The Balloon Debacle


Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you had envisioned them. Like when you try and stuff twenty mylar balloons into your car on a windy day.

Last week was Harry’s Cub Scout banquet. I signed up to be in charge of decorations because I don’t have enough things going on in my life. The day before the banquet I took myself to Dollar Tree for last minute items to make the little scouts feel like they are in a circus tent. Not even Cub Scouts can escape Hugh Jackman’s thrall. He will beat us into submission with his velvet voice and matching ringmaster jacket so that every last party in 2018 and 2019 will be circus themed.

I asked for twenty red and gold star balloons because at $1 a piece at Dollar Tree, Party Galaxy can suck it with their overpriced balloons. With each balloon that the Dollar Tree employee filled up I thought to myself; there goes another bit of our precious natural resource that we will never get back all for the sake of my selfish personal enjoyment.

Did you know that there is a helium shortage and once its gone, its all gone? Yup. One day our grandchildren will ask us what it was like to have helium balloons at our birthday parties or what it was like to have an MRI and how magical it must have been and did we appreciate the wonder of it all. And we’ll look back and declare that we didn’t really think about it. Like all the other precious natural resources we exploited and squandered, it was just always there and in our selfishness we thought the earth would always provide for our every whim without consequence. Then we will raise a glass of purified urine to toast the days of plenty that are no more.

But I digress.

I purchased twenty shiny red and gold balloons and walked out of the store wondering if this was what it feels like to be one of the balloon peddlers at Disneyland, with their enormous bouquets of balloons, and perhaps I would like to have that job someday. But before I could work out the logistics of working at the happiest place on earth I had a challenge ahead of me and that was to simply walk to my car just a few steps away.

There is this thing in Oklahoma that sucks all the joy out of life. It is omnipresent and never goes away. It is called wind.

I faced the joy sucking wind with confidence. I can do this. All I have to do is open the tail gate of my CRV, get the balloons in the car and close it. Simple, right?


The more I tried to stuff the balloons into the back of the car, the more they tried to escape out the side. I had a hold of all the strings but the flippin’ wind was so persistent. Each time I got one stray balloon in the car another one would slip out the side. A passersby saw my distress and stopped to help. She attempted to help me wrangle balloons into my car but as I pulled wayward balloons, they would rip away from the string.

My cries of anguish as I watched balloons being carried away on the wind must have scared the would be good Samaritan away because she pointed out the obvious…oh, the wind is keeping them from getting into your car…and then she left. She just left me there to continue struggling with my remaining balloons on my own.

I was finally able to get the tail gate closed but not before popping a balloon in the effort, it’s limp carcass hanging out of the back of my car.

I limped back into the store and purchased six more balloons and quickly stuffed them in the passenger side door like a sad clown. When I got home I discovered that I had lost a total of ten balloons in what have should been a merry outing. Half of my precious limited natural resource filled orbs of joy, lost to the wind.

The moral of the story: save helium and exercise you lungs.


2 Responses

  1. Jen

    Haha! Purified urine. Heaven help us!

    Man, that would have been a sight to see. I totally would have helped you with my mom-jeans-worthy-minivan. Hope the Blue and Gold was fun anyway!!

    • Stephanie Clinton

      I know you would have come to my rescue! We had fun and the decorations were a hit. So, I guess it was all worth it in the end.

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