1) Drunks. If they don't slosh beer on you, they'll probably trip over you. And they'll always yell louder and wave more, and be more interesting than you.
2) Sweet young thangs... aka cute teenage or college-age girls. Trust me, they'll always get more attention from the floats. If they don't do it by looking hyper and bouncy and cute and attractive, they'll whip out their secret weapons. YOU know the ones I mean. Yeah. Try topping those. If you have some of your own and are willing to use them, I don't love you anymore. Unless you're my wife, in which case, minenotyours.
3) Kids. If you can, bring your own anklebiter... or rent one. Because nothing, and I mean nothing, will attract beads, toys, shiny things, coins and whatnot, more than a child. They're magnets ... or targets. If you don't have one of your own and are next to one, you're screwed.
Case in point, tonight, I found myself competing against a family with two adorable little girls... who were two of the most avaricious, materialistic, goal-oriented beings I've ever seen. They left with a good 50 pounds of beads for the night, because not only did just about every float toss them copious amounts, they were shameless about scrounging anything not nailed down... or fighting grownups for it. I had my hand on a bag of beads, the girl did too, and I had to yield. It was only honorable. But clearly sharing is not in their nature. I caught one awesome piece, and the girl looks at me, wide-eyed, like a kitten, and attempts a tiny sniffle and is all 'I wanted that...'
And damned if I didn't disappoint her. Minenothers. My catch, my kill, my tribute to be laid at the feet of my wife.
And whether it was patience being rewarded, or karmic justice for thinking so harshly of little girls in the first place, the last two floats of the night were offloading their beads like no one's business... and I was nearly nailed by a massive bag of beads... and then by another. TOO. MANY. BEADS. And the greedy little girls were already gone. Forgive me, Mary, but I gave several handfuls to some kids in the elevator, and still had plenty left over.
With four days and like, 8 parades still to go, I somehow suspect we'll have no shortage of beads for the orphans come Christmas...