jonathan pearlman

jonathan pearlman

FINE ART Photography

DOES MY SNOOT LOOK BIG IN THIS...?

Imagine you, dear listener, are a helium filled blimp who loves nothing more than frolicking under the warm caress of a Queensland sun at 200 feet. How important you are, carrying such expensive cameras and lenses, wafting along  thermals, bucking the breeze, happily inveigling your way into photographs. You ask for nothing in return except a modicum of respect for what you do; a bucket of sympathy whilst you lay dormant, and lonely, in your trailer during bad weather. You want for nothing except a gentle hand if a small hole appears on your being and the helium runs away; you get anxious and worry you might slip away and become flaccid and droopy.

You would think, would you not, dear listener, that nothing could be more terrible for a helium filled blimp than a tear in the fabric? 

Actually, there is something much worse; it is a helium-filled blimp's nightmare and it's name is 'oxygen.'

It is the 'O' in 'OH NO.'

Having sustained a small rip in the bottom area, Billy the Blimp contracted a massive dose of oxygen which poured in at an alarming rate, pre-patching, but which went unnoticed by yours truly. Now, since oxygen is heavier than helium, it follows that it will seek a lower area to settle. This, in turn, creates a weight imbalance since helium will, naturally seek the higher station. This imbalance means that for Billy, his nose and midriff wants to fly, but his bum wants to walk. Or scrape along; or bump along; or limp along. Oxygen has created a no-fly zone around Billy.

Now imagine this, dear listener: I sit, alone, on a Sunday morning, at the end of the trailer in a secluded industrial estate in Coolum. I have Billy's bum between my legs and his nose pointing toward the sky. His snoot, untied, is between my hands and I am milking Billy of oxygen. I am also allowing helium to flow since I cannot differentiate between the two as they rush past my hands. A car, or two, drives past and odd glances are thrown my way; I care little. So far, $150 worth of precious helium has been disbursed in the two hours of this operation. I tie the snoot, I let Billy loose, he sails and bucks and flops bum first. He goes back between my legs and we start over. We repeat this process four times. Then, at the moment I decide to pack up and go home, I give Billy a fifth chance. I attach a camera to his belly, stroke his belly, tell him how much he means to me and then release him. 

He sails, nose first, to 20 feet. His bum turns toward my frowning visage, cocks a snoot and sails happily and speedily upwards. He lets the sun caress his body, allows the helium to push itself against his fabric. He floats along the thermals; he is in heaven.

Out of earshot, I call my supplier and order a new blimp.

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