Have you ever seen someone trying to burst a balloon that's already started to deflate?
We mean the sort of balloon you find hanging around long after a birthday party's over. For a while it brightens up the place and reminds you of how much fun the party was. But as the air gradually escapes, it starts to look a bit pathetic.
It's not really the balloon's fault that it ended up this way — after all, it doesn't have any control over what's happening. It's a balloon. If anything, as you look at it sitting miserably in the corner, you start to feel that you're responsible for what's happening. Maybe you wanted the party to last longer than it did. Maybe you didn't want to let go of the memory.
And when the time comes to put the balloon out of its misery, it's harder than you might expect. You squeeze it and poke it expecting something to happen and it somehow escapes and changes shape. You wonder how hard it can be to burst a balloon, and to anybody watching the whole thing happening it all starts to look a bit ridiculous.
When the balloon does eventually somehow burst, it doesn't make a big bang, like it would have done if you'd popped it during the party. You just hear the sound of air escaping. The balloon collapses. You're left with a little bit of rubber. RUBBER AND REGRET.