therapy, polymers and my mother

I just read that blogging is actually being recommended by psychologists as therapy. If so, here starts my session.

My mother called and left a message to tell me that:

  1. “this message is for Adam”
  2. she was watching T.V. and saw something that she thought the kids in my parks program would really “get a kick out of”
  3. it was about polymers

My most immediate response was something along the lines of, “oh Christ help me.”

I called my mom back because, well, I didn’t have a choice. She went on to tell me that she’d seen this on Jeopardy, it involved a guy sticking a large needle all the way through a balloon (“and it didn’t even deflate!”) and that it was all explained using “polymers.”

She spelled it for me: “P-O-L-Y-M-E-R-S. Have you heard of those?” she asked me.

I’m not a chemist, but I have heard of polymers. I told her I had, that they’re long chains of molecules, and that they’re really useful in plastic materials. She went on to try to describe to me how these allowed the balloon to stay intact. But it didn’t really make any sense. I didn’t argue, either.

What was more entertaining was her idea of what I do and, in this case, what it is that we have children — small ones, hundreds of them — doing all at the same time. Giving them each a balloon and a “long barbeque skewer” (as she described it) is not something we do. We’re nervous enough giving them scissors with blunt ends. But the image of lots of children running around with balloons and long sharp objects does make me smile. Between the repeated popping sound of failure and the puncture wounds experienced by children and staff alike, it sounded like the perfect recipe. Funny that I just thought of building paper copters (careful with the scissors) and bringing a swimming pool full of bubble solution. Oh, and the rockets and the solar balloon and the other flying things. But the swimming pool of bubbles really is where it’s at for me.

I feel better now, just having written this.


One thought on “therapy, polymers and my mother

  1. A good son would follow his mother’s advice. I wonder if Karyn would take pictures of your soccer team … as they nursed self-induced wounds from skewers and eye-injuries from popping balloons. A entire city park of weeping, bleeding children who are surrounded by shreds of balloon corpses would make a great image. And to have one child in the midst, beaming with delight because SHE successfully skewered her balloon. Oh! And what if the children (and their attending medics) were arranged in such a way on the park’s green turf that the aerial shot revealed that their bodies spelled P-O-L-Y-M-E-R-S?

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