Where O’ Where Has My Underdog Gone

Underdog in the Macy’s Day Parade

Well, the big Macy’s Day Parade came and went once again. It’s been a yearly Thanksgiving tradition as much as turkey, pumpkin pie and leftovers.

I’ve never gone to actually see it. Maybe one year I will, but battling the crowds to catch a glimpse of the floats is just not worth the tradeoff in my mind. I’d rather just wake up, turn on the tube and casually watch it or maybe just catch the highlights on the news later.

I always love the hosts who have all these statistics about the balloons and floats. But those will only fill so much time so they’ll vamp and try to be funny.

My favorite is when they talk about the balloons as if they’re the real characters. Like the Energizer Bunny will be heading his way down, they’ll shoot off some info about him and then someone will say something like,

“Well, Meredith, I’m sure well after the parade ends and everyone else is resting their feet the Energizer Bunny will keep going, and going and going…”

“Oh Matt stop it your getting me tired just thinking about it! I wish I had his energy!”

Ba-Dum-Dum!!!

A lot of the coverage of the parade seems like it consists of these performances. Whether it be some kind performance from one of the musicals playing at the moment, a float with some singer stops to do some awkwardly lip synced tune or the Rockettes kick up their heels. This always seemed like it went against the grain of what I thought of a parade was. Isn’t everyone supposed to just keep walking? I mean, if they stop does it cease to be a parade?

I always thought some of the people marching in the parade – or any parade for that matter – must feel pretty silly just waving for two straight hours at parade watchers. I guess there’s nothing much else they can do, but it just looks like it gets pretty tedious and boring. I don’t think I’ve ever waved at anyone like they do in these parades. Maybe a quick one motion wave, but these people hands go back and forth and back and forth.

Plus, the parade watchers one the street aren’t that far away. Anywhere else if you started this parade wave to someone who was ten feet away from you they’d look at you like you were crazy.

So, the waving, the performances they can keep all those. The only thing I like in Macy’s Parade are the balloons. They’re the thing everyone likes to see. They’ll be in the pictures of the parade you’ll see in the newspapers and on news reports. I’m sure there are some waving fans, but not as many.

Every year for I don’t know how long, I hope to see one particular balloon – the Underdog.

It has always been my favorite balloon since I first saw it when I was little. Since those many years ago I guess Underdog hasn’t maintained enough of a popularity to warrant any further appearances in the parade because I can’t remember when I last saw him. I thought the best chance of seeing the Underdog balloon return was when they did that silly live action movie about him. I thought with the renewed attention on the character it would be an ideal time to drag that old balloon out and give him a spot in the parade.

But nope.

I realize he’s not the most popular character and little kids might not be familiar with him, but I’m sure some of their parents do. Don’t they count at all? You have these mascots for food chains and companies getting their spot with their balloons. It’s a huge advertisement for their products and some great exposure for them. You want to talk about the commercialization of the holidays!

So it was another year without Underdog. I guess there wasn’t enough room for him between Ronald McDonald, the M & M’s, Snuggle the Bear and the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee.

I hope someone with some pull, whoever decides the roster of balloons that get taken for the walk, at least consider the idea of having Underdog return next year. I can’t be the only one who would like to see him.

 

 

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