I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
June 2, 2011
It was a typically magical Sunday afternoon at the Nashville Library’s annual puppet festival.
This particular balloon guy was one of the best… He was clearly a Grand Poobah of Balloon Creatures, whipping up all kinds of elaborate creations: three-foot wizard wands with fuzzy pom poms rattling around inside… crazy balloon hats with tentacles that extended in every direction… and, after an hour-long wait, a unicorn for my daughter and a spider hanging from a tree branch for my son.
Understandably, my children were thrilled. They waved their balloon creations around happily as we filed into one of the library’s auditoriums for the final show of the day: Pinocchio, a one-man performance from Atlanta featuring puppets made out of found objects.
As we settled into our seats, Bruiser and a kid in front of us staged a mock battle between Bruiser’s balloon spider and the kid’s balloon pirate sword.
“That’s enough,” I told Bruiser after the other kid bonked me in the head with his sword. “The show’s about to start. Let’s put our balloons under our seats until it’s over so that they don’t pop.” The kids whined a bit, but eventually allowed me to stow their balloons for the duration of the puppet show. But as I looked around, I noticed that other parents weren’t bothering to do what I had done. Everywhere in the auditorium, balloons were visible- balloon wands waved, balloon flowers bobbed, balloon swords swished. The lights went down and across the auditorium, dozens of balloons quivered in anticipation.
The show started and my kids forgot their own balloons entirely as the puppeteer launched into the story of the puppet my son calls “Pokey-nose.” Indeed, the entire audience was riveted by the performer’s completely unique rendition of the tale. A hush fell over the crowd as Pinocchio ran away from home and joined the circus– and then– about 15 minutes into the performance during an exceedingly quiet moment on stage, there came a loud
from the audience.
“GET THAT THING OUT! OF! MY! FACE!” a woman yelled from one of the seats on the right side of the auditorium.
Every head in the audience turned to see what was going on. The performer continued with his show, but the woman was still carrying on, and you could hear bits and pieces of her diatribe over the puppeteer.
“…HAVE HAD ENOUGH!”
“…AGGRESSIVELY WAVING THAT THING…”
I sat listening, agape. From what I could gather, the woman had grown tired of some kid waving his balloon in front of her during the show and… and…
“Balloon rage,” I whispered to my husband. He nodded sagely.
Because while the woman’s actions were shocking and strangely… violent, I think we’ve all experienced balloon rage at one time or another. Who among us hasn’t dealt with someone constantly getting in our face? Which of us hasn’t felt the temptation to just reach out one time and…
Balloon rage. Unleash your inner straight pin.
Top image via Ben Francis/Flickr