400,000 Chicagoans showed up for this parade, black and white and brown, young and old. Gay For A Day is the new Kiss Me I'm Irish. I swear I saw a cop arrest a guy for not having an open container. This parade is a moneymaker: $250 gets you an entry, so Miller Beer and Target pack floats with freaky people who are probably embarrassing to most gays.
The Rat Patrol traditionally crashes it by piggybacking on either activists or clowns: If you want to sneak into a parade on freaky bikes, either chant the activist chant when the marshalls are looking, or ride in circles and whoop it up when the clowns do their thing. Either way you'll look the part.
There was just one problem. The Rat Patrol loves and cherishes its bike club 'rivals', but it does have one blood-feud with another gang: A rough-and-tumble 50-and-up drag queen gang from Michigan City, Indiana. The thing about these ladies is that they are pissed off, all the time, even though it's a pride parade. They don't like us, and we don't like them. Nobody remembers how it started- but every year it seems to come to blows, with wig-snatching and claw wounds all around. I try and warn folks: There are only two possible outcomes for a fight with an old man in a dress, and neither of them makes you look like a winner, but one is much worse than the other. And if they were gay in 1963, they've been in a fight before.
This year, however, the parade started with no sign of our arch-enemies or their pickup truck. Suddenly, I felt a chill down my back. I looked around in panic. There was chaos and crowds all around me! I didn't know why I'd gotten such a shiver. Then my eyes focused on a rumbling black truck in the distance. It was them.
They played it cool, doing the royal wave thing. But one of them affixed me with a glare that caused all the pebbles in the street to crack and split while a flock of crows took off, as earthworms writhed to the surface and all holy images began to smoke and burn.
The message was clear: We know who you are. We don't forget. We got our eyes on you little punks, and you better keep your distance in this parade.
DO NOT FUCK WITH THESE BAD, BAD BITCHES.