Archive for January, 2009

Rotary Club

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

For the third year, I (Tony the Balloon Guy) will be at the Rotary Club’s annual Family Night in New Port Richey in February. What a great group of people. And not just because they keep hiring me (and thus, putting food in the mouths of my family and animals!). They’re just fun to be with. And they do good things.

Last year, in addition to the family night, they hired me to do a birthday party. Well, a half-birthday party. It was a party for a young guy, eight years old, if I remember right, who was battling brain cancer, and maybe wasn’t looking at his next actual birthday.

And what a party. It was in the same pavilion where the big Family Nights are held, and there were bounce houses, a magician doing a show, all kinds of food…

The birthday boy was in good spirits, surrounded by family and lots of other kids. I remember he wanted me to make him a Spider-Man dog. Not a dog. Not Spider-Man. But a Spider-Man dog. To date, that’s still a one-of-a-kind sculpture for me. And I made him a big candle-topped birthday cake out of balloons as well.

Maybe if you’re looking to meet new people and do some good things for the community, you’d benefit from looking into the Rotary Club.

Have a fun day!

Now She Hates Balloons. And Men. And Birthdays.

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Once upon a time, I (Tony the Balloon Guy), was at a birthday party for a one-year-old girl. Cutest little thing. Barely able to stand up and walk around. You know the type.

Anyhow, do you know what a rocket balloon is? They’re at least five feet long, and pretty big around, and you blow them up and let them go, and they fly all over the place. Because the nozzle of the balloon doesn’t have a little ring to hold it open like a regular balloon, it makes a loud, screaming noise while it’s in flight, darting here and there.

Rocket balloons are great at parties. The kids chase one around as a mob, one kid comes up with it when it crashes, and they bring it back to me with cries of, “Do it again!”

So, I make some fabulous balloon sculptures (dogs, bunnies, sharks, etc.) for the kids at Cutie’s party, say some corny things, hurt myself a few times, make a few embarrassing balloon sounds, and then I take out a rocket balloon. I pump it up with my giant balloon pump, and the kids’ eyes are wide. “What is this?” they wonder. And then I let it go.

It leaves my fingers, but instead of heading upward for a delightful flight, it goes down and…


The little one-year-old, barely standing, has a five-foot balloon pushing into her tummy, SCREAMING out the other end. Everyone is paralyzed as the balloon stays there, pushing, screaming… Cutie staring down at it in HORROR… Cutie screaming back at the balloon… tears shooting from her eyes…

Did you ever see the commercial where the mom didn’t have any bars on her cell phone, so she didn’t know that the party agency was sending a scary, realistic-looking T-Rex instead of the friendly dinosaur character that the mom ordered? Did you see the little girl crying in that commercial? It was like that.

But the rest of the party was great!

And no, “Cutie” is not her real name. I changed that to protect her privacy. Hasn’t she suffered enough?

Have a fun day.

And There’s Music, Too

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I (Tony the Balloon Guy) was making balloons for a family of regulars at Anthony’s Italian Restaurant (isn’t that a Billy Joel song?) in Trinity (isn’t that kind of the fancy part of New Port Richey?), and a little girl told me about the musician there.

WHAT? There’s a musician at Anthony’s?

I talked to Rich, the owner, and he confirmed that there’s a talented and entertaining keyboard artist there on Wednesday nights. Said the guy (also named Tony, I believe, but no relation), entertains the older folks and the little ones alike – sometimes has them dancing between the tables even!

As a keyboard wannabe myself, I’d love to see him, but I’m at Golden Corral up in Brooksville Wednesday nights.

However, if YOU are down in Pasco County on Wednesdays, and don’t feel like driving up to Hernando County to eat at Golden Corral, swing over to Anthony’s, have some delicious Italian food (go, Ernie!) in a really nice atmosphere, and enjoy the show.

Then go back to Anthony’s on a Thursday night, between six and eight, and we’ll entertain you with balloons and face painting. Or balloons OR face painting. Up to you.

Tony the Balloon Guy, Tony the musician, Anthony’s Italian Restaurant… anyone see a theme here?

Anyway, see you there!

There Goes the Bride

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Last week at Golden Corral in Brooksville (come see us – we’re there every Wednesday from 5-7, and usually later), a large party of folks asked me (Tony the Balloon Guy) to make a “bride crown” for a young lady.

I twisted a bunch of long white balloons around each other and curved them into elegant arches atop a simple helmet, then placed a small pink heart on the top, in the middle. All the time I was working, there was laughter, and cries of, “Oh yes, you WILL wear it,” and “I can’t believe everyone is LOOKING!”

With the crown on the bride’s head, another lady rose to her feet and called out to the restaurant, “She’s getting MARRIED on Friday!”

To which there was great applause, and quite a bit of bridal blushing.

It’s nice to be part of other people’s celebrations and happy moments.

The Car Biz

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

This past weekend Phyllis (the Face Painter) and I (Tony the Balloon Guy) entertained at Village Cadillac Toyota in Homosassa Springs. The event planner who hired us set up a tent to give away delicious-smelling hot dogs and burgers, Phyllis painted kids inside, and I roamed around doing balloons and creating laughs (and a little bit of applause now and then, thank you very much!).

We’ve done car dealerships before, in Brandon, Orlando… we even drove to Jacksonville once a week for a few months (a six-hour round trip!) to entertain at Toyota and Kia dealerships. I was at a Chrysler dealership for six hours every Saturday for more than a year once.

Balloons and face painting and car selling are a good match. You can’t always leave your kids home when you need a car, but car shopping ain’t that much fun for the little ones. Why not have someone to entertain them?

At the Cadillac dealership Saturday, there were more grown-ups than kids, by far, but the majority of them wanted balloons! Flowers and puppies and bears were especially popular with the ladies. But I also made a few Gators dressed in orange and blue (the Gators are national champions again!), a black and gold Steeler carrying a football (they won, too!) for one of the sales guys, and some swords for a few bemused older gents.

We’ll be back at that dealership on January 24th if you want to come by. Get some yummy food. Have your face painted. Get a balloon. Look at the new models. The cars are looking sharp. Even if you don’t buy one, you’ll see how nice the folks are, and you’ll have a place to come back to when you’re ready for a car. E-mail me at if you need directions.

And if you need entertainment for your business, or your public event, or your party…


Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Over the holidays, I worked several mealtimes at Cici’s Pizza in Spring Hill.

One lunchtime, a young fella asked me for “a deer with horns.”

So I made a deer, with big antlers (I had gotten some practice at this over Christmastime, with many Rudolph requests!). As I was about to hand it to him, I paused.

“You know,” I said, “people ask me why I ever started entertaining with balloons.”

I pointed to the “deer with horns.”

“Really, I just got into it to make a buck.”

Groan all you like. But have a fun day!

Don’t Mess Up the Routine!

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Last night at Golden Corral in Brooksville (where we are on Wednesdays, 5-7 p.m., and usually later), I was making balloons for a family in the far back conference room that is kind of separate from the rest of the restaurant.

A young girl, a regular customer, burst in and shouted angrily across the room, “Tony the Balloon Guy! Where is your WIFE?!?”

“I don’t know – I can’t keep track of her,” I called back. “But last time I saw her, she was straight across the restaurant, not at her regular table.”

The girl turned and left. I looked at the family I was entertaining.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “She just wants her face painted. We dont owe her money.”

Wednesdays at Golden Corral are fun. You should join us!

He’s Not An Egg!

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

This is not balloon-related, but it’s really been bugging me (Tony the Balloon Guy).

There is a nursery rhyme about a guy named Humpty Dumpty. In high school, a teacher told us that the story is about a bishop who was disgraced by scandal, and people back then would spread such news hidden in rhymes (for example, “Ring Around the Rosie” is about The Plague – yuck!).

Anyway, regardless of how the rhyme started, here’s my problem with it: every time I see the story illustrated, the main character is AN EGG.

OK, let’s review: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, and then he had a great fall, and then all the king’s horses and all the king’s men (they asked the HORSES to help?) couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.

Anybody see the word “egg” in there anywhere? Anyone?

Where did THAT come from?

Thanks for listening. I feel better now.

Have a fun day!!!

We Deliver!

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Saturday was a funny day.

Usually I (Tony the Balloon Guy) am the, well, balloon guy, and Phyllis is painting faces or walking a pony. But Saturday we had a delivery/decor job (balloons for a wedding) AND a pony party that overlapped, and since Phyllis is the one who does the PRETTY balloons (arrangements, arches, columns, etc.), I got to do the pony party.

It was great fun, though – I took Gator (the pony) to a family we had taken ponies to before, and Phyllis really enjoys the decorating aspect of balloons.

If you’re having a wedding or a baby shower or a business promotion and you need some awesome balloon decorations, let us know, and Phyllis will be there for you. I’ll walk a pony somewhere else if I have to.

And of course, if you need someone silly to entertain by twisting balloons into hats, swords, hearts, flowers, animals, etc., I’m your, well, balloon guy!