Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When the Balloon Goes Up



Modern industry, Retailing, and Nature played a neat April Fool’s joke on us. The day being bright and sunny, looking out of the bedroom window Brigitte glimpsed what looked like a balloon hung up in a tree quite a distance away. Or was it just a plastic sack? From certain angles it had a diamond shape—possibly a balloon. We made a note take a look at it. Off I went late in the afternoon, driving and then walking by. I carefully examined the trees that line Charlesvoix Avenue at the appropriate spot, looking in our direction. Nothing. Sigh. Well, it wasn’t visible from the bedroom window either. And it wasn’t there yesterday.

Suddenly it was back again. And sure enough, Brigitte was just talking about time travel. This time, armed with a camera, I set out at once. And the picture shows our “balloon” form up close. Only it is a plastic bag.

The reason it had disappeared? There are three. It is attached to the tree by its two sides, right at the top of the bag. When the wind blows from ENE, as it often does around here, the bag plumps up. And if the sun is shining, it is brightly white. And when the wind slacks, the bag just hangs. It also happened to be located above the driving pavement whereas I took it to be over a back yard and failed to look behind me.

I managed also to photograph the bag from its printed side, as shown in the inset. It is from an outfit called Wisted’s. I got busy tracing it—all the way to Huntley, IL, a place about midway between Rockford and Chicago, reachable by I-90. Lordy. That’s a long ways from here. Reviews of Wisted’s say that it is a pretty good supermarket. Sometimes a little disorderly and crowded, but you find good things there. Like our Village Market? Probably. But now hung out to dry until the next really serious windstorm takes it off to visit Canada somewhere.

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