Thursday, September 27, 2012

Helium Shortage

Have you ever heard something completely bizarre and just accepted it at face value? My oldest turned six this month and I stopped in at the local "dollar store" (which actually sells absolutely NOTHING for a dollar - I looked) to pick him up some balloons. They boys love balloons and we always get a helium one for birthdays.
After I made my selection the girl who was assisting me told me that there was a worldwide shortage of helium and that as a result the cost of helium balloons in the store had increased to EIGHT dollars per balloon. HOLY FRIJOLES BATMAN. EIGHT dollars. This is MORE than double the cost.I decided to go ahead and get one helium balloon and four filled just with air so I was still taking some home.
It didn't make sense to me that the world would be short of an element - my understanding of high school chemistry taught me SOMEthing - but who am I to say if there is a shortage of helium or not? So I paid the price for the balloons.
As I walked out of the store the wind caught the balloon bouquet in my hand and blew them into the door. The helium balloon popped.
OF COURSE it popped. Well there was no way they were replacing it and no way I was paying another 8 dollars for a balloon, but I was slightly skeptical that simply touching a door was enough to pop a balloon that wasn't defective or overinflated - but whatever.
It was frustrating that I had just released a balloon full of precious helium into the air for no good reason - I didn't even get to suck any and make my voice sound like a chipmunk, but I still had balloons so it was good enough. As I got into the car and put the balloons into the car another one popped. Nice.
When I got home and took the balloons OUT of the car ANOTHER one popped. So I started out with five and before I even got to see Max I was down to two.
I took them inside and gave them to him and instantaneously another popped. These are balloons filled with AIR we are talking about here. I have honestly never known balloons to pop so quickly. I think the shortage in the world is of good latex balloons, not helium. In any case, the popping balloon scared Max and he didn't even want to hold the one remaining one long enough to get a photo taken of him with his balloon bouquet. CJ played with the last one for a minute or so and then it also popped. Shocker.
Needless to say I will stick to blowing up balloons myself . I consider myself and expert since I blew up a million balloons (by MOUTH) when I was a Carny at the Minnesota State Fair one summer.
AND I googled the great helium shortage to determine if it is in fact a true story or just a way for the "dollar store" to gouge me further.
HERE is some info if you happen to be interested at all.

1 comment:

Teena in Toronto said...

Helium shortage? Huh?! Really?