Balloon Ambush

It was Staples’ fault. Granted, my balloon purchase happened at the Giant, but my fall from grace began with Staples. I started my week with the most frugal intentions. For one thing, the book trailer I’d like for Steel Rose will cost a few dollars, and so will the editing services I’ll need for my WOP’s. That, and the price for winter supplies.
Why winter supplies? Every fall, I try to purchase enough dry and frozen goods to last me through the winter. I’ve grown tired of shopping during the winter months only to find that the store has run out of the items I need. Worse, during a severe winter, the snow piles up so high around the sightlines in the parking lots that I can’t navigate safely. Besides, two weeks ago, I’d acquired ten balloons so I decided to hold off balloon purchasing for a while.
At the Acme, I took advantage of strategic sales on tomato sauce, and left the store sans balloons. Two days later, I headed to Staples to purchase CD envelopes, and that’s when the balloon decorations caught my eye. Multiple trees with huge latex balloons in rainbow colors sprouted in every aisle. Shiny ones, no less. I stopped to admire the balloons, paid for my purchase, and asked if I could buy a balloon. “No,” the cashier said, smiling, “these balloons are for our Columbus Day promotion sale.”
Hmmmm. I wonder if I should display balloon trees when I have a book signing.
Those shiny balloons made an indelible imprint in my mind. The next day at work, I briefed everyone on Staples and its balloons. Happily, my peer workers have a great sense of humor.
Yesterday, I went to Giant with a long list. Baking season is upon us with the holidays and Halloween coming. I was in a hurry to get through the shopping as I needed to get to the car repair shop before 5:30. So I moved fast. No time for balloons. Besides, it was bitterly cold outside, not the ideal weather for hauling balloons.
At the self-checkout, a Mylar green seahorse caught my eye. “No,” I told myself, “I’ve got no time.”
Still, a look at the seahorse wouldn’t take long. So I went behind the register to peek. Capital mistake. A dozen Halloween balloons leaped out from behind the seahorse, ambushing me. So much for my good intentions. One of them, a smiling pumpkin, made it into my cart. He’s in my living room now. After all that, I made it to the shop, and my car passed inspection.
It’s never too cold to buy balloons!

Mylar balloons and zombie fiction go well together for Barbara Custer

Forming an LLC requires close attention.

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