I’ve a friend who is a pilot. We’ve not seen each other since we were ten, yes, a few years ago. He has wings.

Last night after a three-hour delay to come home an infant started crying and upsetting the passengers. My husband took a balloon out of his pocket and made an animal, and the baby was amazed and stopped crying. With one small gesture my husband eased the flight and long delay with just two minutes of magic.

At home the kids call him the balloon man. He’s a hit at airport gates. I think he’ll have to order some more balloons after this. He used to make more complicated balloons but not on an airplane. He could use new ones because old balloons tend to pop and that sound scares kids.

Forget kids, our dog Zoe will have nothing to do with this and crawls under my side of the bed. He goes out to the park now. He has two hand-made containers that hold balloons and accoutrements. Like a soft permanent marker to make eyes on a bumblebee.

Later, the Captain came back and gave my husband a plastic set of wings for quelling the unease in his cabin. He gave the wings to me and we will give them to a child when we have fresh balloons. The kids all remember the balloon man, who is actually a techie software consultant. Years ago he asked me what to place in his desk drawer for his team’s kids and I said not candy, moms will hate you for that at 5:00 on a Friday. They won’t eat their broccoli!

I asked him to do something different. There was no way Wile E Coyote and Road Runner were involved. But they were, in later balloon art. Those are lengthy projects. A monkey in a palm tree or funny hat are not.

One day we had Coyote and RR in the window ten feet from a path where a father and daughter were cycling. She stopped cold. I walked out the door. We had a brief chat and I gave them both away. That was her dad’s favorite cartoon. Make people understand others, make them happy, especially cranky kids on a long flight with delays as long as the flight. Cheers! Dee


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