Thought provoking exchanges on Taoism, Chinese Astrology, Mathematics, Education, GAIA -- our planet, and of course, Sillyness.

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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Friday, December 28, 2007


I'm standing in line at the bank on the day after a heavy snowfall in early December. There's a woman in front of me with a beautiful two year old child who, of course, is dressed in a snow suit, boots, a hat, a scarf and mittens to stay warm in the winter weather. All this clothing makes the kid weigh double what she should but, like most kids her age, she wants to be held in her mother's arms. Her mother's back unfortunately, is not equal to the task. So, as we wait in line, the little girl extends her arms to show she wants "up", so her mother picks her up but a few minutes later she puts the kid back down because the strain on her back is unbearable. This happens again and again because the wait is long and both mother and child are tiring of the dance. Because my rising sign is the Monkey in Chinese astrology, my brain immediately searches for a solution to the problem; I mean, in this day and age, some one ought to be able to set things up so that a mother can hold her child for more than a second or two, without destroying her spinal column, no matter what the weather.

That's when I conjure up the helium suit -- a child's snow suit with front and back pockets that we pump full of helium so the kid floats freely at whatever level we want. We attach a string to the suit like we do with any helium balloon and hang on to it so the kid doesn't blow away – unless of course we want it to. Now, not only can you put the kid at eye level, if you're indoors and the kid misbehaves, you just let go of the string and bounce him off the ceiling a couple of times. Outdoors, you can just let go of the string and let him drift far away -- never to be seen or heard from again.
Imagine taking 3 kids for an outing looking like a bouquet of balloons. What the world needs now is helium suits. We can avoid a lot of backaches with them.

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