Where the hell is the parade?!


Allow me to complain just a bit.

But first, know this: Memory is not video tape. We may think we remember something vividly, but as the events we’re remembering recede into the past our recollections are influenced by other people’s stories of the events, we conflate unrelated events with the ones we are remembering, and so on. When we tell someone about a memory, our brains are recreating the story of that memory, not putting in a video tape and pressing play. Memories can’t help but change over time.

That said, remember when the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was shown on television? Those were the days. The bands would play, the floats would float, and the massive balloon characters would… also float. It would be two or three hours of just watching the parade go by. Ahhhh.

“But, Jim,” you say, “the parade is still shown each year on television. In fact, it’s shown on CBS and NBC!” Sure, but it seems the parade is just coincidental, a backdrop for announcers who don’t appear to have ever announced anything before. Now the parade just helps to transition between the multiple interviews of the networks’ stars talking about the shows they are in or Broadway performers talking about their plays. They’ll cut to performances from hit musicals or pop and country artists. And I just saw a Pillsbury sponsored baking demonstration using, what else?, Pillsbury dough. As I write this, CBS is showing an extended ad for a website from which you can buy overstock items.

Where the hell is the parade?!


NBC’s idea of parade coverage.

I will say CBS does show something of the parade. NBC just plants their cameras outside of Macy’s showing pretty much nothing but production numbers. So, if musicals and production numbers are your thing, watch NBC not show the parade.

Ugh, what’s a curmudgeon to do?

Well, let me relate my favorite memory of the parade. Remembering what I said about memory not being video tape, I’m still certain I have this right.


The parade continues the tradition of ending with Santa Claus arriving at Macy’s, but waaaay back in the day Santa used to climb down from his sleigh/float and walk into the legendary department store. It was such an exciting capper to the parade.

One year, as the parade came to an end, Santa made his way into Macy’s while his pants made their way to his ankles. Whoops! Talk about wardrobe malfunction! I remember my dad and I sharing a special father/son bonding moment over Santa’s embarrassment.

The next year saw the new tradition of Ol’ Saint Nick just staying in his sleigh as the credits rolled.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Packing Peanuts!

Feel free to comment and share.

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