Take a look at this Tweet from author and illustrator Adam Rex…
Thumbnailed this months ago for a picture book dummy I’m just now getting back to, and I can’t tell what it is. pic.twitter.com/U1vK4thyj8
— Adam Rex (@MrAdamRex) February 15, 2015
After replying to Mr. Rex’s Tweet with what I saw as a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon shaped like a lemming and after reading and doing some great Reading Challenges with The Terrible Two I decide to take some of my teaching break to write a little fan fiction. Enjoy
The Lemming Balloon of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
A Terrible Two Fan Fiction Tale inspired by a sketch by Adam Rex
by Mr. Hutchinson
Miles and Niles and the Terrible Two prank club had just about run it’s course in the little town of Yawnee Valley. By the time they had finished middle school they had very nearly put Principal Barkin in the looney bin. They had carried their pranking ways to the high school, completing mind blowing japes like “Where’s The Mascot Head?” in which the mascot’s costumed head was found in all sorts of strange, amusing and down right embarrassing locations, and “Trampoline Day” which found students arriving at school to find the entirety of the main hallways covered in mini exercise trampolines. But Miles and Niles were coming to the end of their high school adventures. They needed one last prank, a prank to end all pranks, a prank that would etch their names permanently on the stone annals of the International Order of Disorder’s Hall of Fame.
This couldn’t be another local rouse or more school highjinks, no this had to be big… national news big!
“We’ve been in here for days,” whined Miles as he gazed back at a weeks worth of crossed out and abandoned plans scrolled across their prank lair wall.
“It’s here, I know it,” replied Niles tapping his temple, “We just need to focus.”
“Well I’m going to focus down at the diner,” said Miles “I’m starving and I need to meet up with Holly, she has some big news she wants to share.”
“Do you really think forcing french fries down your gullet in the presences of your girlfriend is going to help us in our prank dilemma?” asked Niles.
“Just maybe,” shot back Miles “and it gets me out of this closet for the afternoon.”
“I have food here you know,” called Niles to the retreating Miles. “True, but you don’t have girls, or fresh air,” countered Miles.
The diner was full of students in what Miles thought to be a very celebratory mood for what he thought to by a typical Wednesday. He scanned the crowd and found his girlfriend, Holly, in an animated conversation with another elated student. “Holly, what’s going on, why the celebration?” asked Miles.
“Oh hey Miles, we just found out that our student council has been chosen to wrangle a balloon at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!”
“Really what balloon,” asked Miles?
“The Snoopy and Woodstock balloon,” answered Holly “and it’s going to be the lead balloon this year. We’re first out of the gate, you know after the cheesy little stars and the opening stuff.”
“So you will be in New York City, and on national television,” asked Miles?
“Yea, we fly out a few days before the parade for some practice and background checks, this is big time Miles, not some hayseed tractor pull through Main Street in Yawnee Valley,” said Holly.
“Congratulations Holly, and Holly’s friend,” called Miles nodding to both of the girls “but I have to run, I have, ah, an emergency helper committee meeting with Niles that slipped my mind,” fumbled Miles.
“Fine go, you lunkhead. Just remember… Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, lead balloon, national TV feed, you got all that?’ asked Holly.
“Yea, sure,” replied Miles.
“Good, now go tell Niles.”
“No, I’m telling you this is our prank platform,” pushed Miles as he reviewed what he knew about the student council balloon wrangling adventure.
“But where is the prank,” asked Niles collapsing into his deep leather thinking chair and mashing the TV remote control power button at the same time. The TV blared to life and both Niles and Miles turned to watch hundreds of small hamster-like rodents rushing toward the edge of a cliff in unison. The deep voice over calmly explained, “Here the lemming is at it’s final precipice, this is the last chance to turn back, yet over they go hurling themselves out into space and the waiting Arctic Sea…”
Niles switched the TV off and stared slack jawed at the darkened screen. Miles stood behind the chair in equal amazement. All their planning, all their mental sweat and anguish, and it all came down to a school field trip and a dated nature documentary!
“You have to get us on that trip,” muttered Miles.
“You have to find a lemming balloon,” whispered Niles.
The plans were frantic and chaotic, but The Terrible Two had almost two months of preparation time and for prankster of their caliber that was ample time. Niles managed to use his connections in the school administration to secure spots in the student council delegation for two safety helpers/ student chaperones for the New York trip. Miles managed to locate a black market, back alley helium balloon dealer willing to create a lemming balloon and help make the Snoopy/lemming swap as the balloons were being unloaded. The plan was simple, really. Get the great lemming airborne and carry on like nothing was amiss. Continue down the route past Central Park waving at all of the families celebrating the beginning of the holiday season. Then after the turn at Times Square, continue down 42nd Street past Bryant Park, the NYC Public Library and on to the East River. The goal being to lead the parade to the river and then escape to the United Nations building and claim international sanctuary and then live out the rest of their lives in the embassy of who ever would take them. Ecuador seemed up for anyone at the moment.
The only tricky part was getting the police barriers and crowd to move at the 6th Avenue turn. For that Niles was going to have call in the help of a nemesis, and moron. The Terrible Two was going to need the help of Josh Barkin!
“What are you Nimbuses doing here,” asked Josh barely looking up from his Death Match Shooter 9 Xbox game.
“We need to get in contact with your grandmother,” explained Niles.
“My nana, she’s probably milking cows down at my uncle’s farm right now. If you hurry you might catch the show,” giggled the giant lump without breaking his gaming focus.
“Not that grandmother Josh, your other grandmother, the former NYC police chief, Mrs. Rosaline Garner, your mother’s mother,” said Niles.
This made Josh actually look up and pause his game. “Why in the world would you two want to talk to Grandma Garner?”
“We are part of the student council delegation to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and we would love to have her give us some behind the scenes safety background,” explained Miles.
“Why in the world would I want to get you two nimbuses in contact with my Grandma,” wondered Josh.
“Because we just happen to know that you are the student inside to the school mascot and you work after school at the sport and exercise store,” pushed Miles. “So what” “So who else would be able to hide the mascot head in all of those crazy places, but you,” said Miles.
“Or how being an employee of the sports store you had easy access to truckloads of exercise trampolines,” reminded Niles.
“I didn’t do any of those pranks!”
“Maybe, but are you willing to risk it with your dad?” asked Niles.
The Terrible Two left Josh Barkin’s house with both and phone number and email address for former police chief Rosaline Garner.
With all of Nile’s charm and good manners he quickly had Chief Garner making a few calls and got the 6th Avenue turn changed into an escape exit if needed. All of the officers stationed at that turn were instructed to move the barriers and crowd if they received a signal from the lead balloon wranglers. The day of the parade came and Miles and Niles took up their position on either ends of the school banner and lead the lead lemming balloon down Central Park West, huge smiles on the faces of the Terrible Two.
New York Times Headline the day after the parade
Lemmings At The Parade
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade takes detour and marches toward the East River!
I hope you enjoyed my tale.