What goes up…

26 Oct

Today I was invited to the launch of a new local public service. It involved a cast of worthy and enthusiastic folk symbolically releasing vibrant helium balloons.

The moment was marred by a few irritating practicalities. Firstly, it had to be held indoors as the weather was bad, so the balloons only actually rose by about 10 feet before they hit the strip lighting – rather a treacherous object, if you’re a balloon.

Also there were only about 30 people there, and one rather nervous lady who was clearly itching to collect all the balloons back up again – perhaps they were on loan, which made the hazardous lighting arrangement all the more unfortunate.

Finally, the balloon-releasing action had to be repeated several times so that the newspaper cameramen got their shot. Watching them forlornly float up, hit the ceiling and then get yanked back down to their temporary owners reminded me of a puppy straining at its leash. Not quite the liberating sentiment the organizers had in mind, I imagine.

Nobody seemed particularly clear as to why the area needed this new service, although the prevailing sentiment was that we didn’t know we didn’t need it either (see?).

I won’t go into detail about what it was because actually it doesn’t matter – it was for me an interesting little snapshot of the perils of event management. I’m so glad I’m not in that particular line of work.

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One Response to “What goes up…”

  1. Becky October 27, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    So funny! I’m actually dying to know what this was all about? Perhaps there was a little tiny fairy in each one, only these fairies were invisible to those who didn’t believe. SUCH A SHAME!!! I want a room full of fairy-filled balloons!

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