We live in a streamlined, LED-shiny, clock-tick-tock world where apps measure our heart rate, how long before our next meeting, and the calories in our morning quinoa.
But somehow, happily, Pasadena's famous -- and at times nicely notorious -- Doo Dah Parade didn't get the memo that modern life is a highly managed, highly vetted affair. And thank goodness, too, because the slap-dashy delight has been doing its own thing, marvelously and messily, since 1978.
And it will again, on an eastern stretch of Colorado Boulevard in the Crown City, on Saturday, Nov. 15.
What was a long-ago poke in the side of the regal Rose Parade -- a gentle and loving poke, we imagine -- has flowered into one of the state's, and possibly the nation's, nuttiest outings.
Anyone is free to join, for a small fee, and anyone does, sometimes marching in formation armed with baguettes, sometimes pausing to "nap" in the middle of the street, and sometimes disco dancing in a unitard in platform heels.
Lest you think all of this outlandishness has been a-okayed beforehand, by a committee of stern-eyed naysayers, trust, it has not. You'll for sure see a number of themes, costumes, and entries that make you go "huh?"
But in a world bent on de-"huh"-ing the strangeness out of our day-to-days, even the head-scratchers are a welcome change of pace.
The fact of it is that the Doo Dah's perennial favorites, the laugh-out-louders, and the sheer magnitude of merry silliness are all off the charts. No app could measure 'em, so no app should try. It's just SoCal's long-running, really weird, sometimes starts late, sometimes doesn't, always-free-to-see, anything goes parade.
Oh, but paraders? NO marshmallows are allowed, take note. Things get sticky. That's another thing you should know, if you haven't been to a Doo Dah, as an observer: Food has a way of flying into the crowd, sometimes by hand, sometimes by slingshot or homemade launching devices.
Yeah, your cold-numbered, modern-day measuring app probably wants to be nowhere near this kind of unpredictable kookiness. But many, many fans do, and shall be again, on Nov. 15.
And did we mention the Doo Dah Parade is the only parade known to go in two directions at once?
We mean, really Doo Dah. Really.