I'm no Scrooge but words cannot adequately express my hatred of all things balloon related. It starts when the kids are babies and they are handed out at restaurants. You spend the whole meal hoping and praying the baby doesn't chomp on the balloon, pop it and choke to death on the rubber remnants. Or you spend the whole meal chasing the balloon as it floats around the restaurant. Then, the minute you leave the restaurant the kid immediately lets go of the rubber orb from hell, ensuring 10 minutes of tantrum as it floats up and away from their chubby little hands. As they get older, they discover the "art" of balloon animals. These are like crack to a child. Some oddly dressed man with really bad makeup will make whatever strange animal, vegetable or mineral my kids request. Usually my son asks for a sword, light saber, or dagger which he will then use to bash anyone and everyone who comes within a 5 mile radius of his weapon of mass destruction. And let's not forget the mental anguish inflicted on all of us when his weapon pops as we head home. So, I take the kids out to eat, then spend all night referring balloon weapons, and waiting for the damn things to pop. Then I get to deal with the drama of one kid's popped balloon and the other kid's delight in their intact trophy. I swear I am gonna knock the smile of that arrogant clown's face then choke him with his own balloons!