They’re cheesy. You might say annoying. But there’s something oddly Zen about the motion of a “fly guy”. Those of us who work at Butler Auto Group rarely even see the herky-jerky-yet-oddly-graceful inflatable “men” anymore, they’re such a part of our daily existence. But once in a while, when the lot is quiet, I’m struck by the relaxing sound the tube men make as they dip and fold, whoosh and dance to the steady stream of air keeping them afloat.
All the credit goes to Colleen Carroll. The president of Airdancer Productions got her start working with balloons (and delivering singing telegrams but, that’s beside the point) in Aspen, Colorado more than 30 years ago. In search of bigger events she relocated to the California Bay Area where she broke out the big guns: inflatables that, fueled by base fans, moved! They go by many names: air or sky dancers, wacky men, tube men, and windy men (even though we affectionately call ours “fly guys”, they are technically “tube men” since they only have one “leg”; True “fly guys” have two). They come in many colors and sizes; Some even glow in the dark and come complete with confetti!
“Fly guys” are intended to attract the attention of you, the customer, and draw you into the dealership to potentially boost business. But for me, the tube men and their quirky randomness are a reminder of the bigger picture, the world outside of work, and the stuff that truly makes a life: the fact that no matter where you are you can always take a deep breath and dance.