So, yeah… The Balloon Boy.
What an odd little bit of Newstertainment. I got a bit caught up in it yesterday afternoon at work when a co-worker came and told me it was happening. I found a live local (local to the story) news feed on the internet and watched as the balloon sailed along high above Colorado. It was rather fascinating. Horrible, of course, to imagine a little 6 year old boy in that balloon, no doubt scared out of his mind.
It’s always interesting when things like this get covered live, when there’s so much air time to fill up while everyone waits for something else to happen. Often stupid things get said and ridiculous notions are brought up.
As I started watching, one of my first thoughts was “if it’s a helium balloon, I wonder is the boy breathing helium or does he have access to oxygen?” Several minutes later, that thought occurred to someone being interviewed by the male and female local new anchors covering the story. “If there’s no oxygen, and he only has helium to breathe, well, he’d already be dead” said a somber expert of something-or-other.
This possibility struck the female news anchor rather hard as she gasped and said “Oh my, the thought of that takes my breath away!” A bad choice of words there, perhaps, even if it was, literally, true.
So, yeah, they discover the boy wasn’t in the balloon, and that’s when I stopped watching. I assume (in order of assumption) a) he never was in the balloon and that the boy is missing somewhere. Maybe he went chasing after the balloon after it left the yard; b) he was in the balloon and fell out somewhere and is now dead; or c) it was a hoax.
Later I hear that the boy was found. At that point, my interest in the story is done, especially after I start hearing reports about the family and its eccentricities. It had turned from a legitimate news story to the usual voyeuristic nonsense that news channels love to investigate to death. Count me out.
I considered it Case Closed as far as I was concerned. But I couldn’t help myself getting back into it after I read the headline on The Huffington Post: Falcon Heene Vomits: WATCH Balloon boy Throw Up On Today & Good Morning America.
That story is about how Falcon has the flu and threw up twice, once off camera and once on camera.
There is, of course, video. I refuse to watch it, though. However, for those of you who simply must watch, as the article informs you: The vomiting starts 5:50 into the clip.
And this is what we have become.
i did have a good uncomfy laugh at this moment when the parents were completely outed by the boy that this was a publicity stunt:
The balloon boy story would not have gotten so much publicity if a few of those news reporters had bothered to watch that myth-busters episode about how many helium balloons it takes to lift one small child (thousands)
Wasn’t this family featured on an episode of Wife Swap? They were bug nuts on that show, so over the top it was totally unbelievable. The kid reminded me of the kid from Problem Child. I hated that kid.