Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | Home RSS

An open letter to giant inflatable lawn decorations

October 21, 2012
By KELLY VAN DE WALLE ( , Times-Republican

My stance on giant inflatable lawn decorations is no secret. For years I've said they are only acceptable if you live in a giant, inflatable house and are, yourself, are a giant inflatable humanoid. If you have one - or worse, multiple ones - and invite me over, you are accepting a non-verbal agreement that allows me to poke you random times with various sharp things to A) check to see if you're inflatable and B) act as subtle punishment for your bad judgment.

But this letter is directed not to those that purchase them, but to the giant sacks of empty air that sit there with goofy smiles on their faces doing absolutely nothing. In this instance, I'm not referencing congress. I'm directing this towards the flabby menace infecting the globe.

Dear giant inflatable seasonal lawn decorations,

What. The. Heck.

What's your game? If I were to wager a guess, I'd say the game is called "See How Much Happiness I Can Suck Out of You Without Your Permission As I Point My Horribleness In Your Direction." Even the name of your game is awful.

Just look at you. I'm beginning to realize you've been sent here specifically to test my patience; to see if I could endure an entire season without going on a gin-fueled chaotic popping spree of mass destruction.

You probably can't discern from the above paragraph but I genuinely fancy myself a pacifist, as I prefer not to fight things because, you know, pain. Plus, I'm the type of gent that uses words like "fancy" so how excellent could I be at fights anyway? However when I spy your plump shape bobbing in the wind like you're rocking out to some inflatable 1980s hair band concert I cannot help but look into acquiring a WWII rifle, equipping the bayonet and charging at you like I'm storming the beach at Normandy. You look like you should be able to lift off into the air like a hot air balloon and take me on magical travels but you can't even do THAT. What's it like being disappointing in every way?

Look, I could tolerate your annoyance if you were, say, filled with candy like a giant piata. But you're not, you insidious candy tease. Even though delicious treats won't spill out of your abdomen I must admit it would be just as fulfilling to whack at you a few hundred times.

Honestly, you look like an advertisement to visit the house of bleeeech. When you and your ilk's fans aren't running (drawing power from America), your limp carcasses can be seen strewn all over yards looking like you're all recovering from a giant hangover or, perhaps, all victims of some kind of mass murder. I must admit, this scene isn't entirely unpleasant.

Often the larger versions of you blow violently around during storms. Diligent and resourceful owners tether and stake you into the ground making you appear as though you're soon to be question-tortured by a giant inflatable Jack Bauer. If only. That would be a marvelous thing to watch.

The biggest mystery is of your origin. Are you refugees from La Isla de Inflatables? In the last 10 years, you've seemed to just appear out of nowhere like a pox or new strain of disease content on infecting people's eyeballs with your awfulness.

You never improve the look of a home. Ever. Science doesn't allow it. The only way you would "accent" anything is if the house you're dumbing up was constructed entirely by blind beavers. But even beavers would have more taste, class and overall dignity.

I'm not alone in my hatred as my wife can't stand you either. Together, our disgust is palpable and we're about two people away from fusing together to form some kind of Power Rangers anger robot.

I'm convinced I could retire by charging people $20 to whack one of you abominations with a Wiffle bat but that would require I purchase and install you in my yard and that's not something I'm prepared to do to my neighbors or family. I have a child and I fear/hope social services would intervene immediately to prevent any long-term emotional trauma.

The only solace I take during this time of year is reading headlines like "Vandal slices inflatable lawn dcor" only they always misspell "hero." It's nice to know this crusader of the night is out there fighting the good fight in his Indiana Jones fedora, black ski mask and kitchen towel cape tucked into his supremely awesome/pun-tastic "This blows" T-shirt depicting the ironic image of a single small fan. Not that that's what I wearI mean HE wears. Or she. It could be a she. Haha! Other words! Moving on.

And Santa, just look at you. Despite your jovial exterior you're a giant mess of crippling defeat and sadness. Experts have scare-warned us that childhood obesity is at critical levels and that if one chubby fourth-grader eats another seven "fun-sized" Snicker bars he or she is going to explode. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be responsible for dozens of cases of plump child explosion. How about setting an example? Or are you too busy taking up unnecessary amounts of space? I suppose you're perfectly fine being the face of Type II diabetes.

It takes much of my not inconsiderable strength and conviction to restrain myself from taking a pair of scissors and giving you drastic liposuction with the surgical technique I call Jumping Out Of A Tree shouting "Hi-Ya!" Granted I've never been to medical school and the prospect of using scissors for such a procedure is probably not advised, onlookers couldn't question my results (the only thing questionable would be why I was dressed like Rambo).

I have reached a conclusion about you and your ilk. You are henceforth banished from all lawns save for being filled with helium and tethered to the house of an old widower intent on floating his home to another country. Other than that, I exile you to the Museum of Bad Ideas. Say hi to hair-in-a-can and the cast of Jersey Shore.

Just stop being.

I hate your air-filled guts (Sincerely),



Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications ( He can be reached at or via message given to cats that look like they have mustaches. All messages received via cat without mustaches will be returned to sender (those cats cannot be trusted). Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny unless you're a giant inflatable lawn decoration.



I am looking for: