Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Balloon Twisting as a Career

Looking for work as a freelance writer, an activity that takes me mere minutes every morning since there's never anything except writing catalog copy for L. L. Bean and they already rejected me years ago, I stumbled upon an ad that blew my mind, no pun intended: Seeking energetic, reliable, kid loving, balloon twister to join Maine's premier children's party entertainment company. Must have reliable transportation and be available most weekends. Pay starts at $30 per hour. No balloon twisting experience necessary, full training will be provided. To be considered for this position please send your resume, cover letter, and recent photo of yourself.

My idea of balloon twisting.
Besides my surprise that balloon twisters were in high demand, I was amazed at the pay. Thirty an hour! That's almost three times the going rate for a home health assistant, someone who helps the sick and elderly by feeding them, changing soiled sheets and "helping out in the bathroom," if you get my drift.

It's also about ten times the pay for a freelance writer such as myself, who has to wrack their brains dreaming up interesting and unique things to say about incredibly boring subjects like home loans, web development and email marketing without blowing their brains out.

 Compared to all that, balloon twisting seemed like the way to go. Looking further, I found an article about a Brooklyn lawyer who dropped his law practice to become a balloon twister. Todd Neufeld finds his new career far more rewarding than his previous 8-hour day job. "It sounds like a jump, but it was more of a logical progression," Neufeld said in an interview with a local newspaper reporter. "I followed what I liked to do," he explained, which kind of makes you wonder how he got through law school. A highlight of Neufeld's career was a 2009 White House picnic where he fashioned a balloon Barack Obama. (I know there's a joke in there but I can't think of it.)

The starting salary of a balloon twister is $25 an hour. (An entry-level Registered Nurse earns an average wage of $25.89 per hour.) I'd apply, but the fact that they ask for a recent photo puts the kibosh on my getting hired. Besides being too old and no longer perky, I'm pretty sure I lack the right attitude. (See illustration.)

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