disappointed that it was made from Lego blocks and wouldn't work. I turned to show Dad and he was gone.

All around people rushed by, trying to find a good place to watch the parade. I tried to find my family, but I couldn't see past everybody on the sidewalk. I felt like an ant lost in tall grass and became very scared.

That's when I heard someone say, "Tad?"

A looked over and there was my favorite babysitter, Daria. I told her how scared I was.

I don't know how she did it, but hearing her say she was scared too made me feel better. We decided not to look for a police officer because of my father's bad experiences with them during the Better Nutrition Now protests. Instead, she took my hand and we set off on a grand adventure to find my parents. I don't think she's a Babar fan. I bet she reads Tintin instead.

A bunch of high school kids having a fight with Silly String sprayed us with it. Don't they know that it's bad for the ozone layer? I guess not, because Daria made a comment about their conscience being stupid. When we were cleaning the sticky stuff from our clothes, she said someone named Melody would drop them into a giant spider web. I think she was funning with me; Daria knows that there aren't giant spiders.

I was really glad I ran into her, because a creepy man in a pink car tried to get my name. I'd just told Daria how I was helping to protect other kids from getting cavities at the parade when the strange man drove up. He was kind of scary looking and had some weird people-shaped balloons in the back of his car. Daria warned me about him and then she made the strange man go away. I really felt safe after that.

And then we ran into Daria's friend Tom, who was looking for Jane, another friend of Daria's. From the way she smiled when they talked, I think Daria likes him. He was going the same way, so Tom joined us heading to Drugs N' Stuff. Later, he had the idea to jump on a float to see people better, and so that Mom and Dad could see me.

We found one with Daria's sister Quinn riding on it. I don't why she was with those three mean girls, maybe someone made her. That must be why Daria didn't want to get on the float, because she knew how mean those other girls were. We should've listened to her, but I wanted to ride a float so bad I hopped on and cried until she did, too.

Two of the mean girls grabbed Daria and the other took a picture. It was real nice how Quinn jumped in to protect Daria. I like how they look after each other. The leader was threatening Daria with hairspray. Even though I'm smaller than they were, I had to help. That gave Quinn the chance to tell Daria that she hadn't seen my parents and for us to get away.

We'd just made it back to the sidewalk when we ran into a frightening guy in a lion costume. I think Tom also likes Daria, because he chased the lion guy away from Daria and got her to smile again. That's when things got very scary again.

We were watching the cheerleaders when they suddenly stopped and marched away like they were mad at something. I know Mom says we shouldn't support cheerleading because of gender stereotypes, but they are funny to watch. A float with a big penguin on it crashed getting away from the angry cheerleaders and it caught on fire. Everyone tried to watch the firefighters put it out and I was pushed away from Daria and Tom.

I didn't know what to do as I looked around and I was spun around and didn't know where I was when I got away from the crowd. But then, Dad saw me and I was so happy to hear him call me. He picked me up and took me to see Mom and Tricia. I told them all about my adventure and how Daria helped.

We went back into the crowd and looked for Daria and Tom. I saw them first and called them over. Mom and Dad were so happy that they promised her extra carrot sticks and dried fruit the next time she came over to babysit. I think they should've given Daria some uncut diamonds like she asked for.

My little sister wanted to get back to watching the parade, so we left. The rest of the day was boring. I wish I could've spent the rest with Daria. I had a lot more fun then.

February 2006