Rained On, Not Rained Out

Here's what I submitted to Nuvo, a local newspaper, following a visit Sunday to what could have been the World's Largest Water Balloon Fight, but wasn't. You're getting the unedited version - the newspaper version had to be cut down by a couple paragraphs for space reasons, which is entirely understandable.


Hundreds of preschoolers and preschooler-impersonators threw water balloons at each other Sunday afternoon, and I'm proud to say I was among them.

The event, put on by Fishers Pointe Cooperative Preschool and Fishers Parks and Recreation, was intended to break the Guinness record for World's Largest Water Balloon Fight. In that capacity it fell short - due to inclement weather, they didn't quite get the required 994 participants.

In every other respect though, whether you go by balloons hurled (nearly 25,000), shirts drenched, or overall resemblance to an out-and-out gleeful melee, it succeeded mightily.

Have you seen the beginning of Saving Private Ryan? Picture that, without blood or death or any threat of injury. Even the direct head-shot I incurred did nothing but confuse me for a second, and a later crotch soaking hurt only my pride.

"For this many people to turn out on a day like this, I think it's great," reported Toni Cahlamer, a teacher and a parent at the preschool. “We had a lot of fun.”

Driving home, soggy, I realized it makes perfect sense for a group stressing progressive concepts like parental involvement and cooperative play to organize a balloon fight, since it's really not a simulation of warfare at all - it's a satire:

There's us and them, and we've got balloons and they've got balloons, and everybody throws them at everybody else for no better reason than that they're there, and when it's over we all stand here equally soaked.

That's a message I'd like all children to understand. And I've got an extra message for the little girl who pegged me in the forehead: Nice arm, kid. That was a heck of a shot.

Proceeds from the 2005 "World's Largest Water Balloon Fight" support the Fishers Pointe Cooperative Preschool and the St.Vincent Pediatric Rehabilitation Center. For more info or to inquire about helping with next year's event, visit www.fisherspointecoop.org.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good job, babe! I especially like gleeful melee.