The Many Ways Carnivals Are A Huge Scam Operation

Culture |

The Balloon Pop


Any toddler who has ever accidentally ended a party balloon with something only reasonably pointy knows that balloons are fragile things. And yet for some reason, you can't pop one of the stupid things with a freaking dart at the county fair. Why?

There's a reason why those fair balloons look kind of limp and unenthusiastic — according to AARP, they're under-inflated, which means they have thicker skins than party balloons. In fact those balloons might only be holding a third as much air as they're capable of holding, which means they're going to be pretty resilient. Thick skins aren't as susceptible to damage as the much thinner, over-stretched skins of the typical party balloon. And the darts aren't regulation, either, so if you're awesome at darts when you're down at the pub you're going to be a little more challenged by the lighter version they give you at the fair. And never mind that the points are also a lot duller than they are on a regular dart.

So why haven't you ever noticed the limp, floppy, under-inflated balloon phenomenon at the county fair? The balloons are lined up close together, which makes their diminutive size less obvious — but they are also arranged in a rainbow of colors, and those pretty colors help lull you into a false sense of security because rainbows can't ever have evil intentions, right? Sort of like the bioluminescent lure on an anglerfish, only way more evil.

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