Originally called a Tall Boy, it’s also called a sky dancer, tube man, inflatable man, and air dancer. If I see one, even if I am alone in the car, I will smile and exclaim, “There’s an air guy!”
While they usually draw attention to a special sale or event, I most often see the small green one outside the Cricket phone store I pass when going to pick up grandsons. The new Goodwill store in our community had a huge blue one to announce the grand opening. I used to see a tall pink one in front of a used tire store near us, but he hasn’t been out for a while.
About ten years ago, I was very excited when our church bought a sky dancer to display at our annual Easter egg hunt. We didn’t get the one that looked like Jesus, but it was fun to watch him flail around nonetheless.
The Tall Boy was invented for the 1996 summer olympics by Peter Minshall who hails from Trinidad and Tobago. Now you can see tube men made to look like a cactus, Uncle Sam, an eagle, skeleton, ghost, leprechaun, Santa, elves, pirate, bride and groom, chef, and pilgrim.
What do I find so appealing about an air guy? I’m not really sure. He’s an image of unrestrained joy in a world too often filled with unhappy people. Regardless of what else is going on, he’s filled with life. I keep a sharp eye out for air guys, and delight in each one I see!