Ballooning at Christmas

I’ve just settled down at Fat Sister’s after an amazing and relaxing time eating, drinking and opening presents. I spent the first part of the day with Leftwing Idiot and his parents before braving the stairs up to Fat Sister’s flat.

I’ve managed to tuck in two Christmas dinners and a lot else besides – Stephen Fry tweeted about my Christmas Message just after the Queen gave hers – and I’ve been given some wonderful presents.

But there’s been a shadow hanging over the whole day and it’s the shape of a balloon!

I’ve written countless times about my tendency to overreact both when I’m happy and when I’m sad. But what I’ve never mentioned before is my globophobia (fear of balloons) and what this does to my tics.

Balloons have always made me extremely uneasy. I don’t like the sound they make when you hold them in your hands and I’m always terrified they’re about to pop. Nowadays, this fear sends my tics into a total frenzy whenever I’m around these inflatable time bombs.

Now, although I might not have shared this fact on my blog before, it’s not something that’s escaped Leftwing Idiot’s attention.

So there we were this afternoon in his parents’ living room, carefully opening presents one by one. He’d already told me one of my gifts was ‘The least appropriate thing I could possibly give you.’ Never one to be put off by such a warning I opened the innocent-looking package in question to reveal… Boom Boom Balloon!

It’s basically like Pop Up Pirate or Buckaroo but with pointy sticks and blinking balloons!

We didn’t play it until we were with Fat Sister and King Russell, but that didn’t stop me thinking about it, and just saying the name out loud was enough to make me over-react.

When we finally got round to it this evening everyone found it quite tense, not least because my reaction to it made everything even less predictable. We nervously took turns to roll the dice and poke the sticks into the poor trapped balloon. In the end Leftwing Idiot lost and the balloon went pop. Much to everyone’s surprise I managed to stay relatively calm. Perhaps Boob Boom Balloon’s the cure I’ve been looking for.

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