Great Idea!
Off the Wall, January 26, 2017

Many times during the holiday season in the past upon traveling to New Alexandria to St. James Church by cab did I see these inflatable ornaments lying in peoples’ yards deflated, or as my mother used to say, “flat as a pancake.”

My neighbor has one of these ornaments as well. During the day, it lied on the ground; flat, lifeless with no motion what so ever. It’s almost as if something killed it.

Oh but when the evening came around, when the light of day had ceased showing its true colors and disappeared and the darkness of night had taken over, did these plastic balloons come to life.

My question is this. If they aren’t illuminated, why have something bouncing around in the darkness?

Now I know what you are thinking. “Well, Pee Vee, you can see it or you wouldn’t be talking about it, right?” Well, that is true, thanks to the street light not far from the corner. Still, it is hidden behind the Floral Fountain’s corner building, so visibility is slim. But yes, it is full of air and swaying to and fro having a good old time.

Maybe they want to be like night life folks, you know the people who like the night life and will frequent establishments to down a few and having a good time with the gang before calling it quits for the night.

During the day, they are like these plastic ornaments, pretty much laid back. Oh, but wait till the sun goes down and these fun seekers will come out of the woodwork to bounce around and try to get others to notice them.

The difference between the plastics and the people is the latter can get around a lot more whereby the inflatables are stuck in one place. They will fill themselves full of air and do anything they can to attract attention. But since they can’t move one iota of a step, there is little they can do. They jump around, some smile, sway back and forth as to say, “Here I am. Look at me. See, I can dance, too.” But those who come out for that nightlife do the same thing?

I don’t know, I’m what I call myself, a second-tricker. Physically, I do best in the afternoon hours.

Wouldn’t it be more logical for these “blow-up lawn toys” to be inflated during the day where they could cheer up even the young in heart. Heck, by the time kids are put to bed and attacked by the sandman, these playful characters come to life and do their thing. It’s almost as if they are “adult toys” and shouldn’t be seen by youth. That’s crazy.

Just think if there was snow on the ground. One may see patches of reds, green or yellow poking up through the white crystals. Of course, when night time comes along, they pop right through the frozen surface and tries to make their presence known, but isn’t that too late?

In my opinion, people want to be entertained during their waking hours. If I had the privilege to drive and was motoring down the street, I’d want to be razzle-dazzled by a lawn ornament that danced during the morning or afternoon hours and not pass by an object that someone paid bucks for to decorate ones property.

Maybe the second question should be, why put a lot of money into things that just lay around one’s yard during the day only to come to life at night?

Now, I realize the exception lies with those who put a spotlight on these objects. I don’t recall if the residents on Route 981 had spotlights in their front yards or not. That makes all the difference, you know.

But then something occurred to me. Maybe somewhere on the face of the inflatable “jolly good fellow,” that bounces around on my next store neighbor’s property are sensors built into the eyes that protect the property from thieves or vandals. Now that would make sense to me.

Neighbors, such as yours truly, keep an eye the place most of the day as I look out my tower (bedroom window). But at night, the inflatable comes to life in pure darkness bouncing around eying in every nook and cranny for unwanted intruders that may think they are not seen. My neighbor is ahead of the game in every aspect to have such an ingenious plan put into action.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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