Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Short, Brutal Life of a Parade Balloon

from the archive

One moment you're flying high, the center of attention. Young children on their parent's shoulders point to you and laugh in delight. The marching bands and anemic floats meander past with scarcely concealed envy, knowing the spectators regard them as little more than the filler leading up to your appearance. A thousand cameras focus on each step of your journey, while on TV screens throughout the city, you float down the canal of grand old buildings like a Godzilla who had come to Tokyo, not to destroy it, but to dance through its streets.
Then you turn the corner, just out of the sight of the adoring crowds, and suddenly you're getting the air knocked out of you. You're being punched, kicked, pummeled. Your nose falls flush against the pavement and your nether end hangs indecorously in the air. You feel your spine being squeezed out of you , your legs stomped flat as pancakes. You collapse.
Yet the assault continues, without mercy, until you're nothing more than a bundle of brightly colored rag, stuffed into a bag and put up on a dark shelf, to spend all the seasons of the coming year consumed in angst, worrying whether some freshborn cartoon will steal your place in next November's resurrection.

1 comment:

Sling said...

Here by way of Citymouse.
I just watched a History Channel special on the whole Macy's parade..I know that's not Chicago..but still..
Anyway,it was fascinating.
Nice pictorial!