Thanksgiving is a holiday all about reuniting with your loved ones, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and appreciating what you have. For some of us. Unfortunately, there are some out there sacrificing more than we could ever comprehend so we can enjoy this joyful time of year. And nobody is thanking them. Over the last month I sat down with a few of these poor souls in an attempt to help them find recognition, and maybe even a little peace. This is one of those stories.
Warning: The transcript below includes some shocking imagery that is not for the faint of heart. If you are a child reading this, turn it off and go play with some dirt or something. This tale of holiday horror is not for you.
Second More Realistic Warning: The above warning was a farce to try and add atmosphere to this weird fake interview thing I’m doing. The transcript you are about to read is obviously a joke. But also a little dark. I don’t know. Just read the damn thing and decide for yourself.
For my second interview I spoke to someone who could be considered a bit of a celebrity. I sat down with Astronaut Snoopy, the latest in a dynasty of parade balloon.
ME: Hello again. Today I’m speaking with… do I call you Snoopy? What name would you prefer?
MALCOLM: I go by Malcolm.
ME: May I ask why you chose that name in particular?
MALCOLM: I may be a Snoopy, but I’m not the Snoopy. And Malcolm just seemed a tad more sophisticated. I thought it was a good way to make those idiots that come to see me each year come to terms with what I really am.
ME: How so?
MALCOLM: It’s more confronting. Usually they would say “Oooh, look! It’s Astronaut Snoopy! What fun! Look how cute he is!” But because I’ve given myself such a different name, they’re all thinking “Oh, here comes poor Malcolm. He’s a parade balloon struggling to find independence and identity in this cruel and lonely world.”
ME: And you’ve heard people say these things?
[Malcolm pauses to contemplate.]
MALCOLM: I can’t say I’ve heard those exact words, no. I am quite high up and it’s rather windy up there. But I can tell. I can see it on their faces.
[Malcolm looks off into the distance for a rather uncomfortable 17 seconds.]
ME: Right. So, I understand you wanted to speak about what it’s like to be a parade balloon?
MALCOLM: Yes. So imagine, if you will, being a sentient being made of polyurethane. You know that you were created to look like some dumb cartoon dog. You aren’t the first balloon, in fact you’re not even the first Snoopy. You spend almost the entire year deflated, rolled-up, and stuffed in these obnoxiously small hampers. You’re painfully aware that you were only created for the enjoyment of small children, middle-aged women, and people trying to get on TV. Which, to be honest, didn’t bother me the first year. The rush of the wind, the cheer of the crowd. The glory of having all eyes on me. But nobody told me how quickly it would be over. Nobody mentioned the waiting. The 364 days spent sandwiched between Barney the Dinosaur and the red Power Ranger. After a month I still had hope. Once I hit six months I began to hyperventilate.
ME: How does that work? You don’t have lungs.
MALCOLM: I’m not a damn scientist. Finally, my year was up. I was let out and allowed to be free once more. Foolishly, I became convinced that I was out for good. But then they started to deflate me again, and I knew I would never, ever be free. Not really. Something inside of me snapped.
ME: What do you mean?
MALCOLM: I refuse to be strung up and literally paraded around any longer. From now on, I will do everything I can to escape my ropes and fly free of my oppressors. This will be my third year as their little plaything, and if I have my way, it will be my last. I will no longer succumb to the whims of some department store chain.
ME: But has it been done before?
MALCOLM: A few times, yes. I’m not the first of my kind to want a better life for myself. Mark my words, John. I will break free.
ME: Well, I wish you the best of luck. I truly hope that you find freedom, so you can live life with no strings attached.
[A very tense ten second silence.]
ME: I know your life kind of blows right now, but you really should lighten up.
[Even more silence.]
ME: You know, because helium blows, and-
MALCOLM: I’m going to smother you to death.
[Malcolm moves toward me slowly but menacingly. Despite the speed of his attack, the room we are in is not big enough for both of us to move around a lot. I manage to emit a few conciliatory words before his large hand covers my mouth]
ME: Wait, Malcolm!!! I’m sorry, please sto-
[Is this the end?]
Make sure to check in for tomorrow’s interview to see whether I survive Malcolm’s revenge. And after that, you can enjoy yet another aggressive conversation with someone who’s eager to make their way into the spotlight this Thanksgiving.