When it comes to the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade, people think first of the elites -- the Matt Lauers and Al Rokers who "anchor" the event. Well, I belong to the 99 percent, the people without whom Lauer and the other flightless gasbags sitting in cozy splendor in their broadcast booth would have had nothing to talk about.
We shivered and drank lukewarm coffee waiting for our turn to undergo a humiliating ID check by Macys functionaries, then hurried off to don our coveralls in a drab space so cramped there was no room to sit down and we balanced first on one leg, then the other, to get our feet into the pants. Some of us fell over.
After that, it was off to the buses that took us uptown to the staging area alongside the Natural History Museum. Pirates, clowns, fairy godmothers, pilgrims and elves wedged into these cattle cars with people dressed up as turkeys, ears of corn, billiard balls, snowmen and so forth. We looked like extras in one of those old Fellini movies.
As a lowly balloon handler, I was dressed like a sanitation worker, but we were told to look cheerful and upbeat, as I am attempting to do in this picture, even though I am standing