Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What were they thinking?

Sometimes a news story just catches my eye. I see the headline and am instantly intrigued/curious/disgusted/shocked. I often don't comment on these stories aloud, I don't want to seem like a trivia addict.

The latest one to catch my eye is sadly fascinating: Priest Missing on Balloon Flight. I looked at the headline, and thought, "balloon flight, as in hot air balloon?" Following the link, I discovered that he did not ascend in a hot air balloon, he hooked himself up to a large number of enormous helium party balloons. Isn't that what we all imagined doing in childhood? Didn't we see the Wile E Coyote hook himself up in an attempt to catch the Road Runner? Would anyone actually do that in real life? What would possess a normal adult to hook himself up to a bunch of balloons and expect to fly?

It is sad that someone has gone missing. He apparently had dual purpose for his lofty balloon mission, to raise money and to set a record for the most hours flying with balloons. While there was a "flight plan" for his journey, the wind had a different journey in mind. A search is on to find the missing priest.

This story is not the first balloon flight story. In 1982 there was Lawnchair Larry who rose to 16,000 feet with 42 balloons tied to his lawn chair. Upon further web investigation, there is a Balloon Performance Artist whose project is to balloon from every state. And, I am sure that there are others. Seriously!? Do they really think that this pursuit is a good idea?!

No wonder my life is so boring! I cook, I clean, I drive children to and from school, I sew and make jewelry, and I go for walks. I have never risen into the sky on a bunch of balloons. (And actually I would never want to)

But the important message here would be: Don't try this at home! Leave it for the "professionals" or the Looney Tunes.