As a prequel to our wildly popular article on How to Re-inflate Tennis Balls, we now look at how to blow up a balloon. This will be especially beneficial for our readers under the age of seven, but it will serve as a good “refresher” for our older readers, who will also learn some of the nuances of balloon-blowing-up that were
never taught censored in their youth.
In order to blow up a balloon, you must first have a balloon. And to obtain a balloon, it helps to know what a balloon is. A balloon, roughly speaking, is a thin-walled rubber container which can hold ordinary air, helium, or water, though experiments have shown that it can also hold a variety of other solids, liquids, and gases, including alcoholic beverages (liquid), mud (a mixture of solids and liquids), and even raw sewage (a mixture of solids, liquids, and gases). These make for very interesting water-balloon fights, as you might have guessed.
Whether the balloon is filled already or not, the main requirement for blowing it up is the use of some sort of explosives. Actually, this is not quite true, since balloons filled with the above-mentioned liquids have a quasi-explosive reaction upon contact with the unsuspecting sibling, friend, or neighbourhood bully. Anyhoo, if you want to blow it up really well, we recommend the use of fireworks. Two or three types used in concert deliver the best results. In the United States, where fireworks are only used around celebrations of The American Rebellion,1 early July is the best time for blowing up balloons. In other parts of the world, Christmas and New Year’s are good times. Thanksgiving2 is not generally recommended, even for Americans.3
Once the explosives are either under or inside the balloon, the fuse may be lit and the user may blow on the fuse either by the old-fashioned technique, i.e., by windpipe and mouth, or by using a more modern invention, the bellows, which delivers a much greater quantity of air in one large stroke so the fuse burns faster. This way, you don’t have to wait the whole 12 or 13 seconds that the fuse is meant to last, and besides, it’s much more dangerous.
The final step is to run, if you still have any legs. Otherwise, dial the local emergency telephone number, 999 or 911, depending on whom you sided with in the American Revolution®.
Also note that blowing up balloons is a much more tame and gentle form of violence than most of what was shown in the cartoons of the good ol’ days, so it may not be appropriate for children over the age of 30; however, it will do for sissies.