B is for blowing up beautiful balloons

Balloons make people happy

For the last decade or so, for the Pride parade in June, the pastors’ van has strewn with helium balloons and other garlands. The junior and senior high kids, along with some adults, arrange the decorations before getting into parade position with some other local Presbyterians.

Someone who watched the festivities noted that the faith community was particularly very well represented this year. I marched, and the Daughter was one of the folks holding the denominational banner.

The route goes from Washington Park; down State Street, past a massive contingent from our church waving us on; across Lark Street, where you can really see the panorama of participants and supporters; bypassing the one guy with a sign and bullhorn telling us we’re all going to hell; up Madison Avenue; then back into Washington Park.

Oddly, the pastors do not drive around regularly with balloons on their vehicle. So once we’ve parked, it becomes incumbent on us to undecorate.

I see one of our number popping the balloons, as she was instructed. I do get why:
All released balloons, including those falsely marketed as “biodegradable latex,” return to Earth as ugly litter. Moreover, once they get loose, they can pose a threat to many animals.

Still, do you know what else balloons facilitate? Making people happy. Two competing schools of thought. I took groups of two or three balloons and offered them to passersby, most of whose faces lit up when I handed them the small bouquets.

I was operating on the slightly irrational theory that people who are savvy about LGBTQ+ rights would be likewise “woke” about environmental issues.

The Daughter took a dozen or so home herself, on a CDTA bus, no less, and the balloons died on the living room floor of natural causes, not stuck inside some bird or tangled in a power line.

For ABC Wednesday