Monday, March 24, 2008

Socks and Helium Balloons

I think that perhaps Gareth was right, when he implied that this post is perhaps in danger of causing a riot. Underneath it all there is an interesting debate going on, and I shall wade in with my thoughts in due course, but there’s been another small drought in this Corner of the Blogosphere recently, and I feel that I should address that issue first.

If you were the one who received a random text last Wednesday reassuring you that I was wearing Wednesday’s socks I apologise for the inconvenience. It was an ‘in joke’ (he says, trying not to admit too obviously to the fact he has Days of the Week Socks, on the basis that it might not be A Good Thing). However, as per the second half of the message, if you did happen to have a cold, I do genuinely hope that it’s better.

Wednesday was a particular day of Faux Pas for me, but it was all quite amusing. Being Holy Week (the week preceding Easter), I took part in a church service that evening as part of a series looking reflecting on the events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection*. The service was great, though that’s a slight digression from this particular anecdote. The fact is that I was in church. The other fact you need to know as I set the scene is that it was someone’s birthday and as a result, they were in possession of a couple of helium balloons as we mingled after the service.

One thing lead to another and one of the balloons ended up being released, coming to rest way up under the vaulted ceiling. For several reasons, this was not good. At the best of times, it isn’t especially desirable to adorn the ceiling of a church with a bright pink balloon, but it was particularly bad during Holy Week. It is, after all, meant to be a fairly sombre time of reflection. Furthermore, the following day was Maundy Thursday, when the church is symbolically stripped of all decoration during the evening service.

So, we had to get the balloon down. Cue an hilarious 20 minutes, as we endeavoured to achieve that aim. At this point, some of you are probably thinking that my faux pas was letting the balloon go in the first place, but you’d be wrong – it wasn’t anything to do with me. Instead, as we were experimenting with various different things, concern was raised that the Contraption wasn’t long enough. I couldn’t help opening my mouth and making the obvious comment. Evidently, such innuendo is not particularly appropriate in church, and despite a few stifled laughs it was as though the aforementioned balloon was made of lead. “I don’t think he should have said that” came the voice behind me…

Ah well. All’s well that ends well, and with the help of some masking tape, we extended the Contraption and provided a way of attaching it to the balloon. Cue some balancing in the pulpit followed by jubilation as the objective was achieved.

-----
*digressing slightly, I think that such reflection is important. It's been said that you can't celebrate the joy of the resurrection without thinking first about the preceding events.

3 comments:

Dave Gill said...

Been there, done that. Our church had 4 helium balloons as part of the Christmas Day sermon. One took off up to the 40' ceiling. There was due to be a funeral for a man in his forties on the 27th December. We raided the flower arranging cupboard, tied a long string onto one of the other balloons securely and covered it in loops of the flower arrangers green 1/4" wide gaffer tape. Job done in about 10 minutes.

Gareth P said...

You've been away from Steve and I for nearly 6 months now and you still make penis joke. Magic! My work here is done!

Starkey said...

Should have shot it down with a bb gun.