Halfway through July and feelin’ the heat!

I know we haven’t even gotten to those dog days of summer that come in mid-August, but that 88 degree Thursday in the forecast sounds way too hot for me! I don’t mind so much when I can stay home in the cool and dark, but there’s some unwritten law that says if I have to put on clown suit layers, grease paint and a pink wig with four inch deep acrylic floss, the sun will be burning and I’ll be sweating into my shoes! 🙂 Actually, I lucked out last weekend because both Pockets appearances were on Sunday, after the rain cleared the oppresive heat! Having to play hide-and-seek with the sun, because I have Lupus, can be really a problem in the summer! I was blessed with nice shady spots in Gasport and Middleport and got to share some time with lot of local youngsters. I even survived a balloon crisis! “YIKES!!”

When young ones are lined up for a balloon sword, dog or hat, it usually moves along quickly, provided said youngsters can decide on a color and creation (not always easy with too many choices). Provided you have enough balloons. I had grumbled a LOT on the Friday before, because  I went shopping and the usual big bags of animal twist balloons I buy (a gross) were sold out! Oh, no! Well, they did have some little bags of 20 balloons each, so I grabbed all they had for my big day, lucky to have found them. Imagine my surprise when halfway through the first event I opened up one of the bags to find baby balloons! Normal twist balloons vary a little bit between manufacturers, but are basically straight and about 10-11 inches long when uninflated. The new balloons had a curious wave, and were about 5 inches long. Now, the package plainly shows a giraffe-looking animal creation but the only four-footed creature that can be made with the teeny balloon is a mighty small bubble dog that will fit in the palm of your hand! What to do? When there are kids waiting expectantly, you have to get creative! One baby balloon made two flower petals, so three would make a pasable flower, and some really little kids got a kick out of a small fishing pole with a small fish attached. Three joined together would circle a head for a hat and somehow we made it through the night with a combination of midget balloons, and regular length ones culled from the bottom of my purse, clown pockets and car. That’s what I get for grumbling about the small packages to begin with!! That’ll teach me! 🙂

So, what’s a clown to do? I called the store where I made my purchase, and found they were switching vendors and that was all I’d get from now on. I called the store’s corporate headquarters to explain that while they were cute little balloons, it was totally misleading to label them “animal twist balloons” when they clearly came up short! (pun intended) A very nice corporate store representative listened to my sad story and promised to look into it, check with the buyer and get back to me. I even told her that if the company they purchased said balloons from could actually show me that they could make the pictured animal with that skimpy scrap of latex, I’d personally eat all the balloons in the store!  I did some web-searching today and found a customer service number for the actual company named on the balloon bag. As soon a the phone lines are open tomorrow, they’re going to hear from this cranky clown!

I sure hope to find more REAL twist balloons soon (without a 90 mile trip to Buffalo!), because those Thursday-at-the-Farmer’s Market kids are going to be lying in wait for my blue station wagon!! Never disappoint the kids!

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