Story of the Sad Balloon


Well bloggers, we’re closing in on 6” of rain so far this month, temperatures 6.5 degrees above normal, constant cloud cover (save for a few gorgeous sunrises mixed in) and some unexpectedly strong winds. So if you’re anything like me, a humorous little story (which is slightly weather related) will cheer you up during these sad, gloomy El Nino days.

The following is an experience at work I had that I will never stop being embarassed about, but there is actually a good little moral at the end that ties this awkward moment together nicely. It is up to you to decide how stupid I really am by the end of this story, but please understand…I do know my periodic table.

Have you ever been in such a hustle and bustle that you make stupid decisions because the moment is too fast for your brain to keep up with? If so, you can relate to this story well:

After his procedure, a little boy no more than 6 years old slid off the dentists chair and walked over to the assistant who was working on him. His question was very simple: “Um…can I have a balloon?”

The assistant smiled and said, “Sure!” as her focus turned from the boy to me, signaling to hurry and go grab a balloon from the back room to give to the little numbskull—I mean, tender child.

With my typical long strides and swift “news anchor”-like walk I made it to the back room in just a few steps which would take a normal person several more steps to accomplish, but not that that matters. Just thought you’d like to know…

I opened the door to the back room and searched frantically for the helium tank. Where could it be? The mom had her purse hanging on her shoulder with the car keys in her other hand. She was ready to leave and obviously didn’t want to wait for decades as some silly sterilizer goofed around in the back room looking for the helium.

Now this is where the disconnect happens: In the rushed state of mind I was in (that’s my excuse) I just grabbed a balloon from a nearby “balloon bucket” and blew it up—with Matt Leach air. Like my air was so much better than everyone elses and it would suddenly float up to heaven because of the greatness thereof.

That was not the case. Not the case at all, folks.

But again, at the time I wasn’t thinking about that. I sincerely believed it would float without that stupid helium. The balloon expanded to what I considered historic levels and I ripped off a piece of silver string and tied it delicately to the end of my perfect knot made at the end of the balloon.

As if this didn’t give it away, I emerged from the back room holding the balloon in one hand and the string in the other. The boy’s eyes lit up as he saw the gargantuan light blue balloon in front of him. He reached his hand out and I gave him the string.

Not a second after he grabbed my beautifully blown up balloon by the string it began to sink to the floor—and fast. Awkward silence filled the room. The mother and boy looked at the sad balloon lying pitifully on the floor, and then turned their disapproving eyes towards me.

I quietly asked the assistant: “Would you like me to make another one…with helium?” The assistant smiled forgivingly, and responded:

“No, you idiot. How can you call yourself a weatherman if you don’t know the fricken difference between helium and oxygen? The poor kid is probably going to be messed up for the rest of his life…”

Actually, she didn’t quite say that. She sweetly responded, “No, Matt. That’s OK.”

The little boy frowned and his mom patted him tenderly on the back. They then walked towards the exit of the office, the little boy dragging the balloon, bobbing along behind him.

Such a sad and embarrassing story, I know, but there’s a good lesson to learn from this!

MORAL: In life, its one thing to have a goal (the balloon), but it’s quite another to achieve that goal (putting helium in the balloon so it rises to success!)

Awww, wasn’t that sweet?!

Stay strong, Kitsap. We’ll be basking in 70 degree sunshine before you know it! Until then…the mild temperatures, rain and clouds continue.

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at:

28 thoughts on “Story of the Sad Balloon

  1. Thanks for sharing Matt. We all have some sort of “Sad Balloon” story in our past somewhere.

    70 degrees and Sun? I would settle for 2 or 3 days of dry in a row for starters.

    The count down on “convertible” time has begun in my house. Typically there a just a few days in February to tease me. March is when I can start weaning myself off the “heater” when I put the top down. April and May every dry day it is down. June, July and August is all the time. Especially when driving 9 year old boys to football practice. If it is warm enough it’s even down during the occasional light shower. September is really great. October begins the “top up” dark bummer season we would rather not talk about.

  2. I just want sunshine – not the weak wimpy stuff that is so low in the southern sky it doesn’t actually touch my yard. I can’t hardly wait for March.

    Spent all day sunday in Port Townsend on various beaches. Despite awful weather forecasts calling for 90% chance of rain, the day was dry and we were able to get below the cliffs and stay out of the wind. If only the sun had been out, it would have been perfect.

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