Favorite

Mr. Pockets 

MR. POCKETS: Captain America.
  • MR. POCKETS: Captain America.

In advance of Junior turning 5, Spouse was determined to find something to enliven a backyard birthday party. The Observer suggested a large bowl of chips. Spouse suggested The Observer go to hell. When Spouse struck out with magicians, she threatened to dress up like a clown. Thankfully — particularly for Junior's future therapist — The Observer's mother stepped in to recommend Mr. Pockets, one of White County's premier party attractions.

Mr. Pockets is not a clown, though he does wear Seussian hats and tells jokes. For example:

"Wanna hear a joke about butter?"

"Sure."

"No, I better not spread it."

Mr. Pockets' special talent — gift, we're tempted to say — is to take long, skinny balloons and twist them into recognizable things. He pulls the balloons from a multipocketed apron he wears (thus his name). You've probably seen people — or clowns — do a version of balloon twisting, maybe to make a weiner dog or sword. But in the world of balloon artistry, that's hack-level, as impressive as a magician pulling a quarter out of a kid's ear. Mr. Pockets, on the other hand, is something of a balloon-twisting prodigy. He specializes in elaborate creations. At Junior's party, that included a triceratops (frill included), a puppy, Yoda, a bunny rabbit and Darth Vader (light saber included). The parents of the party guests were soon making requests. One mom wanted Princess Leia. A dad holding an infant asked for Captain America. Junior's great-grandmother got a balloon bouquet of flowers.

Mr. Pockets is 17. His business card says "Inflating happiness since 2010." Around that time, he watched a man working for tips in a Pizza Hut twist a sword out of balloons, and then he tried to untwist it to see how the man did it. The balloon popped. Mr. Pockets credits his mother for all that's followed. When he was discouraged, she pushed him to keep at it, bought him a "how-to-do balloon animals" kit and helped him figure the kit out. Years later, when she got tired of hearing balloons squeaking at home, she told him to stop or get a job, which nudged him to the Chick-fil-A in Searcy, which he convinced to hire him to twist balloons for customers in its dining room.

He's had to scale back public appearances recently. He's now a freshman at Harding University pursuing a major in software development. We suspect he's already well known around campus. When Harding President Bruce McLarty was inaugurated several years back, Mr. Pockets used 135 balloons to make a life-sized balloon sculpture of him.

At the close of Junior's party, Mr. Pockets thanked our crew for mixing it up with him. People don't talk at a lot of the events he works, he said. Who wouldn't want to talk to Mr. Pockets? He's a walking Laffy Taffy joke. As he was leaving, a couple pulled him aside. "Do you do anniversaries?" they asked, not even half joking.


Favorite

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • The sweet hereafter

    This week, the Arkansas Times falls back on that oldest of old chestnuts: a recipe issue. Being who we are, of course, we had to put a twist on that; namely, the fact that most of the recipes you'll find in these pages are courtesy of people who have shuffled off to that great kitchen in the sky, where the Good Lord is always whipping up new things in his toque and apron, running the great mixers of genetics and time, maybe presenting the batter-dipped beaters and bowls to Jesus for a lick down.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • On Walmart and state money

    No they don't need state help. Any conservative legislator who is true to their tea party principles will crow on about crony capitalism. I look forward to deafening silence.
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • On shitholes

    The Observer is at home today in our kitty cat socks, weathering a combination sick day and snow day. Way down in Stifft Station, we live at the top of a hill that slopes away in all directions. That's good in a flood, but piss poor other than for sledding during snow and ice, especially when you only have access to a two-wheel drive car.
    • Jan 18, 2018

Latest in The Observer

  • Cathode ode

    There's been an addition to the Observatory lately, one that's so old, it's new again to us — broadcast television.
    • Jul 12, 2018
  • After midnight

    For the past two years, The Observer has lain awake in bed at least one or two nights a week and wondered if I have failed to prepare my son, as my father prepared me, for what could reasonably be coming in this terrible new age.
    • Jul 5, 2018
  • Control

    The Observer is ancient enough to remember when there was some semblance of civility in politics — when you could talk about a subject in mixed company without devolving into tribalism, each member eventually backing away slowly with their respective knives unsheathed and at the ready, each resolving to let the other stay mired in his or her stupidity.
    • Jun 28, 2018
  • More »

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Paris pleads guilty

    • Twila Paris and family need to stop speaking out of both sides of their mouths…

    • on July 15, 2018
  • Re: Paris pleads guilty

    • Twila Paris and her family need to stop speaking out of both sides of their…

    • on July 15, 2018
  • Re: MAGA

    • The trade war started after NAFTA and the WTO were signed by Bill Clinton and…

    • on July 14, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation