The community Christmas parade was Saturday and Grady and Goober were in charge of the church float. They had decided to showcase the No Room in the Inn segment of the story. To make the scene more realistic, they had asked Irene Petty, one of the pregnant women in the church, to be Mary, standing with Joseph at the inn keeper’s door. They had built a building to represent the inn with a small stable out back where the couple would go for the birth.
Goober was driving the tractor pulling the trailer. Irene’s husband, Dwayne was dressed up as Joseph and Grady was the inn keeper. Everything was going just fine until Goober missed a shift and the trailer lurched forward. Grady reached out to grab Irene at the same time Dwayne was leaning toward her. Grady caught Dwayne across the nose with his elbow and blood gushed out both nostrils. Irene fell back and sat down hard on the trailer floor. When she did her water broke.
Not sure what he had done, Grady yelled out to Goober, “Get us to the hospital!”
When Goober looked back all he could see was Dwayne with blood running down his chin. He sped up the tractor and began to yell at the band to get out of his way. The girls started screaming and band members began to scatter toward the curb as the John Deere rolled through. The horses ridden by the 4-H kids heard the clatter and began to bounce around. One began to buck and took off down an alley. The rest darted forward down the street.
The clowns from the Shriners were doing their figure eight’s in the road in their little cars when the horses ran through. One big buff quarterhorse jumped a car and put a crease in the clown’s head with this back foot. Unconscious, the clown and his car roamed out of control and rammed into the back of the firetruck, which slammed on its brakes, throwing the Christmas Queen riding in the back down into the bed of the truck. She had been tethered to a lever that controlled the spray attachment extending over the cab. Water began shooting out in all directions, flooding the street and washing the little children sitting on the sidewalk down into the gutter. Moms frantically grabbed up any child that floated by.
Goober turned off the main street at the next light and scattered the folks standing in the road along the crosswalk. He roared down to the hospital and pulled the float into the emergency entrance. The attendants rushed out to see what was going on and Goober yelled, “There’s blood in the back!”
When they went back to the float, all they found was Irene clutching a bail of hay. “Grady and Dwayne fell off somewhere in town,” she said.
“Where’s the blood?” they asked.
“It’s gonna be all over Goober after I have this baby.”
They took Irene in and she delivered a healthy seven pound boy. Dwayne and Grady were brought in by ambulance, along with the groggy clown and the Christmas Queen who twisted her ankle when she fell, three band members pushed onto the pavement by a raging tuba player, one of the VFW’s color guard who passed out when the firetruck driver accidently hit the siren when he stepped out to check on the clown and the spectator Grady fell on when he was thrown off the trailer. Goober, however, could not be found.