Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Modest Proposal

Okay, I forgot one thing about Thanksgiving I've always liked: the Macy's parade.

Yes, I know. It's nothing but a gigantic ambulatory commercial for toy companies and for the corporate behemoth that sponsors it. However, when I was kid it was a chance to see New York City (where I dreamed of living some day) and one of my two chances to see numbers from whatever was running on Broadway. I was a mild-mannered little boy, but you did not get between me and the television set on Thanksgiving morning or Tony Awards night.

I still watch it, half from nostalgia and half out of genuine interest. Because between the crappy pop music acts and commericals you get local high school bands, and those Azalea women from down South who dress as toilet tissue covers, and the kids who for one reason or another get to ride on the floats. I like to think of families all over the country sitting and waiting for a loved one to pop onto the screen for two seconds, so they can scream "There she is! There she is!" and dine out on the taste of celebrity for an entire year.

One thing lacking, though, is knitting content. This thing is supposed to kick off the holiday season, and what group is more hypersensitive to the approach of the holidays than knitters? This morning you could hear the collective gasp reverberate across the time zones as knitters awoke and suddenly realized what's facing them in the coming weeks.

Not all of us celebrate Chrismahannukwanzawalisolstice, of course, but enough of us do that we should be represented. Our yarn and needles represent the season far more strongly than Hall and Oates, for heaven's sake, and Macy's gave them a slot in the line-up.

While assembling the relish trays I've been brainstorming. Here are a few things I think would make a fine start toward redressing the imbalance. Feel free to add your own ideas, and maybe we can build up enough mass to shake things up next year.
  1. Five hundred synchronized knitters in spangly costumes, marching and working fair isle in unison.
  2. An animated float, sponsored by Schacht, featuring fifty lucky knitters (one from each state) riding round and round on a giant Matchless while Raven Symone lip-synchs to "Carol of the Bells."
  3. The cast of Sesame Street dancing down Broadway on a float celebrating the release of the new movie Elmo in Unfinishedobjectland.
  4. A 100-foot-tall Elizabeth Zimmermann helium balloon.

Of course, if we're going to make this happen we need star power either at Macy's or NBC. Does anybody know if that nice Meredith Viera knits?

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all, wherever you happen to be.



Julie said...

Absolutely, positively want to see the EZ balloon. It would ROCK.

And a happy Thanksgiving back at you!

Carol said...

I love the EZ balloon idea! And for more star power, how about Tracey Ullman??

Elaine said...

Instead of - or perhaps accompanying - the EZ balloon should be knitters knitting while riding on motorcycles behind aran sweater wearing drivers ala EZ herself. I don't know if Meredith Viera knits but I watched as Matt totally dissed Tracy Ulmann AND the handknit tie she presented to him while promoting her knitting book. I'd knit him an I-cord noose.

Debbie said...

Julia Roberts has been cast for "Friday Night Knitting Project".....

Vicky in Vancouver said...

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you, too, Franklin. And your family.

Barb B. said...

We could train a bunch of sheep to dance (as per your cartoon)and they could follow the high school band.
A float with giant needles knitting roving into a huge sweater, 4 knitters to a needle.

Russel Crowe tossing out sample skeins of hand painted sock yarn from a float covered in Fleece Artist and Lorna's Lace.
Barb B.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea. We could all make a really cool float. Of course, if we do it, the stitchers will want a float, and then the quilters will crash the parade with the most perfectly designed and color-coordinated float. *sigh* We should probably invite them now before needles and barbs start flying. ;-)

LaurieM said...

Doris should ride in a fancy car with the mayor. I imagine she'd do more than just wave as she drove by.

MonicaPDX said...

Building on lauriem's suggestion... I think Dolores in a big, hay-filled conveyance with a stage and the boys from the Lucky Horseshoe would probably be more her style. Lucky knitters who won a drawing could be the audience on said conveyance, all madly knitting away. (We might have to turn up the music so the comments wouldn't reach the crowd. Kids will be present, after all.) Although considering the weather, the poor guys might have to be putting knit items on to prevent damage to important bits. Darn! No, wait...Dolores could cuddle up to any who got cold. Urk. I think my eyeballs just exploded at that vision.

But it'd sure do something to get rid of the erroneous idea that knitting is the primary occupation of sweet grandmotherly types, wouldn't it? ::innocent look::

AJ said...

I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving. The parade is my favorite part, too, even with the crappy pop acts.

I'm definitely thankful for your blog... I read every day and it definitely picks me up, even when I'm in a good mood.

Cheryl said...

The thought of a 100 foot EZ balloon absolutely terrifies me. I hope I don't dream about it.
Hug your mother while you are there and tell her "thanks" from me for raising such a wonderful son.

Anonymous said...

We watched "Babe" after lunch, and admired the sheep obedience scenes. Surely there is room in the parade for the Kilgore College Sheep-ettes drill team or some such. Dolores? Get on that for next year, sweetie.

Neal Patrick Harris cracked me up on CBS's coverage. He is definitely comfortable with being out.

Thanks for another year of entertaining blogging.

Pink said...

I'd have to knit a turkey that would be the bandleader as the cheerleaders do "The Turkey Trot"...btw, my hubby watched the Macy's parade as a young boy with his uncle and he rode up an elevator with some of the Radio City girls, he still reminds they were in costume and as a seven year old he suddenly knew what his hormones were all about!

LaurieM said...

I can't believe I wrote Doris instead of Dolores. I'm such a dork.

Anonymous said...

Meredith, knit? I'll ask around. Somebody upstairs must. NBC is rife with knitters.

dragon knitter said...

i would love the EZ balloon. t he 500 knitters in spangley suits marching & knitting fair isle? i don't think so. fair isle is tough enough,w ithout trying tomarch in step, and the spangels? shudder

denny Mcmillan said...

Get Dolores on it.

Jenn said...

Let's put the sock yarn in the spangly costumes. It would be much easier to make them in a 50g size rather than an average knitter's size. I'd rather ride on the hay wagon float with the Mongolians anyway.

Bonne Marie said...

You made me laugh so hard I swallowed my tongue - "riding round and round on a giant Matchless while Raven Symone lip-synchs to "Carol of the Bells." INDEED! I volunteer to be from California -

and, Hall & Oates? THAT could be knitting related because they had to get them out-of-the Mothballs to perform, my dear.

Carol said...

Happy Thanksgiving! Your idea rocks!

marie in florida said...

say, Delores is usually high, full of gass and fluffy...isn't that the stuff balloons are made of?

Adele said...

If you've had enough of Thanksgiving, move to Australia. We don't have it here!

Rosi G. said...

Funny, I could've SWORN I saw Dolores and Harry walking around Times Square when I got out of work on Wednesday...You SURE she hasn't started something already??

Oh, and, I thought there were 52 states...!

Happy Thing-giving!

Anonymous said...

Macy's? Schmacy's! We have the Original Doo Dah parade here (Pasadena). Of course, it was last Sunday, but why not enter for 2007.

Dolores can be the majorette leading the team of synchronized knitters. You'd have much nicer weather here, too.


Ween said...

I don't know, I have this vision of marching knitters (like a marching band) parading through the streets, chanting Knit 1 Purl 2. Then there is a commotion, no one knows what is happening, but fear shockwaves through the streets. Oh no! In all the excitement an overzealous sock knitter looses her grip on her Addi DPN as it rockets through the air popping 3 balloons. Chaos in sues. Oh the Horror!

Marilyn said...

Sounds like a parade opportunity for the Tiny Diva.

I see her tossing her size 50 Jiffy needles decorated with Fun Fur pompoms while wearing some pink sparkly, lurex-replete miniskirt as she leads the KnitDweebs in a 7th Ave. cha-cha.

Gawd, you give me nightmares with this Knitters Parade concept.

I did love Neil Patrick Harris doing his thing, though. A perfect antidote to the rest of the crap.

junior_goddess said...

Oh, I'll fight for the chance to be KnitTexas!!!

I really do like the idea of Dolores leading a bunch of Romneys, Merinos, some alpacas, and maybe a musk ox. All wearing spangles stepping to some insanely loud techno! Whhheeeee!

Kathy Merrick said...

Franklin, you know I am most fond of you, but we do not make fun of Daryl Hall.

junior_goddess said...

Can we at least make fun of Daryl's hair? That's an entirely separate being, you know1 ;-)

Marcy said...

How about a float of a giant skein of Red Heart, bouncing along in all it's plastic glory? With RH yarn used for the cables holding the float down. It'd certainly be strong and durable enough. :D

Wendy said...

If they won't immortalize EZ in an enormous helium wonder (or even one of those robot balloons they had) a ball of yarn and needles would be fitting to accompany the band of clicking knitters. We could get quite a rhythm going, for sure.

Happy Thanksgiving, Franklin!

Ted said...

What's an "Azalea woman"? I don't think we have those here in Canada.

Leeny said...

Hope you had a good Thankgiving with your parents!

Anonymous said...

I vote for two+ knitters working on a giant pair of needles! It'll be great!

Loved your guest appearance on Cast-On, btw.

Yvonne said...

Hey Franklin - I'm totally okay with the EZ helium balloon. She is a goddess, and you are brilliant. You should be Grand Marshall.

Carol said...

I don't know about Meredith Viera, but I just found out Dr. Ruth Westheimer knits....

Right on back atcha, babe.

Annie said...

Meredith does knit!! I saw her on the Today show when Tracy Ullman was hawking her new knitting book. It was a beginner's garter stitch scarf, but it was her work!

Rabbitch said...

If you're going for an international float, I would like to volunteer to do it for Canada ~and~ for Scotland. As well as, seemingly, for Finland.

meg said...

Meredith does knit. I read an article about her recently (shh) and she said she's been working on the same project for a couple of years now.

Your ideas all rock! Thanks for the laugh.

Violetsrose said...

I watch the Thanksgiving Parade every year through the Times Square Web Cam - I just LOVED those women dressed as toilet roll covers this year - so pretty!!!

Jack said...

Dear Franklin: And for at least one brief shining moment in your life did you want to be a Rockette when you grew up? I think we all must have done.

Sister Sue said...

You'll know you've made it when there's a panopticon sheep balloon.

I hadn't knit in months, but I started my new project during the parade. I insisted that we order room service for breakfast so that we wouldn't have to miss a minute of the parade. What a glorious morning that was! Heck, there is definitely something to be said for spending Thanksgiving at a resort. None of that 'spending the day in the hot kitchen' stuff. And we didn't have to wash a single dish. Glorious!

carma said...

Sadly I missed the parade due to sleeping (having arrived at my Dad's in Cincy from Iowa at 4am) but that is generally the only "true" Thanksgiving tradition I get behind.

I definitely think knitters should be represented at the parade... some years (IE the COLD ones) it might be an easier sell than others.

:) Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family as well!

Anonymous said...

I listened to "Cast-On" yesterday and LOVED your essay. I've disliked this time of year ever since I was a little kid. I just have no energy to deal with all the hoo haw. . .and it all seems so empty anyway.
I'm also irritated by how the Christians have co-opted a perfectly good pagan holiday. Whatever.
I loved hearing that I'm not alone in my feelings. -e

kbsalazar said...

I could swear that long, long ago, one of the stock clown sets that accompanies the balloons included store employees dressed as a couple of balls of yarn, a couple of kittens, and some mice carrying long knitting needles with two mice per giant needle. Like back in the days of black and white TV (she said dating herself).

David said...

Even though it is technically in my backyard, I've never been keen on the parade. Can you forgive me?

FiberQat said...

If not EZ then a giant pair of Boye knitting needles taking aim at Mickey Mouse. Leading the balloon is a drill and flag team with needle twirlers and flags displaying different lace and texture patterns. Following the balloon will be a float entirely made of needle felted batts sculpted into intricately patterned fair-isle sweaters in a mountain. Atop the mountain, reclining on a velvet sofa, is Dolores in full glory being fed bonbons by Norwegian sweater-clad enraptured youths.

goblinbox said...

OMG, Hall and Oates are still alive?! I had all of their albums when I was a tween, absolutely all of them. (One of my friends told me that that fact alone is proof that I was going to grow up to be a fag hag. Snort!)

Marissa said...

Was I the only one watching the parade and trying to figure out how to make some of the knitwear on the celebs?!

Anonymous said...

We call it the Chrismahanakwanzayuleica around here, but then some say potato and some say potahto, so there it is.

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