I Was a Marching Christmas Tree
They called it the Magic Kingdom, but I just wanted to get out of there alive.
A college student at the time, I was hoping to pick up a few extra bucks over the holidays. In checking around, I learned that Disneyland hired musicians for their Main Street Christmas Parade, a procession that featured Mickey, Minnie, and the gang, plus several hundred marching musicians playing Christmas carols and trying to stay in step.
I was hired and assigned to the Christmas tree unit. An eight-foot, cone-shaped contraption made of metal and green tinsel was lowered onto my shoulders and strapped on tight. There was a hole roughly a foot in diameter next to my face, big enough to stick my trumpet through and play “O Tannenbaum” but not big enough to see out of.
For the next two weeks I marched through the park twice a day, sure that I was about to trip. My greatest fear was that a sadistic child would push me and send me sprawling upside down, legs flailing, like a turtle that’s been flipped onto its back.