“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.