Local Magazine Editor Nearly Perishes at Mavs Parade

I liked the cut of this guy's jib. VERY solid look.
I liked the cut of this guy's jib. VERY solid look.

As I type this dispatch from the cool confines of D Magazine headquarters, high atop St. Paul Place in downtown Dallas, droplets of sweat are still rolling down the small of my back. Yes, I went to the Mavericks parade. No, I didn’t stay long enough to see the Larry O’Brien Trophy pass by.

The plan was to come to work early, then head down to Victory Plaza (or thereabouts). Dropping off my daughter at her Arboretum summer camp, though, meant that I didn’t get to work till about 9:30. I texted Zac, who was already ensconced under the overpass at Houston and McKinney: “Is discretion the better part of valor, given my tardiness?” His reply: “Hm maybe. But also when will this happen again?” He was right! Into the fray I went.

Sweet Holy Mother of God, did I ever make the wrong call. I won’t bore you with a play-by-play account of each bad decision I made once I got down there, trying to navigate by texts from both Zac and Spider Monkey, our staff photographer, who claimed to be standing atop the 99.5 van with Gordon Keith. I wound up in a sea of perspiring humanity in front of Hooters, literally unable to walk because it was so crowded. Smoke from a Swisher Sweet filled my nostrils. A white guy with his shorts riding so low that they were essentially cinched at his knees dropped an N-bomb as he upbraided his associate, a black fellow wearing a gold grill, for not doing his part to empty the large plastic cup they were sharing. Judging from his slurred speech and general demeanor, I assumed the cup contained sterno that had been strained through cheesecloth (but that’s just a guess).

Long minutes passed. Still I was unable to move. Two lanes of people were moving through the crowd, one in each direction, but I became stuck behind — really, stuck against — a demure, obese white woman who was reluctant to press ahead, as forward progress would require pushing people aside with her estimable haunches. Ten minutes passed. We moved perhaps 6 feet. A loudspeaker from a K104 booth blared music directly into my left ear. Somehow, despite the crush of people, a Hispanic woman wearing short shorts and with her muffin-top midriff exposed, found space to do the booty-shake dance. You know: hands on knees, coyly looking over shoulder, derriere working up and down like it’s powered by compressed air.

More time passed. I sweated. I stood. And, then, as a loud cheer rose from about a block away, indicating that the head of the parade was approaching, I made a break for it. “Excuse me,” I said, leaving the single-file southbound lane still impeded by the obese woman. “Excuse me. Sorry. Excuse me. Sorry, sorry.” I pissed off one stranger after another until I got into open space. Head down, I aimed back to the office.

As I walked up Ross, people were still streaming toward the parade. I saw an entire family — mom, dad, couple of kids — ambling toward the parade at a pace that suggested they thought the thing might not start for another couple hours or so.

“Is it over yet?” the mom asked as we passed each other.

“No, I don’t think so,” I replied. “But it’s kinda crowded.”

“We thought it would be!” she called back, now 10 feet away from me.

And that was the last I ever saw of them.


  • DuckDuckGoose

    “Is discretion the better part of valor, given my tardiness?”

    That sentence tells us all we need to know. You’d have been better off staying in the Air Conditioning.

    What part of “there will be 250,000 people lining the streets” made you think there would not be a crowd???

  • nopay

    Reminds me of the good ole days of the Texxas Jam

  • JS

    Why not spend a few bucks and go to the event at the AAC, which starts in 15 minutes? Tickets are available on ebay!

  • I am told the masked man is this fellow.

  • Senor

    I thought you said you weren’t going to bore us “with a play-by-play account of each bad decision.”

  • Christine Rogers
  • BrandonS

    I wouldn’t call your adventure a complete loss. I like to hang around Sterno bums.

  • That Jeff

    Work some water into the beverage selection today my friend.

  • Towski

    Thank god. I almost ventured forth from the friendly confines to make the same walk you did, at the same time.

    Instead, I stayed in the air conditioning.

    Towski 1, Tim 0.

  • nopay @ June 16th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Reminds me of the good ole days of the Texxas Jam

    What? There was brown acid, fire hoses aimed at the crowds and hippie chicks flashing Dirk as he sang???

  • Nancy Nichols

    I’m sure Stella will never live this down. Nice father.

  • Harper

    BTW – Dallas Mavericks fans (of all races and incomes jammed together in 100 degree heat) – 1, Vancouver Canuck fans (of probably just one race – c’mon it’s hockey – and in the cool confines of a beautiful Vancouver evening) – 0

  • kristen dickson

    “sterno strained through cheesecloth” — possibly the best descriptive phrase I have EVER READ. love this.

  • Becca

    You are a brave soul Sir. When I heard Victory Plaza was SHUT DOWN at 8:15 a.m. this morning because it was at capacity, I knew it was going to be one fun day.

  • Glenn Hunter

    I’m sorry you had to endure this, Tim. I mean come on people … a Swisher Sweet?

  • Towski

    Glenn, Gordon Keith asked one fine gentleman this morning if he had chosen his “Black and Mild” cigar over the choices of “Black and Aggressive” and “Black and Terrifying”…

    Swisher Sweet indeed.

  • Bill

    Is everyone in Dallas really that fat? The crowd must of had an average BMI of 35 or more. One thing is for sure, no little kids are going hungry in Dallas. Good grief.

  • Harper

    Actually – the parade was a great success. Just consider the historically unique standard that Dallas has for a successful downtown parade.

  • Martin

    Wow. We have a joyous occasion like this, have an awesome parade (I went with my two small kids and my wife, but we came prepared so we had fun) and it all stays enthusiastic but peaceful and all y’all can do is complain!? How sad.

  • @Martin: I didn’t intend my report as a complaint. I didn’t say that the parade was lousy. More, it was my planning that was lousy. It put me in a position — sweating, rubbing up against strangers — where I couldn’t enjoy the event.

  • Martin

    BTW, we parked at West Village and took the McKinney Ave. Trolley downtown. It wasn’t very full (and free), so we had a great commute downtown.

  • Amelia Earhart

    Literally, the “unwashed masses”… This is why urban planners who say they want to make neighborhoods for “all incomes” are so out of touch. I don’t want to watch the Dougie outside my window. Welcome to the real world Tim. This isn’t Hexter.

  • Paul

    It was a great day that had a few bumps 🙂 Road Dart bus 39 to the West End $4, Arrived two hours early had a place on a nice grassy knoll in the shade. Our area didn’t get overrun with people until 0930 at which time it was standing room only. The parade was awesome except for the young lady behind me who must have purchased the largest of the breast enhancements available. She proceded to beat all of us up with them each time she jumped up and down – which she did a lot. After the parade had a great lunch at RJ’s Mexican and caught the bus back to our car. Walked past all of the trains in the West End, and I was VERY glad we had chosen to ride the bus! Great job Mavs – Great parade/party Dallas!