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All Puffed Up
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Last year, a friend invited me to the fifth birthday party of his daughter, Francesca.
I was flattered by the invitation and agreed to go, without hesitation. I love my friend and Francesca is an adorable little girl. All smiles, kind hearted and the cutest freckles pepper her nose and cheeks. I could gobble her up, every last bit. She’s beautiful from the inside out and the outside in. I’d do almost anything for her.
When I arrived at my friend’s house he asked if I’d be kind enough to blow up all the balloons needed for the party.
“Certainly, no problem,” I said.
He handed me 100 balloons. No small number. No easy feat. But I wanted to put a smile on Francesca’s face, so I hid away in the kitchen and cracked on with my allotted task, knowing that my efforts would not go unrewarded. I figured ‘Cesca’ would smother me with kisses when she saw what I had done for her.
“Gulp. 100 balloons, a thousand or more puffs of air, here I go!”
I blew up a first balloon.
Then a second.
Then a third.
All was going well.
In no time at all I reached my tenth balloon. I was pleased as punch with my progress. Heartened by the smile and kisses I’d surely receive from Francesca and the pat on the back my Pal would give me upon completion, I pressed on with my inflation task enthusiastically.
Then something peculiar happened
A little girl guest attacked my filled balloons with a drawing pin and popped every last one! I was baffled, disappointed. But I dusted myself off, pulled myself together.
That’s just Jody having a bit of fun, I consoled myself. She must have been over excited about the party and thought it would be terribly good fun to pop my balloons. They make a delightfully loud BANG, after all.
No problem. It was just ten balloons. I still had 90 other balloons and Francesca wouldn’t notice that 10 were missing, I hoped.
So I started blowing up balloons again.
I went at it with great gusto. I set myself to the task of blowing up balloons like never before. And with a little effort I had a pile of 20 filled balloons on the floor in front of me. I smiled. I’m was making good progress. I’d made up for the ten balloons Jody popped. 90 balloons would be filled in no time…
Then something peculiar happened.
Jody rushed back in and popped all twenty balloons! Her prank wasn’t funny anymore, I thought to myself.
I gave Jody a gentle ticking off and asked her to play with the other boys and girls enjoying the party, in the other room. Okay, Francesca wouldn’t have 100 balloons but 70 is still a sizable number, she’ll still pleased with my efforts. They’ll still be smiles and kisses, no doubt.
So, once again I set myself to the task of blowing up balloons.
Gosh, it was hard work.
My cheeks burned red.
Sweat pooled in my back.
I felt lightheaded.
But in no time at all I had 30 filled balloons on the floor in front of me…At last terrific progress! I gave myself a pat on the back. THATAMAN!
And then something REALLY ANNOYING happened.
Jody once again rushed in and popped all my balloons. Blimey! She was fast. I couldn’t stop her. I gave her a good ticking off and pleaded with her not to do it again.
She couldn’t have listened, though.
Now, after an exhausting stint of huffing and puffing, 40 filled balloons spread out like a multi-coloured sea across the kitchen floor. But before I could soak up my accomplishment, Jody, for a final time, popped every last one.
I was understandably upset by that.
I was out of balloons.
All my efforts had amounted to nothing.
At the very moment that realisation had occurred, my friend entered the kitchen and asked:
“So where are all the balloons?”
I pointed to the tatters on the floor and shrugged my shoulders.
He put two and two together….and came up with three…
“Hey, Pal. Thanks for ruining my daughter’s birthday! Leave immediately.”
My protests went unheard.
Meanwhile, Jody was helping herself to gargantuan slab of deliciously sweet birthday cake, wearing a large smile, so I’m told.
Who are you?
The guy blowing up balloons?
The little girl that pops them?
Or the friend that jumps to the wrong conclusion?
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