Posted by: Joolz2u | November 26, 2008

Send In The Clowns

Many moons ago I worked in the advertising department (a.k.a. “Sales Promotion”) at Macy’s Herald Square. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to be in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and my first year I got to be a clown.

As I waited uptown with my group of clowns (pushing giant wooden TV cameras… yeah, we were the original media circus) for the procession to start , I noticed a little girl on her dad’s shoulders freaking out at all the garishly-clad, brightly-made-up clowns milling about. The parents were getting frustrated, fearing they would have to leave and disappoint their older child. I went over to the family, not too close, and held out one of the balloons  I was holding (mylar, not the big-ass Snoopy kind), and the little girl calmed down and cautiously reached out for it. I gave the other one to the older sibling. The little girl was dazzled by the shiny balloon and started smiling. The parents were so thankful. In true clown fashion, I didn’t say a word, just smiled and waved.

Now, what you may not realize when you watch the parade on TV is that it is one LONG freaking walk from the starting point down to Herald Square! Oh, and those marching bands only play one song. Over and over and over. It’s not one non-stop march, either. Every time there’s a performance in front of the store, the rest of the parade has to stop and wait for it to finish before moving on again, so depending on what your character is, you’ve got something different to do so you’re not just standing around during the pauses. We had a choreographed clown dance to entertain the parade-goers, and it was a lot of fun, but believe me, by the time we hit 34th Street, I was wiped out.

When we reached the end of the line we had to go in a special entrance to the store and go up to the special events floor to return our costumes. I was a little sad to turn in my gold lame clown suit and my semi-bald, orange-haired wig, but it was time to go freshen up and trek out to my in-laws on Long Island.

I headed for the subway to go back uptown to my brother-in-law’s apartment to shower and change, since it was closer and easier than going home. I sat down on the train and waited for it to go. I started to notice people staring at me, some of them (clearly tourists) even smiling at me. Now, this is NYC… people just don’t randomly smile at other people on the subway. But once the train started moving and we entered the tunnel I caught sight of myself in the window and realized why: I had forgotten to take off my clown make-up. :o)


  1. […] Send In The Clowns November 27th, 2008 […]

  2. haha that’s soooo funny! I guess your secret cover as a clown was blown 😉

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