Daniel got a balloon at the Boone County Fair, courtesy of Green Giant. They’re a big employer in Belvidere. Daniel handed it to me and asked if I would blow it up. I threw it in the air and made a “BOOM!” sound.
“There you go,” I said. “All blown up.” Despite the enormous crowds on hand, it was strangely silent. Daniel didn’t laugh, didn’t even crack a smile. His eye lasers were set to flambé.
So, I ended up inflating the balloon to Daniel’s specifications. It ended up a little bit larger than I would have made it myself, but I thought it was manageable. I was wrestling with the end and trying to knot it up when I noticed Daniel was standing with his eyes closed and his hands across his ears.
“Thanks for the vote of confidence!” I said. Daniel opened his eyes and looked at me.
“Oh, I knew you could do it,” he said. I didn’t say anything. I just let the balloon deflate in my hand; a juicy raspberry sound. He asked me again if I would blow up the balloon.
“Well, do you trust me to do it?” I asked. He nodded. I took a deep breath and got it near to the size it had been when – suddenly – it popped in my face. I flinched backwards with the latex end still hanging between my lips like a damp cigarette. Daniel didn’t say anything, just handed me another balloon from his pocket.
“Here you go,” he said. “You have my confidence!”
“I noticed you just happened to have a second balloon,” I observed.
“I knew that you could blow up the balloon,” said Daniel, “but I figured you might need some practice.”