Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Balloon Fiasco

I work as a delivery driver for a pizza company. We put a sign outside advertising our special 'store-only' deals for the week/month what have you. Just about every Friday I go downtown and pick up a bunch of balloons for this sign, to help draw attention to it on our busiest days (Friday ~ Sunday).

I know by face, pretty much everyone in the flower/balloon section of the grocery store. They know me - if not by face, then by uniform! They always tie the balloons together in a bunch and have them ready for me.

A few weeks ago, they got a new girl. She didn't know we frequently order and when I got there, the balloons were scattered hither and yon - blown up, just not grouped and tied. They were all handed to me, but as I have no skill points in balloon magic, I have no idea how they tie them into that wrist hoojabber (or basically, a slipknot with 9 strings). I can do slipknots, just not with that many ribbons! So another woman there tied them for me. Great!

Last Friday I went to get balloons. The woman at the counter indicated I should give her my arm and she slipped the balloons onto my wrist. Hooray! Balloons!

As a twenty-six year old delivery driver, you'd think I'd feel a little silly with 9 balloons playing mad games behind my head. But to be honest, I don't mind them. I think part of this has to do with the fact that nobody hates balloons.

Yes, some people might be afraid of them popping, but I've never met anyone who scowled at me because I had a bouncy trouncy fun fun fun balloon. I love balloons! They always make me smile. They often make the people around me smile. Maybe those people are laughing at me. It is very possible I look ridiculous with nine balloons trailing behind me. Maybe they are smiling because -I- am smiling (because I love balloons).


I got into the grocery store parking lot and had my hands in my pockets. The balloons slid up my arm to rest in the crook of my elbow. I was about halfway to my car when I noticed my elbow felt funny. I looked over - just in time to see the balloons fly away into the great beyond.

"Oh noooooooooooo," I wailed. Because what else do you say? To me, one of the saddest sights in the world is a balloon flying away. I have never met a child who was happy their balloons escaped. My inner little girl burst into tears.

I trudged back into the store and over to the flower section.

"It came untied and all the balloons flew away!" I fluttered my hands helplessly at the clerk. Inner child still crying.

She approached me very sternly and said, "You know, that knot isn't for holding the balloons!" Then she went back and filled up more balloons for me.

But I was sort of left to wonder - if that knot isn't for balloons, and you always tie it in that knot, and today ESPECIALLY you put it around my wrist... WHICH ONE OF US IS WRONG?

At least I got new balloons. (YAY!)


  1. There is scarcely a sadder thing than a balloon lost.

    BUT, it is far preferable to have had balloons and lost than to have never had balloons at all.

    Great post! :-)


  2. Too bad it's real life. You can't use it as fiction directly.