California state Sen. Jack Scott doesn’t want your kids to have fun at their birthday parties! OK, so that’s not really the point of his bill to ban foil helium balloons but that sure is a better lead than he wants to prevent power outages caused when the damn things fly into power lines. There were 800 of those last year in the Golden State.
However — and I’m stealing the pun from the WSJournal here — he didn’t expect the issue to blow up in his face.
Last month, at a pro-balloon rally in a Pasadena park, protesters cheered as a group of children pounced on an effigy of Mr. Scott — made entirely of balloons. … Wedding planners, party organizers and balloon artists all rallied to the cause. The industry body, the Balloon Council, set up a Web site — www.savetheballoons.com — that urges people to contact their state representatives. Members began a grass-roots campaign to garner support.
There’s an industry group for this, who knew? What’s their magazine called, The Gas Bag?
You really should read the whole story. It’s filled (and not in a puff piece sort of way — ouch) with gems like this:
Others complained that balloon-sellers were an easy mark for legislators. “To them, we’re just the balloon people. We’ve got the big noses and the floppy shoes,” said Treb Heining, a balloon artist who began his career at 15 selling balloons at Disneyland and has since created installations for the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. “We’re the Rodney Dangerfield of the professional-events services.”
Bravo to writer Amy Kaufman and the WSJ for this. Not only does the WSJ consistently produce some of the best serious journalism there is, they also produce some of the best intentionally funny journalism.