Never look at a balloon animal the same way again

10 07 2007

Warning: This entry touches on sexual and adult themes that I consider to be PG or possible PG-13 in the context of storytelling, but nothing too offensive or gratuitous. Still, reader discretion is advised.

I guess I should write about the bizarre references to piracy of the “aarrrrrhh” sort that I saw during the day that was. I saw a girl dressed in an actual pirate costume during the morning commute. A girl across from her, not related or in the same party, was wearing a head wrap that looked like something a pirate maiden would wear. There was a guy wearing something of that sort a few seats down. And then, when I walked out of the train into the station, I saw a guy with a black eye patch. How many guys have you seen with an eye patch in the last year? I think it’s been a couple years since I have seen an actual eye patch being used for eye purposes and not “aaarrrrhhh” or “aye” purposes.

Pretty eerie, I tell ya.

Oh, on the way back? Ballroom dancing during the lengthy wait at the transfer point (off hours).

This makes me want to write about my “costumes on a train” experiences. Whenever there is a convention or big event, one will encounter these kinds of characters. For example, during the dragon conning thing, a girl in a full vintage pirate costume accompanied me on the way home. (There was an odd mixture of intentionally/unintentionally costumed geeks along with jocks from various sporting events.) I’ve sat with balloon handlers from parades and others of the sort. On the street, I’ve encountered fully costumed patrons of Santa conventions in the middle of February and the occasional HEADLESS EASTER BUNNY at the mall.

But possibly the strangest transit-character experience I’ve ever had (not including “Mr. Happy Hands,” the day-after-Christmas committer of lewd acts) is this one clown that sat with me on a bus in Phoenix during Mardi Gras in 2006. I was riding home late one evening after staying late at work in Tempe. This was during a weird time when I was staying up in North Phoenix and commuting (by bus! or car occasionally) to my job in Tempe, shortly before I made the Southern Migration. So this clown gets on the bus and he sits near me — I think next to me — and I’m like, oh geez. Not a clown. And he’s like, hi, I’m a clown, haha, and I’m like, yech. He’s got this mobile balloon-blowing unit with him and it’s taking up part of the aisle.

So we talk a little about the clown life, about makin’ balloon animals and whatnot, and I’m like, gotta keep him happy. Gotta keep him talking. Smiling with that little clown smile and little clown nose. And so then, we get talking about working the Mardi Gras and the craziness of it all. Wow, Mr. Clown, that must be wild. All that debauchery. Whoops, now he’s talking about how he likes to please the crowds and so on and so forth, and how he often will make adult-oriented balloon animals with sexual themes. People request them. Isn’t that hilarious? Haha. The most popular isn’t what you would think; it’s of dogs. Two of them. Of course, he only makes them after 9 p.m., because they’re not appropriate for the kiddies and they ought not to get lessons about the inflatable sorts of birds and bees too soon. Would I like one? Haha, no thanks. Oh, you’ve got to get going so soon? It was nice meeting you, Mr. Clown. Have a good evening!

I’ve never been able to look at a balloon animal the same way again.