A SHARP LIFE: Getting away with balloon murder

I just murdered three balloons in cold helium. I guess murdered is a little strong. Euthanized might be more appropriate.

Every birthday party we get the kid or kids being celebrated some helium-filled balloons as party decorations, and after every party they throw their new toys down so they can use both hands to fight with their siblings over the balloons. We’ve had dinosaur balloons, sea creature balloons, princess balloons, Mickey Mouse Balloons, and many more.

There was also an Olivia the Pig balloon that was caught in an unfortunate wind gust shortly after a party. The last we saw of Olivia she was at about 300 feet and climbing fast. Personally, I like to think that she landed in the yard of another little girl who was a fan of Olivia the pig, and that little girl saw the balloon as a gift from God. Of course, it is also possible that the balloon got stuck in a tree and a little girl who is a fan of Olivia the pig found a deflated balloon and is now scarred for life, but I choose to be positive.

The problem with balloons is that you have to find a way to discreetly and quietly dispose of the balloons. The birthday party for the seven-year-old Zoologist, and the five-year-old Ballerina was two weeks ago. For a week I just let the balloons hang around despite the fact that the balloons, and the constant turf wars over them, were beginning to make the Wonder Woman that I am related to by marriage twitch.

After a week, I began the process of thinning the herd. Each night after the kids went to be I made my way to the living room, silently let the air out of a balloon or two, and put it in bottom of the trash can and covered them with trash so that they would not be accidentally discovered by children miraculously throwing trash away instead of leaving it laying around. You can never be too careful with these things.

The whole thing is like a parental Agatha Christie novel. You start out with a dozen or so balloons and then one by one you pick them off until there are none left. If you do your job right no one even knows who the culprit is until it is too late. After tonight’s balloon euthanizing activities, we are down to the two biggest balloons. This is the tensest part of the whole operation. They have largely forgotten about the balloons. All we have to do is to make it one more day without small humans realizing what is happening.

If all goes well a couple of weeks from now one of the kids will suddenly remember that there used to be a dozen balloons in the living room. They’ll ask me what happened to the balloons. I will respond quite truthfully, “O, those balloons ran out of air.” I just won’t mention the scissors.