Sunday, December 8, 2013

Balloon Boy

Hi there! Dave-El here and welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, now with 40% more helium!

Yesterday, I got to do something pretty cool that I've done on the first Saturday in December for about six years now.  My daughter marches with her Girl Scout troop (Cookie sales start soon! Buy some or else!) in the Greensboro NC Holiday Parade. The parents of the Girl Scouts help guide the balloons that are part of the parade.

I'm really big Macy's-like character balloons. For example, here's the big balloon star of the parade, Dr. Seuss's The Grinch.

 Not bad, huh?
This year my group of Scout parents were working the Mr. Potato Head balloon. Here's the big spud now! 

And yes, I am in this picture!

Well, that looks like my coat, I was wearing a Santa hat and that was about where I was standing so I'll call that a lock. *

*I'm not always good at spotting myself in these kinds of photos. One time I was determined I found myself in a photo of a crowd only to find out the person I was identifying as me was black. And a woman. (Disclosure: I'm not black. Or a woman.)

If you are wondering why Mr. Potato Head is so low to the ground, this photo was taken right before the parade's reviewing stand which is right by some traffic lights. So any balloons approaching this and a couple of other points along the route have to be brought down low and maneuvered underneath. 

Hey, I think I might be in this photo too!

I swear that is MY foot! 

If you think maneuvering Mr. Potato Head underneath traffic lights and power lines is tricky, lot at what the poor crew working the Grinch has to go through. 

Greensboro's Holiday Parade is a fun family event with more balloons, floats (OK, decorated flatbed trucks and trailers) and bands. And sometimes a little something that is out of the playbook of "weird".

Apparently these unearthly women with their strange powers just levitate themselves as they float inches off the ground. It's a most unusual phenomenon that, quite frankly, deserves some kind of national or even worldwide attention for the extraordinary--

OK, it's been brought to my attention that this is a group of talented but otherwise quite normal dancers caught in mid-jump by the photographer.

So no anti-gravity women?

Sorry, no anti-gravity women.

And what is a Christmas parade without wrapping up with...
The Big Guy!
The Top Dog!
Head Honcho Numero Uno!
The Nickmeister!
The Jolliest of Jolly Old Elves!
The Kringliest of the Kringles!

Shutting up now. Sorry, Santa.

So that was how I spent part of my weekend. It's just a small and fleeting part of a larger spectacle that brings joy to the thousands who throng the streets of Greensboro. But that's OK.

That's showbiz!

Next up on the blog: Do you have a dream of being part of the Village People? Really? You do? That's weird. OK then, there may be an audience for this blog tomorrow anyway.


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