Friday, July 18, 2008

I Sure Would Like It

Oh my gosh! So I was cleaning up my blog and I came across a few drafts that I never finished. Most were just crap so I deleted them, but this one I had to finish and share. It is from August 2006 (almost two years ago!)...

Last week I went to a Cubs game with my friends Cheryl, Hoang, and Ryne. Much to my surprise Hoang and Cheryl showed up with a little gift for me, a Cubs hat made entirely out of balloons. You know, the kind of balloons clowns make puppies and giraffes out of. Well this was far and above any of that amateur crap. It must have taken twenty balloons to construct this masterpiece. Hanging off of the side of this already massive structure was a Cubby bear holding a little heart. It was sweet really...until you realized that its 3 foot reach actually posed a threat to others who were too close (read: in the same room). As you might imagine this is not appropriate downtown Chicago attire. I had to carry it around most of the time because I really believed I would harm someone if I left it unsupervised atop my head. I carried it from the train to the subway, where I had to try to contain it to just one seat with me (impossible), and then from the subway around the perimeter of Wrigley. I said from the beginning that they wouldn't let me in the park with it, but I couldn't bring myself to ditch it so I walked right up to the security guy checking bags outside the park. His eyebrow raised as he stared at the rubber monstrosity in my hand. "What's that?" he asked suspiciously. "A hat," I replied calmly. He tried to make a joke about it being a beer hat and I just smiled and nodded and walked past into the park. After my ticket was scanned I thought I was home free. Two steps later I was ambushed by a crazy mob of security guards insisting that I must check my "hazardous object" and come back and pick it up after the game. Embarrassed, I stepped off to the side and filled out a form to ensure my balloon hat access to a nice comfortable room until I was ready to reclaim it. The lady taking my information kept reassuring me over and over again, "Don't you worry honey, ain't nobody gonna pop this here hat. I'll make sure it's kept real safe." I looked at the hat wearily and secretly hoped it would pop. On my way out of the park I considered leaving it to fend for itself, but the thought of how proud Cheryl and Hoang were when they handed it to me, made me go back and reclaim it. I lugged it once again onto the subway. It was after five now and the red line was packed. I was forced to sit next to some poor stranger my balloon hat didn't like, as it continued to break free from my grasp and smack the stranger across the face with it's little white tentacles. I felt like one of those parents who can't control their children and so just shrugs when they started beating on some unfortunate person happening to be sitting in the vicinity. After the subway I marched back down the streets of Chicago to the train station getting strange looks from EVERY person we passed. We finally got on the train and I rested my nuisance balloon on my lap. I silently cursed it for all the embarrassment of the day and look around for a pin to destroy it. As we neared our stop on the train the man sitting in the front of our car got up and staggered in our direction. I say staggered because he was plastered and clutching a tall can of Bud Light. Ryne and I took one glance at his Cheers sweatshirt and thought, "How fitting." As he stumbled down I realized his eyes were fixed on my balloon hat. Suddenly I felt a bond between the balloon and I, and I pulled it closer to me. As he came up even with our seats his eyes grew wide with excitement.
"WHAT'S THAT?!" he said in a mystified manner.
"It's a hat made out of balloons," I replied trying to keep things simple for the guy.
Ryne and I looked forward hoping he would go way, but he remained and asked, "How much for it?"
All thoughts of disposing of the balloon vanished at that instance, and I suddenly couldn't part with it. "It's not for sale."
He stood there and stared as if I had said nothing. And stared. And stared. I grew more and more uncomfortable and began to wonder if I was going to die for this stupid balloon hat.
"I sure would like it," he finally said in a voice that suddenly had a Southern twang to it.
"It was a gift. It's not for sale," I said firmly without thinking. Ah! What am I doing?! Give him the freakin hat! After all the misery it caused! Just get rid of it. Now is your chance! You could even make some money! He's large and in charge and drunk! Don't make him angry!
Our new intoxicated friend just stood and stared for quite some time. I began to think that maybe he had spaced out, or passed out. Suddenly he just turned and walked away muttering to himself about balloons and disappeared into the bathroom.
The balloon hat made it home that night, and I displayed it proudly until the air had completely escaped many months later. It shall always be remembered as the most obnoxious gift I ever got that I would never part with.