Observations and Images on Architecture, Culture and More, in Chicago and the World. See it all here.

The Short, Brutal Life of a Parade Balloon






 -by Lynn Becker

[from the archive] - A year in closeted anxiety, a glorious moment in the sun.

The Magic of America, by Marion Mahony Griffin


One moment you're flying high, the center of attention. Young children on their parent's shoulders point to you and laugh in delight. The marching bands and anemic floats meander past with scarcely concealed envy, knowing the spectators regard them as little more than the filler leading up to your appearance. A thousand cameras focus on each step of your journey, while on TV screens throughout the city, you float down the canal of grand old buildings like a Godzilla who had come to Tokyo, not to destroy it, but to dance through its streets.
The Short Brutal Life of a Parade Balloon, by Lynn Becker
Then you turn the corner, just out of the sight of the adoring crowds, and suddenly you're getting the air knocked out of you. You're being punched, kicked, pummeled. Your nose falls flush against the pavement and your nether end hangs indecorously in the air. You feel your spine being squeezed out of you , your legs stomped flat as pancakes. You collapse.

The Short Brutal Life of a Parade Balloon, by Lynn Becker

Yet the assault continues, without mercy, until you're nothing more than a bundle of brightly colored rag, stuffed into a bag and put up on a dark shelf, to spend all the seasons of the coming year consumed in angst, worrying whether some freshborn cartoon will steal your place in next November's resurrection.
The Short, Brutal Life of a Parade Balloon, by Lynn Becker

(Parade balloons by Fabulous Inflatables.)

Join a discussion on this story.



© 2008 Lynn Becker All rights reserved.

The Surreal Thing, by Lynn Becker
The Unprotected, by Lynn Becker
Pedro E. Guerrero's American Century

The Chicago Children's Museum - The Battle Over Grant Park
Chicago Spire, Santiago Calatrava, architect, Marketing Begins

Santiago Calatrava Explains it All for You - The Chicago Spire

Sixteen Short Pieces on a City Neighborhood - Chicago's Logan Square

Toy Futures - Building Asia Brick by Brick, by Lynn Becker

The New Spertus Lightens Up
Uptown the Architecture of Dreams and Waking

Richard Nickel's Chicago

James Turrell's Skyspace at UIC

Planning and Its Disconnects in the city of Chicago