News outlets have been going bonkers with all the fallout from the Balloon Boy and his wacky dad (strangely, Balloon Life magazine has been mum on the subject) who looks like he, along with his wife, might get the book thrown at at him by pissed-off law enforcement officials for the alleged hoax he pulled off last week.
Balloon Dad Richard Heene may get the bill for the extensive air and ground search for his ironically named son, Falcon, who is now known as “Balloon Boy” because when your real name is Falcon, you need a really ridiculous nickname. On that note, why are we calling him Balloon Boy in the first place? The damn kid was never in a balloon. Ever. If anything, he should be Attic Boy or the less-flattering Vomit Boy.
Anyway, not only did the extensive tracking of the boy-less balloon eat up plenty of Colorado’s public and private resources, there was another rippling nationwide effect that cost businesses an unfathomable amount of money. Just about everyone stopped working when the boy-less balloon was in flight. Here in our offices last Thursday, we stood around a computer watching the damn thing spin through the air then subsequently crash in a field. We were legitimately concerned for Vomit Boy, because, well, being inadvertently 8,000 feet in the air is a decidedly bad circumstance for anyone, let alone a six-year-old child. No one here did anything of merit for at least an hour and the rest of the day was hampered by frequent bursts of outrage among workers who felt that the Balloon Dad had made a monkey out of them.
As if Youtube, Facebook, that People of Walmart website and inter-office discussions on Swine Flu protection methods (my favorite: swab your nostrils with Listerine...or something to that effect) weren’t killing enough of our hours, actor-turned-scientist-turned-stormchaser-turned-last-man-with-a-Friends-haircut Richard Heene has to pretend his kid has gone a mile and a half into the air inside of a glorified container of Jiffy Pop. How could any reasonable employer expect his or her employees not to watch something on this level of ridiculousness?
Secondly, this hoax has placed the bar for weird and potentially tragic news inordinately high. What’s that you say, Wolf Blitzer? Someone who looks remarkably similar to, or may actually be, Dick Cheney, is climbing the Empire State Building? So what you silly beardo, I once almost saw a kid go all Flight of the Navigator in his dad’s homemade spaceship!
But again, Mr. Heene, you owe us some lost wages. Pay up. Or just build us a space ship. We’ll take either one.