Twisted fun

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By Becca Owsley


bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com Have you ever gotten nervous or worked up about something that, in retrospect, you realized was absolutely ridiculous? As I prepare for a trip to Mexico, I’ve done that a lot lately.

One of the tasks we are supposed to learn for this trip is how to make balloon animals for children who come out to the Bible school camps.

I never have made a balloon animal in my life. I didn’t even know how to start. I suddenly found myself nervous about even attempting such a feat.

We all met last week for “balloon camp” to learn how to make these little latex critters and I found that many in the group were apprehensive about the task.

We started by blowing up the long slender balloons and I could hear pop … pop … pop all over the room as many blew them up too much.

Then the squeaking sound of twisting balloons began with an occasional pop in between as some twisted their balloon too much.

Most of us began by trying a simple dog. Some wound up with one leg, no ears and often strangely formed bodies. The mutt-ley crew of misshaped dogs were not exactly the objective.

Again and again we forged ahead, keeping to the task at hand to learn to make a colorful array of animals.

My first try was a bust … literally. I twisted and tried and then pop. It was destroyed.

Not to be deterred, I tried once again. I followed the directions very carefully, trying to create a colorful pet. After the last twist, to my surprise, I did it. An orange balloon dog stood before me. I couldn’t believe it. I danced about in my seat as if I had won the lottery.

I decided to try again and with my very own hands created a green giraffe. More importantly, when I showed it to someone else, she actually recognized what it was. Success again.

Then the real test, making one by memory without directions. I knew if I took my directions with me the kids who were waiting for balloons would not be impressed by my accomplishment, so I had to learn how to do it off the cuff.

This time around I tried a wiener dog. The long skinny frame would be easier. First I formed its head and ears, then the first set of legs and lastly the back legs and tail. And there it was … the most beautiful wiener dog balloon animal I had ever seen.

I was so proud of myself I couldn’t wait to find a child to see if they knew what it was. There were no children around so I found the next best thing. In the hallway I could see some of my band mates waiting to start practice. They would do.

Previously I had told others of my balloon animal anxiety, so when they saw me they immediately asked “did you do it?”

I proudly showed off my accomplishments one at a time. Our bass player looked at them and recognized the dog, giraffe and wiener dog.

Success. I not only made the animals, but others actually could tell what they were. A proud moment indeed.

The moral to my story of anxiety, trial and error and ultimate triumph is that nothing is ever too hard to learn. And there’s no use getting anxious over a funny little balloon animal because if you do you may pop before they do. 

    Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741.