Anyway, here it is: The ‘balloon boy’ story was apparently a hoax. There, consider your minds exploded. You are welcome.
When I first heard about this story, I brought up CNN.com and saw a big breaking news headline at the top of the page in bold white letters with a blaring red background:
“Oprah picks new Book of the Month selection! Video to follow…”
Underneath that, a few lines down, in a much smaller font, there was this:
“6-year-old boy floating over Colorado in homemade balloon. Air traffic being diverted.”
My first thought was: He pulled it off. Some 6-year-old in Colorado finally did what millions of 6-year olds have been dreaming of their entire 6-year-old lives. I pictured a patchwork colorful balloon with a little basket tied underneath with shoelaces. I pictured little Timmy leaning over the edge of the basket dropping tiny plastic army men on a serious mission. Then I read reports about how he may have fallen out, and they were hoping it would land soon, and it was obviously more serious than everyone thought.
I finally caught a glimpse of the balloon and then immediately felt like an idiot (which I am used to). People really thought there was a 6-year old boy floating over Colorado in a Jiffy-Pop Popcorn container? In fact, I thought I was looking at a Jiffy-Pop picture that someone put up as a joke. Nope. Homemade balloon. Carrying a 6-year old boy. Turns out the boy was in a box in an attic or something after all. Regardless, there are 20 million 6-year old boys trying to patch together Jiffy-Pop foil right now into a makeshift aeronautic device. Alert all the major airlines: You are going to be flying through a lot of popcorn pretty soon.
The end result is linked above; it turns out to be some hoax perpetrated by the parents for unknown reasons. I’m all for a good practical joke. I saw a hilarious one on TV where they put a life-sized human dummy in a wheelchair and then rolled it down a hill to see people’s reactions as a supposed real person was careening down a street in an out of control wheelchair. The balloon thing I’m failing to find the humor in. ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be knee-slapping hilarious if everyone in America thought our 6-year-old son fell to his death from 8,000 feet out of a homemade balloon that I made out of Tin Foil and cardboard?’ The sound of crickets should have let the parents know that maybe they should just try the ‘pull my finger’ thing next time when they are trying to get some laughs.
Wait, this just in. Oprah read another book! This one is about orphans, in metallic balloons, floating to heaven carrying their Teddy Bears. In related news, CNN has just been rebranded "CNN-prah". We are through the looking glass here, people.