Balloons are fun – so outlaw them

Balloons are colorful, happy and fun – which means they will soon be wholly outlawed.

Balloons in Tucson/Ryn Gargulinski

Balloons in Tucson/Ryn Gargulinski

The growing trend has been to regulate, warn against or downright outlaw things we enjoy.

Don’t go in the sun. Stop eating salt. Watch your kids’ toys for lead levels.

Stay away from balloons – they pose too many hazards.

Balloons are already riddled with restrictions in some states, like Virginia, where it’s illegal to release balloons into the air.

“Balloons return to the land and sea where they can be mistaken for prey and eaten by animals,” says the Balloons as Litter web page. They especially resemble jellyfish and have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, dolphins, sea turtles and whales, one of which was found dead in 1985.

An infant sperm whale starved to death because it ate an inflated Mylar balloon that lodged in its intestines.

While we don’t have to worry about balloons killing sperm whales here in Tucson, balloons still pose choking hazards to our kids and pets.

Balloons in Tucson/Ryn Gargulinski

Balloons in Tucson/Ryn Gargulinski

We also have flurries of balloons dancing along the road, ready to distract the already distractible drivers.

A trek through town on any given day showcases numerous examples of balloons trying to get motorist eyes off the road. Balloons beckon to instead check out amazing sales or apartment complexes touting the first month free.

Bursting balloons can send children into a tantrum or scare the bejesus out of hospital patients trying to recover. Some hospitals don’t allow them, period. Others don’t allow latex balloons due to the latex allergy craze.

Go to bigger balloons and we get even bigger hazards. A hot air balloon crashed Feb. 17 near Interstate 8 about 40 miles west of Gila Bend, according to an announcement from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

No one was hurt – save for the red and white balloon. DPS crews and U.S. Border Patrol air and ground units located the balloon’s pilot and three passengers.

See how much trouble these dang balloons can be?


Balloons in Tucson/Ryn Gargulinski

Balloons in Tucson/Ryn Gargulinski

Mass release of balloons is illegal in several states and cities, including Virginia. Jurisdictions that have laws in effect dealing with balloon releases include: Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee, New York, Texas, California and Virginia. Cities of Ocean City, Maryland; Louisville; Huntsville, Ala.; San Francisco; and Baltimore.

Source: Legislation regulating the release of balloons on Clean Virginia Waterways site

Balloons in Tucson/Ryn Gargulinski

Balloons in Tucson/Ryn Gargulinski


What do you think?

Are you a balloon fan?

Have you seen balloons cause mayhem?

Are balloon restrictions warranted or ridiculous?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
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25 Responses to Balloons are fun – so outlaw them

  1. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski! Balloons are one of my daughter’s favorite things, can’t say the same for myself. All too often these ‘joybags’ are attached to a clown at the other end. 😉 Gotta vote ’em as an unnecessary distraction to our already seemingly distracted motoring populace.

    • Rynski says:

      joybags! hahah. mornin’ radmax!
      i am quite fond of balloons but i do see the hazards they pose if sperm whales and other wildlife decide to eat them. on the flip side, releasing a balloon into the air is a fine ritual for many occasions. guess we could always release it in a high-ceilinged hall or something….
      yes, balloons can be driving distraction.
      sorry to hear you are none too fond of the things – maybe they will grow on you – like warts or mold or something – haha
      p.s. balloon twisters rock.

      • radmax says:

        Rynski…everybody loves balloons, until your jet to Hawaii sucks one into it’s inboard port engine causing catastrophic engine failure and a fire next to the jet fuel tank causing your plane to spiral out of contol at terminal velocity toward a terrifyingly horrible last few minutes of your existence but quick death for all onboard…have a nice day!

      • Rynski says:

        awww, c’mon – jets to hawaii don’t suck in balloons. only geese. hahah.

      • radmax says:

        Which reminds me of a pal o’ my late dad’s. Mike is an engineer and one of his duties was to hurl frozen birds of different varieties at fully operating jet test engines from a ‘poultry canon’, to test the effects on them…the ENGINE Rynski, not the bird. 🙂 (sorry Lefty, I know it is painful) 🙂

      • Rynski says:

        awww, that’s sad. so much for “no animals were used for testing this product” claims.

      • radmax says:

        Yes, absolutely tragic…still better to find out on the ground than over the Pacific…

      • Rynski says:

        true – or we could always just outlaw jets…

      • radmax says:

        Outlawing jets would be fantastic, have to travel by sea to overseas locales!(I’m partial to boats and ships) 😉 Still, this opens up a whole new can o’ worms-with my luck I’d book passage on the latest version of the White Star Line’s ‘unsinkable ship’.

  2. Jennatoolz says:

    Hey Ryn!! I don’t care much for balloons these days, but as a kid they were fun!! I’d rub balloons on my little sisters head, then watch each and every strand of her hair stand straight out. Gotta love static!! Or squeezing the end of the balloon in such a way that it would make an awful squeal as the air flows out of it. I’m sure my parents enjoyed that! Oh and the helium filled balloons! Countless conversations were had in that tiny little voice, haha.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya jenna!
      oh, i remember the static electricity experiments with balloons – those were cool. yes, balloons are also ideal for creating horrific noises – haha.
      i was always scared to try inhaling the helium, although others had much fun with it. i figured i would be the lucky one person out of 900 million that gets some weird reaction and has her voice stay that way forever – hahah.
      i must ask what made you switch to no longer caring for balloons?

      • Jennatoolz says:

        I’m not sure why I don’t care for balloons anymore, lol. I guess I just outgrew the excitement of annoying anyone and everyone I could. 😛

      • Rynski says:

        hahhaha! good for you on outgrowing excitement of annoying everyone. that’s even better than finding new ways to annoy everyone, which would be another option – haha.

  3. Ferraribubba says:

    Hey Renski: Maybe it’s geese on the way to Hawaii, but unless you’ve had to swim out to the middle of one of the ponds in Adventureland in Disneyland to remove a balloon from a duck’s windpipe before it choked to death in front of all the little kids, maybe you you wouldn’t be so quick to pass judgement.
    Yer wet and cold humble servant, Ferrari Bubba

    • Rynski says:

      you did that? wow, you’re a duck – and balloon – hero.
      as i mentioned to radmax:
      i am quite fond of balloons but i do see the hazards they pose if sperm whales and other wildlife decide to eat them.
      has adventureland since outlawed balloons – or ducks?

      • radmax says:

        Yes, and adventure too… 😉

      • Ferraribubba says:

        Hey Renski: To the best of my knowledge, neither.
        Don’t forget that the little Heathens buy a lot of expensive duck food (read: stale old bread) at the Disney Duck Food Store for the hungry ducks, and both add to the bottom line, by golly! <g>
        Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

  4. azmouse says:

    What’s next???

    Outlaw the SLINKY ???

    I don’t want innocent children and animals to die, but whatever happened to telling a kid, “NO, you cannot eat the remains of your popped balloon as it might get stuck in your windpipe and suffocate you into a long and painful death that will cause your eyeballs to pop out of your head at which point the cats will come and think they are cat toys and start smacking your popped out eyeballs all over the living room floor.”
    Don’t people realize that a little fear goes a long way in keeping kids in line?

    • Rynski says:

      hahhahahahahahha! LOVE! your warning to the kiddies, azmouse!
      i’m sure anti-slinky regulations already exist somewhere.
      too bad we have restrictions on so many things, indicating folks can’t regulate their own behavior to avoid doing things that are dangerous to others, themselves or environment.
      there’s always the plastic slinky, which prob. causes less of a hazard of ripping up arms or something. but plastic slinkys stink. besides, they won’t break down properly in landfills, either.

      • azmouse says:

        Well, so far my parenting skills haven’t screwed up my kids too bad!?!

        Although my daughter is still not happy that the big coy fish we used to visit at Reid Park pond actually weren’t her little dead gold fish we flushed down the toilet…….and she still hasn’t gotten past the fact I used to call her bucky-beaver, but I did end up spending quite a chunk of savings so she could get braces and I even went the extra mile on the cool, gold plated ones!

      • Rynski says:

        hahah! what a great mom to invest in gold orthodontics!
        …and as long as you didn’t shatter the santa claus myth, even though the reid park fish myth was shattered, you’re doing dandily!

      • azmouse says:

        Yeah, it seems kids don’t care about standard lies…Santa, Toothfairy. Those are acceptable lies, but don’t lie about a kids fish.

  5. Ferraribubba says:

    Hey Rynski & Azmouse: The only gold orthodontics that I’ve seen were in the mouths of the Macks that used to show up in their pimpmobbiles  to pick up their girls at the FedGovCo GED School for poor farm girls that was located across the street from the old Herald-Examiner in L.A. 
    Between all the gold in their teeth, and all the fur coats on their backs, and all the little blue-eyed blonds with their neat pony-tails  in tow, they were sure a sight to see!
    About half the gals in the school were turning tricks on weekend nights.
    Just life in the big city, I guess.
    Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

    • azmouse says:

      Well, my little girl was in elementary school then, and that was when braces were still made of metal! lol
      Since I was spending all that money already, I thought I’d go that extra mile…or five hundred bucks, and give her some bling!

  6. DK says:

    I don’t think anybody is trying to outlaw balloons. They are just making it illegal to do mass release of balloons.
    It’s like you can still buy a knife. But you if you use it to hurt someone, that’s illegal.

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