Stupid Things People Say

IMAG0196“You should let my 2-year-old go first,” bellows a woman standing behind the teenagers.  The four teenage girls had no idea what the woman was complaining about; they too stood in line.  “Ma’am, this is kid’s day, and they, like you, paid to get in and are entitled to balloons.”  I could see my logic was not what she wanted to hear.

A woman pushes her child towards me and says, “Tell him what you want.”  I politely looked at her and said, “There is a line,” and point to the thirty-plus people standing waiting patiently.  “Oh, we don’t have time, lets go,” and off they walk.

“You know you are repeating your jokes,” says a gentleman who’s standing alongside me.  I look at him and ask, “Are you in line for a balloon?” “No, I am just watching.” “OK, it is just that you have been standing here for about an hour, and jokes do repeat.”  “Well, then I’m leaving.” Before he exits, he mutters, “Your jokes are also lame.”

“Daddy, I want a sword,” This is the third time the boy tells his dad.  I think everyone in line knows that this boy wants a sword.  Minutes later, the dad stands in front of me and, without hesitation, says, “He wants a dog.”  “Are you sure?” “Yes, he’ll have a Blue’s Clue.” Off they go, the child in the father’s arms and Blue’s Clue clutched in the father’s hand.  Minutes later, they return, and the little boy is crying hysterically, and the father says, “Could you turn this into a sword?”  “Sorry, it is designed to be a dog.  If you like, you can get back in line, and I will be happy to make you another one.”  The father storms off, telling the kid, “That’s what you wanted, that’s what you get.”

“What do you mean the line is closed? This event is for the kids. Come on, guy, have a heart!” the father says as he walks past, disgruntled, on his way to secure a prime viewing area for the fourth of July fireworks.

“What the F –, this event goes for another twenty minutes, the line cannot be closed!” “Sorry, Ma’am, but the event has been going for two hours, and the line is shutting down to make sure we end on time.” “This is bullshit! My mother works here, this F’n sucks, I came here just for balloons, damn it!” Library staff scrambled to accommodate the woman with a helium-filled balloon.  She took it, but bellowed “I want a damn dog for my son!” I made her a balloon dog to stop the vulgarity in front of the kids and the on-looking families.  Minutes later, I find myself standing behind the vulgar woman.  As she talks with her mother, I can hear, “Wow, that balloon guy was good. I’m glad we came in time for a balloon.”

“I have been waiting half an hour for my balloon. Can you go faster?” I look at my watch and calmly look at the woman, and say, “It’s 2:15; I started at 2:00. Who’s line have you been waiting in?”

“Can you make these balloon designs simpler so the line can go faster?” a senior citizen yells from three people back.  Apparently, the penny slot machines in the casino are not paying off today, and she wants a balloon animal for her reward.  It is now her turn, and I ask her, with a grin, “What simple design would you like?”  “I want two Mikey Mouses and two Mini Mouses for my grandkids,” she exclaims.  “Sorry, Ma’am, I can only give out one per person. Otherwise, the line would be unbearably long.”

As I explain to the woman entering the line, “Sorry, but the line is closed.”  Her reply, “Well, have an F’n Merry Christmas to you,” as she stomped off.  One of the pleasant conversations I had while working the holiday season in downtown Chicago at Navy Pier.

“How can you say no to a child?” utters a mother.  “Easy, I am a father, and I tell my kids ‘no’ all the time. Sorry, no more balloons. All done.”

“I didn’t get a balloon,” says a little six-year-old girl. “Yes, I made you a Minnie Mouse, didn’t I?”  A voice in the background pipes up.  It’s the mother, “No, it’s her twin sister you made a balloon for.”  “Oh, I am sorry, it just that I need to leave and all the kids get one balloon; I thought I made a Minnie Mouse for her.”  As the mother and daughter left, I asked, “Where’s your other daughter?” The mother turns and says with a smile, “I only have one kid.”  “So you’re teaching your daughter to lie?” I say.  “Yes, but she got what she wanted.”

I walk into the room, and seated before me is a group of teenage girls.  It looks like a girls’ basketball team.  The season has ended, and the coach and some mothers are taking the girls out for a season-ending party.  The girls giggled and laughed; the mother strategically sat at another table, allowing the coach to deal with the girls.  While I’m twisting a balloon, the coach came over and requested that a penis be made for the mothers.  “Sorry, sir, but this is a family restaurant,” I say. Quickly the teenage girls are asking what did he want?  One girl proudly states, “the coach is my dad – tell me what he said.” My reply….”Go ask your dad what he wanted for your mother.”

Yet, for every knucklehead I meet, countless people are kind, giving, and just fun to talk to.  These people make up for all the idiots that I deal with while entertaining.

13 thoughts on “Stupid Things People Say”

  1. Bravo; you hit the nail on the head and the point at the end is 100% true. For every horrible story out there, for every ungrateful parent, there are a hundred more who appreciate and respect what you do. THOSE parents are why I keep at it. 🙂

  2. i find it interesting. i cannot understand why people are not trying to be pleasant. ‘a mother teaching her daughter to lie’ for the sake of a free balloon? i am ashamed. what are we teaching our children? have the social morals and manners disappeared? i have seen this happening in India, but unable to believe that its happening in your country, known for good manners.

    i recall here a similar incident where we were selling soap bubble toys in an exhibition in a posh residential colony. The mother returned with the child to complain that its not blowing bubbles. The brand ‘ Dulcop’ made in Italy is the best in its class and i have sold over 100s of thousands and i have never come across any defective product. the bubbles come with a pleasant i took the bubble tube and smelled it to see whether they mixed any water . I could smell the difference. i asked the child whether he poured water into the tube. The mother is telling no. but you know what the child said? my mother is telling a lie, she is the one who poured water. The bubble was costing just 50 cents. I had to bluntly ask the mother this: are you not ashamed to tell a lie in the presence of your child, just for the sake of 50 cents? what are you teaching your child? I am unable to understand this kind of a behaviour

  3. I thought this only happened to me, here in the UK.
    Sometimes people complain when I stop making big balloons and make poodles and swords for the last ten minutes so everyone gets one. I’ve lost jobs through these complaints even though I’ve made sure everyone got a balloon.

  4. I painted faces for 2 hours straight on the same level as monster trucks were revving for the start of the show at 6:00 precisely. My husband kept telling everyone in line that I had to stop at 6 regardless if there was anyone waiting. It was also announced over the loudspeaker that face painting would end exactly at 6pm so the races could start… my table was being moved by employees – one mother pushed her child on me and said I had quite the nerve to stop right when it came her turn, they’d been in line 20 minutes and that I should be ashamed to disappoint her child. I nicely said, “M’am, we’ve been telling you for 20 minutes this would happen and by the way, I have nothing to paint with, it’s all been taken away!”. Her answer, “You could have done the others faster!”. It’s hard to understand how people think but it’s my belief that the jerks come out when it’s free to the public.

  5. Most entertainers could write a book! Many of the trouble comes from ending a line. It is the worst part of any job. I try to focus on the joy from the dozens of happy customers instead of the couple of jerks. Although it is difficult sometimes.

  6. Thank for sharing these stories! I knew there were weirdos, jerks and idiots everywhere I just can’t believe they would do this or say these things around children and families!! Maybe if people spoke up when they hear such language or see these actions these idiots, jerks and weirdos would just STOP IT!!!
    Thank you for all that you do

  7. Ian, best to keep the quality the same. If you start with a dog and sword finish with a dog an sword. If you start with 3-5 balloon figures end with them, you have to just realize everyone cannot get something. There are winners and losers. Get their early, wait in line, be patient, you win a balloon. Show up late, sorry, no balloon for you.

    Ian, it is also up to you to judge your environment. If you can do 3-5 balloon figures and the kid to entertainer ratio is right go for it! If not dumb down designs and go from there.

    My advice is educate the client after the event. Tell them you need another entertainer if you’re going to have a crowd this size. Ne upfront and let them know some people did not get a balloon. Sometime they will ask you to stay longer ($$$$), other times they will say, “Lets get another person to help you next year”. This may help you avoid losing another gig. ;0)

  8. I haven’t had most of the problems described here, perhaps because I work on a per-party basis and not for a certain length of time. My main problems come in booking the show, such as with the woman who wanted a reduced rate over my regular magic show since I would “only” be doing balloon animals.

  9. I´ve heard people (mainly men)saying “you´re kind of cheating – using a pump, not blowing”. I use to smile VERY big and give´m one balloon and kindly say “You sir – can blow this one – while I make a dog/sword for your child”. When you´re finished I make a balloonfigure for you also!”. I´m smile and have “the glimpse in my eye”… Usually I get a “I´m sorry” – and a kind of embaressed smile back.

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