Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Parade (the continuing Saga)

You may want to read the two previous entries above for some back story...

Wednesday night Julie and I went out to Pizza By Elizabeth's in Wilmington, DE to wish our good friend Brian (who is moving to San Francisco) a "bon voyage." It's a cute pizza place where the theme is ALL things Elizabeth. Famous Elizabeths throughout time adorn the walls and even have pizzas named after them. It was a very enjoyable evening. Afterwards, everyone in our party seemed to be going to a local watering hole, Public House for more festivities. I assume that means drinking. I wasn't feeling right and decided sleep would be the best thing for me, so Julie and I decided to head home. A quick and quiet 20 minute drive saw us pulling down our "one way" street. It was then that we both saw the brake lights in front of our house.

"A little late for visitors," I spoke out loud. Julie asked me if I was expecting anyone.
I joked, "Well, tomorrow is the Macy's Day Parade."

Just then the door opened to a vintage, blue truck, with the California tags. I saw a boot step out of the drivers side and knew I wouldn't be sleeping this night. Scott stepped out, turned around and threw his arms up in the air. Kind of like he was hugging us while we were still in the car. For a split second I thought of ramming him. I pulled the car up and stopped. I rolled the window down as he walked to my side of the car.

"I thought you were sending a limo." I said as it dawned on me Scott had told me a couple of nights ago he'd be sending a limo to pick Julie and I up. I had completely forgot, or blocked it out of fear. Scott reached out something in his hand. It was only now I realized he had been holding a couple of cups of what appear to be Wawa coffee.

"I didn't think you'd come if I sent anyone else." He has his father's charm, but is definitely his own man. There's something about him that keeps me from being able to say "no" and making it stick. He pushes the cup towards me. "I don't drink coffee." I say smiling slightly, figuring I might have derailed his plans just a little bit. His smile grows wide and he pushes the cup a little more forcefully. "Hot Chocolate champ. It makes any situation easy to handle." I take it and drink it while softly saying, "You suck." Because he's right. He's always right.

"This is Izzy." Scott tells Julie and I as her we realize there is someone else present also holding a pair of coffees.
She hands one to Julie. "Scott says you're a vegan too. I used soy milk."

I am two parts shocked. The first part, that Scott knew Julie went Vegan in April, and the second that Izabella Miko from Coyote Ugly is standing in my driveway along with Scott Caan. But since it was the night before the Macy's Day Parade, I shouldn't have been surprised at all…and for those keeping score at home, Izabella is a Spanish Variant for the name Elizabeth.

We pile into Scott's vintage Ford Truck (which only seats 2 comfortably) and we head to NYC.

The drive seems to take no time at all. We get out and it's a little past 1 am. We are met by Scott's right hand man Leo. I still have never gotten Leo's last name. To be honest, I'm not sure his age or his ethnicity. But he reminds me of Q, the guy who makes weird gadgets for James Bond. That is, if Q looked exactly like Inspector Poirot from Agatha Christie. We were quickly ushered up to the ritzy penthouse at the SOHO Grand. Scott informs me his apartment was being sublet while he has been off filming Hawaii 5-O over the past 4 months.

Izzy takes Julie off to a corner of the room where I swear Kylie Minogue is standing.

"Kevin Regan," Scott's booming voice brings my focus back, "This is John Piper, vice president in charge of Macy's Parade." I shake hands with the executive.
"Mr. Regan. You're the one who caused all the trouble back in 2005." Piper smiled. But I think that was just because Scott was standing there. Otherwise, he'd probably be spitting venom. 5 years earlier, Scott lied and told everyone I was a balloon wrangler. That lie resulted in a rather "hairy" incident at the parade. It's been well documented if you'd like to look into it.
"Yes. I have stayed far away from all balloons since." I tell him somewhat embarrassed.
"This is Matt Hannifin. He'll be leading one of our prized floats this year." I notice the way Piper says "floats." It leads me to believe my use of the word "balloons" has not endeared me any more to this stuffed shirt.
Matt puts out his hand, "Buzz Lightyear."
"Uhhh….Kevin…Regan?" We shake.
"No," He laughs, "I mean, I'll be handling Buzz Lightyear."
"Oh! That makes more sense."

After some quick pleasantries and long introductions, we all hit the parade. Julie with Izzy and their new friend Kylie. I won't see any of them until long after Santa Claus has made his much awaited annual appearance on 34th St.

Once outside it starts to snow and I hope I'm dressed warm enough.

I am one of 56 people on Matt's "Buzz" crew. I am holding onto my reign as if my life depended on it, which based on Piper's earlier attitude, it did. I feel something slip into my back pocket. Scott whispers to me, "Hold on to that. I'll need you later." I turn as much as I can to see where Scott is going while the Pixar icon forces my motion forward. I lose Scott in the crowd. I have no idea what Scott slipped in my pocket, and I don't dare remove my hands from the reign to find out.

About two hours into the parade down 34th St, a fellow named Manny relieves me from the reign. I quickly pull out my camera and shoot the site I have been enjoying for much of the day.

As I attempt to bring my arms down, I realize they are almost floating away. I'm not in pain, but find it difficult to actually bring my arms to my side.

I see Matt give orders to the other wranglers and we make eye contact. He smiles and I know I did okay this year. He nods to me as my pants begin to vibrate. I pull my phone out to answer it and realize its not ringing. However my pants continue to vibrate. I stick my hand in my back pocket having completely forgotten that Scott stuck something in there a couple hours ago. It's a cell phone. I answer it.

"Yo Philly! Get to Taxi Cab float ASAP!" The voice commands.

It's not Scott and it's not Leo. I've met SO many new people today (as is always the case with Scott) but I can't place the voice. "Piper?" I ask. But the line is already dead.

I see the Taxi Float which has yet to start it's route. I make a bee line for it cutting through the crew wrangling the Smurf Float.

I take a quick shot since I still have my camera in hand. I am careful not to bump any of the wranglers as I seem to be throwing a perfect game with the floats so far.

"Kevin!" I turn camera in hand and snap off a shot of the person who just called my name. it's Jimmy Fallon.

Weird! I slowly walk towards him thinking he must be talking to someone else.
He shakes my hand and says, "We need you to keep an eye on him. He's a handful, but Scott says you can keep him in line."
I'm star struck but also curious as to what the hell the Late Night host is talking about.
"Who?" I turn as Jimmy points.


Oh. Hell. No!

"Seriously, he was going on earlier about how Santa Claus hates black people," Jimmy says. I can't tell if he's kidding or not. But he doesn't laugh or even break a smile.
"How the fuck do I keep Kanye West in line?" I ask.

Fallon shrugs.

Just then I see a hot chocolate vendor. I smile and wonder if Scott had every detail planned from when I met him out front of my house all those hours ago. He really is part Jedi.

Kanye was well behaved the rest of the day...I think the marshmallows helped.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Your story now explains the greatest mystery of the Macy's Day Parade this year. Al Roker had to explain to the TV audience that Buzz Lightyear balloon was not appropriate for daytime television. Apparently, as a result of having you underneath him all that time, he procured a large inflatable Woody.