Moms have to put up with a lot. I know, I was one myself (a Mr. Mom during the week and performing shows in the evenings and weekends.) So when a mom books me for a birthday party magic show and she wants me to make balloon animals for all the kids I bring up the subject of Balloon Swords.
Kids love them. Mostly boys love them but some girls too ask for them. I love them. I practiced the martial art of fencing for years. One of my favorite movies of all time is the Three Musketeers with Michael York. (Actually the Three and Four Musketeer movies since they are one movie split in two.) But most moms do not love the Balloon Sword.
Boys get wound up with them. Running, chasing, bashing and having a great time. But having roving bands of boys bashing each other is not a good time for moms. So I ask if she would like me to not make them at the party. You might think this is a problem since kids will ask for them and be disappointed if they don’t get one.
After all, they have seen them made plenty of times and know they are not hard to make. So why can’t I make one for them? I never really let it get that far. I announce when I start making balloons that I can’t make everything but here is what I can make: I then list off quickly all the animals, flower and hats I can create. Swords are not mentioned. When each child comes up and tells me what they would like me to make and ask for a sword I’ll say I am out of swords but can make a Ray Gun. That surprises the child. They have not seen a Ray Gun before so that is usually a quick decision for them and they forget about the sword.
Is a Gun better than a Sword? Well, this gets them pretending to zap each other instead of hitting each other. They get much less wound up and moms everywhere are less stressed during the party and thank me for that! And by the way, Ray Guns can be set to stun.