As the creator of the Nonsense Chronicles (See posts “The Nonsense Chronicles: Spying on Tomatoes” and “The Nonsense Chronicles: One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Lore”.) as well as Chuckle Photography (See posts “Chuckle Photography” and “Chuckle Photography: Sign Pondering”.) I intended to use pounds of silliness seasoned with a handful of sarcasm and a dash of ridiculousness to simmer this week’s thoughts into a written stew.
Given the state of our politics (Tweets and Walls and Stalemates) I was NOT going to write about ANYTHING serious.
And in particular I was NOT going to write about the government shutdown. Mainly because that required research and knowing what I’m talking about, and I didn’t want to spend hours on the first in order to be the second.
Pondering this week’s post while carrying on with my typical daily activities like shopping at Party City for sleeves of two ounce plastic cups for my part time consumer educator job (I hand out beer and wine samples at stores. See post “Phubbing Forgiven”.), a sign promised, verged on guaranteed, to provide fodder for what could be my most preposterous post yet!
A helium shortage? And not just a local problem like a tank being hijacked or a trucking strike, but a GLOBAL shortage. Considering that a Party City employee misspelled “committed” I thought I’d fact check. (How reliable could a source be if a “t” was forgotten? What else was forgotten? Incorrect?)
Mulling over my approach to the topic I thought I’d liken the 2019 helium shortage to the oil shortages of the 70’s. An image of impatient clowns holding flaccid balloons in winding lines outside worldwide Party Cities flitted through my mind. I’d lament the absence of squeaky Donald Duck voices caused by inhalation of the gas while the shortage continued.
Yes, this week’s post would be an absolute HOOT!
Then I Googled “helium shortage.”
In the first source I uncovered facts instead of funny:
Helium is located deep in the earth. It can’t be manufactured. There is no substitute.
I didn’t want to think about a shortage of an indispensible element.
The next source provided realities instead of ridiculousness.
Helium is vital to cooling MRI magnets. The shortage may impact operation of imaging equipment and price of replacing spent magnets.
I didn’t want to write about increased health costs.
The last source supplied truths instead of twitters.
The Bureau of Land Management, a government agency, operates and maintains a helium storage reservoir, enrichment plant, and pipeline system near Amarillo, TX, that supplies over 40 percent of domestic demand for helium. The supply is being depleted.
I didn’t want to publish about squandering helium supplies.
I also didn’t want to publish anything about the government shutdown, either, but there it was staring me right in the face.
I thought I had failed in thinking and writing and publishing the silly and the ridiculous and the preposterous.
Then I thought the government shutdown over a wall that is not really a wall IS silly and ridiculous and preposterous.