Party City is a paradoxical place. For starters, it’s not really a city. Just FYI. And the party they refer to is not being thrown by them and is not currently underway. So that’s disappointing.
It turns out you have to throw the party. You go to their non-city, their geographical coordinates corresponding more to what you might call a “store” and pay them for all the supplies you will need to throw your own party. As long as your party theme is “Barbie Princess,” “Mylar Gone Wild,” or “Spongebob,” that is. If your party theme is “I have taste and class,” you might want to collect your goods from a place of commerce whose name is not spelled out in giant, crooked, primary colored letters.
I do not always have taste nor class and I am sorry to report that I have a substantial cache of both irony and sarcasm, so I stop by Party City regularly. Not to be too hard on myself, I also have a one year old balloon fan living with me, so there’s that.
There are two things I used to be able to count on at Party City: a.) the goods would be poor quality, and b.) the experience would be moderately depressing. The latter was a function of the former + minimal wage staff + aisles and aisles of tackiness stacked ceiling high. At least I knew what I was getting: noisemakers, plastic plates, and a taste of permanent recession.
But that’s all a thing of the past. Now it’s a different story. Now, there’s Hi Float.
What is Hi Float? As if the store were not already pushing the limit on plastic per square inch, now you can coat the inside of your plastic helium balloons with it. It’s supposed to keep them high and, er, floating. And it adds ten cents to every balloon sale. Which is why I declined the first time they offered it. My reasoning was that balloons themselves are plastic, so what’s the point of a little jacket of more plastic laminated to the inside of plastic?
I’ll tell you: awesomeness is the point. Airborne awesomeness coming out of an industrial-sized squirt pump.
Since we had already spent upwards of a six bazillion dollars on Astrid’s birthday party, what was another $3.60 to test out the limits of our balloons’ floatiness?
Two weeks. That’s how long one of the yellow balloons lasted. And it only died at two weeks because it was murdered by the housecleaner, not because it was lying without dignity on the floor. It had sunk to the level of the door handle but it was still floating. The other 35 balloons had called it quits sooner, but at least half lasted a week. Read my lips, people: one week.
This is revolutionary. Helium balloons historically have the lifespan of a fruit fly. Can you imagine seeing that same fruit fly that was working on your bananas on Thursday still having at it a week Sunday later? No. You can’t. Neither can I. And that’s not just because all fruit flies look alike. And you shouldn’t be saying things like that anyway: it’s racist. Although, let’s be honest, fruit flies probably say that about us too.
Here’s what I want: lifestyle Hi Float. Let’s find a real applications for this miracle of plastic. My Life: Now With More Hi Float! Hi Float, The Lifestyle Pump. Feeling a midweek lull? Stop by for some Hi Float! Abandon reality television marathons! Stop watching from the floor – start living at the ceiling! Learn to whistle! Loom rugs! Win friends! Influence people! Run a mile without stopping (once)! Feel optimistic about your pointless corporate job (briefly)! Become more waterproof!
I think I’m onto something. If we can consume a McDonald’s Happy Meal made mainly out of saturated fat, what could possibly go wrong consuming shots of liquid plastic? Nothing, that’s what. I’m ordering some. Don’t try to stop me. Really. Don’t. My mouse is hovering over the “Order Now” button. I’m not kidding. I’ll see you on the ceiling.