10 Questions About Cathedral Balloons

GUM ceiling by jeffinmoscow

The next time you’re in a public place with high ceilings, look up. Look for the dead balloons, the ones that didn’t make it outside, the ones that got stuck in the rafters. The ones that strived to touch heaven but were held back by their heavy coloured casings. Look for the shrunken and shriveled rubber, the withered plastic that has stuck to the metal or glass between itself and the sky. Or got it’s string tangled in a beam or a lightbulb. They are in varying states of deflation, as the stale, moist helium eventually becomes one with its maker. Once you see one, you will see them everywhere you go.

These kinds of objects hold a special fascination for me.

  1. I wonder how long they are allowed to stay there.
  2. Who has to clean them up, and how do they do it?
  3. How many balloons get stuck in a ceiling per year?
  4. How many abandoned balloons are “too many” and the manager sends someone up to get rid of them?
  5. Why do they melt and stick to things as they lose air?
  6. How long does it take, on average, for the fully deflated and stuck balloons, to eventually peel away and fall?
  7. How many actually hit people below and scare the shit out of them?
  8. What is the most popular colour of discarded balloons, if any?
  9. Are there any buildings where balloons are banned from entry?
  10. Are there people who collect or document these popped objects?

If you have any answers or observations, please leave a comment.

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One Response

  1. what about those forgotten thought balloons that hover over everyone’s head??

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