Monday, August 26, 2013

Pinch, Twist, Masterpiece!

Last night was our church carnival, and I have a most uncharitable admission to make. I signed up to make balloon animals because the first thought that flew through my mind as I checked out the options for service was this: "How hard could that be?"


Instead of backing away slowly at the thought of recreating the intricacy of this art form, I thought about the Bozos (literally) I had seen twisting inflated latex into silly shapes, and imagined it was exactly the right art form for me, since I am unable to draw or paint or sculpt. Pinch and twist! Pinch and twist! How hard could that be?

It's that kind of hubris that leads people to audition for So You Think You Can Dance and instead of getting on the show get a half million views on YouTube as the answer to a search for "bad auditions."

So I showed up at the carnival 10 minutes early and the expert among us gave all the new volunteers a crash course in balloon twisting.

"Here's how you make a sword: Pinch here, pinch here, twist, twist, twist, there you go!"

Well, that's do-able.

"Here's how you make a cross: Turn the sword upside down."

The dogs were much the same kind of variation-on-a-theme. ("Here's how you make a poodle. Okay, make the body longer and the legs shorter and now it's a Dachsund.")

But guess what?  The kids don't care!

Take a look at the beautiful girl in the picture, with the "hat" and "dog" made out of balloons. Is that the most beautiful smile or what? She is not whining because the hat looks more like the skeleton of an inverted bedpan than an actual hat. She is not crying that she wanted a kitten, not a puppy with a tail twice as big as its head. She is BEAMING.

And she represents fairly the dozens of other children who walked away from the table with MomQueenBee masterpieces. They even stood in line to get just the right color of misshapen poodle to match the misshapen hat and misshapen sword they had already been handed.

One youngster, whose hair was slick with sweat after half an hour in the Bounce House, leaned his elbows on our table and sighed happily as he waited for me to finish his Dachsund.

"This is the greatest thing ever. It's just like the fair, but it's FREE!"

Pinch, pinch, twist, twist, twist, smile. I believe I've found my metier.

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