It has been almost two years since the California Supreme Court ruled that Los Angeles and other California cities may ban Hare Krishnas from panhandling at airports. Since then, the Hare Krishnas have been busy trying to find avenues around the laws to allow them to once again get money into their coffers while spreading their message of peace and love.
Whereas before, Krishnas would hand out flowers in expectation of receiving a donation for their society, it has been ruled that this is illegal and must stop.
So, what to do?
Fortunately, several months ago, a couple of Hare Krishna devotees were having coffee at a local IHOP when they noticed a man walking around offering to twist balloons into various shapes for the patrons--for a fee of course. The Krishnas noticed that the man was making anywhere from $2 to $5 for each toy.
“The lightbulb went ‘bling!’” said Abhay Dhir, a down-on-his-luck devotee who just so happened to know someone who worked at the local Party Store. “I knew I could get the balloons really cheap. All we needed to do is learn how to twist them to look like daisies. It was pure genius.”
After checking with his ACLU lawyers, Abhay was able to ascertain whether or not balloon twisting for money in airports is legal. Turns out it is.
“The rest is taking care of itself,” said Abhay. He has trained over 100 devotees the art of twisting balloons into daisies and they are once again ready to head into California’s airports to spread their message and make a little money.
“Each balloon comes with a little message from the Hare Krishnas,” said Abhay. “The best part of all is that we haven’t met one person yet who hates watching a balloon flower take shape, even while doing so means having to sit through several verses of the Hare Krishna mantra.”