by Lincoln Sedlacek
I want to begin this press conference by telling the public that I’m sorry. Every year, it’s our goal to bring American citizens a fun, entertaining, and safe Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And today, we failed at one of those goals. Some – my lawyer, for example, in the conversation we had five minutes ago – would say we failed at all three of these goals. But in my defense, who could have predicted that the parade would go so horribly wrong?
I knew opening the parade with a Hunger Games-themed float might be controversial. The subject matter of the series is admittedly not the most heart-warming. But I loved the idea of the image of Katniss Everdeen shooting a flaming arrow to light a torch of hope and warmth that would lead the parade. Maybe it was slightly out-of-taste to have “tributes” from all five boroughs on the float with her, but the six of them singing “Where Is Love?” from Oliver! really could have been a heart-warming image. I truly believe that.
I will fully admit, however, that no matter how much cheaper it was, we should not have filled the Snoopy balloon just behind that float with highly flammable hydrogen gas.
In light of what happened next, many are criticizing parade organizers for not having proper safety procedures planned. I would like to state, for the record, that we did have emergency protocols in place, in case a balloon deflated or otherwise malfunctioned. We simply did not foresee the instantaneous immolation of the much-loved Snoopy balloon as it careened out of control, shedding blazing bits of material that forced crew members to run for cover.
As an aside: I would like to take a moment to thank the parade’s audio manager for cutting the by-then screaming children’s mics and playing the song “Flash Beagle” instead. It was a stroke of genius for which I cannot possibly thank him enough.
I’d like to preface what happened next by noting that I did not, in fact, approve of the third float in the parade. While I respect PETA’s mission, I felt today was neither the time nor the place to try to induce guilt over the consumption of turkey. The parade’s board of trustees, however, overruled me. So I really couldn’t have done anything to stop the burning, deflated shell of Snoopy from falling upon a large, turkey-filled cage sporting a sign reading, “Give turkeys something to be thankful for!” Nor could I have stopped the well-intentioned but ill-advised decision of one of the float’s crew members to let the turkeys out. Let’s all just be grateful that most of the flaming birds were already too far gone to flee toward the hysterical crowds.
I guess I’d just like to conclude by pointing out that parades always make traffic a nightmare, so the time it took for first-responders to arrive on the scene was actually impressively short. Oh, and whatever PETA says, that fireman’s decision to unleash the full power of the hose upon that poor, suffering turkey was about the most humane thing he could have done.
Oh, but I now recognize that having the Kids Bop float sing full, uncensored versions of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” was extremely inappropriate. I’m a man who takes responsibility for his mistakes, and that one’s on me.