Saturday, March 24, 2007

A $50 Toy Vs. a 70¢ Balloon

The balloon will win out every single stinkin', frickin' time. Diane gave me a task to fulfill on my way home from work for Kailey's birthday party on Wednesday: pick up some balloons. I stopped by a party store where they had a whole wall-full of balloons to choose from. It was a little overwhelming. I stood there staring at the wall for about ten minutes before someone came over and asked a really stupid question, "Do you need some balloons?" No, I'm making a mental sketch of every freakin' balloon on your wall so I can go home and construct exact duplicates in an attempt to avoid paying the exorbitant prices you people charge for a mylar balloon. Did I say that? No. I simply responded, "Yes, please."

"Are you having your party within the next eight hours?" she asked. I shot her a puzzled look. "The regular balloons only last eight hours after being inflated," she explained. Allll-righty then. I assured her that we would be partying as soon as I got home, roughly twenty minutes after she fulfilled my order. Satisfied, she scooted behind the counter and began rounding up balloons.

I bit the bullet and bought one of their $13 mylar balloons, an enormous heart-shaped "Happy Birthday" balloon that had four smaller stars branching off of it, along with a dozen regular ones of varying colors. The balloon lady filled them up while I settled the bill, and I went on my less-than-merry way. These party people are running a racket, and they know it. They also know that I'll be back to pay their ridiculous prices because they understand that the look on my child's face once she sees their balloons will make my suddenly lighter wallet worth while. And they're right. Kailey was ecstatic when she saw me walk through the door with my posse of balloons in tow.

We tied the balloons to her chair and proceeded with the birthday festivities: lunch, cake, and presents. Presents. The kid made a quite a haul in that department: dolls, art stuff, outdoor play gear, electronic gadget toys...enough stuff to keep her busy for a month. They did keep her busy for the day. But on Thursday, one guess as to what captivated her attention. Balloons.

True to the balloon lady's prediction, the regular ones wilted overnight. The girls cut the strings off of them and proceeded to bump and kick and swat them all over the house...for hours. It was maddening. What was worse is that they then had the audacity to argue over one balloon. And of course all of this happened while I tried to take a nap (I'm not lazy...I worked the early morning shift and had been up since 3:30). "THERE'S TWELVE BALLOONS AND I'LL BREAK EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM IF YOU CAN'T STOP FIGHTING OVER THE PEARLED BLUE ONE!!!" I threatened. They normally ignore my idle threats, but I must have sounded really angry because they relented...for about twenty minutes. Then, like a dog returns to its vomit, they returned to their folly. It's been a long couple of days.

The good thing about balloons is that they don't last long. By tomorrow they will have deflated enough that they'll need to be thrown away. Hopefully, Kailey will then return to play with the gifts we bought with our hard-earned money. If she doesn't they'll sit in her closet and collect dust with all of her other forgotten toys only to be remembered several years from now when we try to give them away to Goodwill or The Salvation Army. Then Kailey will petition and plead like mad to keep them. The headaches will begin all over again, all because of a 70 cent balloon.


The Beast Mom said...

When I first read your title I thought it said a fifty dollar toy vs. a seventy DOLLAR balloon. I was thinking about that cancelled Chgo pizza order costing a bajillion dollars and expecting to read a post about how you cancelled a balloon order from Manhattan or something.
But not.
I reread your title at the end of the post. duh.


the battered ham said...

I'm the one who feels like a dork. I combed my keyboard for a half-hour looking for the "cent" sign. Obviously, I didn't find it. I could have sworn it used to be one of the "shift" + number keys, but not anymore. I thought the title might be confusing, but it looked weird to me when I wrote "A Fifty Dollar Toy Vs. a Seventy Cent Balloon." Actually, they both look weird. I need a new title.

I'm way too anal. Somebody get me a drink.

The Beast Mom said...

Ctrl-Alt-C gets you the copyright symbol. That was my only guess as to where the cent symbol was...but guess not.

But I found the copyright symbol.


the battered ham said...

OK, well at least now I feel like less of a dork. If our two brilliant minds can't figure it out...

Anonymous said...

Now when you leave the door that wide open to insult not one but BOTH of you, you pretty much FORCE me out of lurking mode and into posting a comment.

Btw, your argument doesn't make much ¢¢ to me.

(see Method 2)

-Eric (of Triangle Pirate Dog fame)

the battered ham said...

I KNEW someone would take that bait. Great to hear from you, even though you mock me with your common ¢¢. How could I have not figured that out all by myself? I mean any moron should know that ALT + 155 = ¢. Thanks for the tip! Gotta go fix this blog title.