Yuck (Image: Toby Morris)
Yuck (Image: Toby Morris)

SocietyApril 20, 2022

Hear me out: Balloons are disgusting bags of human breath

Yuck (Image: Toby Morris)
Yuck (Image: Toby Morris)

While others see them as an innocent symbol of joy and celebration, Toby Morris sees balloons for what they truly are: revolting.

Hello beloved friend or family member, I’m so happy to share this special day with you. It’s such a special occasion and I really want it to feel exciting and fun, so I’ve gone to the trouble of putting a bunch of my breath into a bag for you. My own special breath, right from deep down in my lungs, all the way up my throat, out through my mouth and into the bag. Just for you. There’s most likely a bit of my spit in there too, lining the walls of the bag, but don’t worry about that. Let’s hang the bag up here, right around face height so everyone can see it. Actually, let’s go crazy and make a few of them, put them all over. Bags of my breath, what could be more joyful?

Thank you, it’s an honour. And seeing bags of your breath around the room is certainly making me feel great, I really appreciate it, but I do have some questions. I’m wondering about some of the noises these bags will make: will they be pleasant? Will they add to the fun?

Fantastic question. Well, there’s two main noises these breath bags will make. Firstly, if two of them somehow rub together, or against a wall or a hand, they’ll make a kind of squealing, squeaking noise, like an extremely sick and distressed animal. Secondly, there’s a fairly good chance these bags of air can do what’s called popping, and that makes a sound similar to a gun being fired.

A gun, wow OK. Won’t that give everyone at the party a big fright and make them feel unsettled rather than relaxed? 

Well yes, that is quite likely to happen at some stage, possibly several times throughout the event. But it’s worth it to have bags of breath, that’s just part of the bargain. Bags of breath. They’re so fun.

Oh certainly, they’re like colourful rocks that are so full of joy they float instead of being the usual weight of rocks. One last question: how will this fun experience of owning a rubber sack of someone else’s breath end?

There are really three ways the breath bag experience can play out. Sometimes they blow away, which usually ends in tears, especially if children are involved. Otherwise they pop and someone has to pick up the revolting saggy remnants wet with the spit that lines each bag. That’s gross at best and a health risk at worst. The third and probably best case scenario is they live on, getting slowly smaller and smaller, puckering and shrivelling up in a way so pathetic and sad you feel embarrassed every time you look at it. That’s a bit of a bummer too. 

But on the plus side: look how colourful they are!

Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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