Friday, October 16, 2009

This Week in Balloonery

In the roughly 14 minutes a day when I’m not either bloggerizing, canning peaches, discussing Sartre, or prank-calling the assholes from the Chiquita company volleyball team (just kiddin’, those calls totally weren’t from me! Love you guys!), it’s a pretty safe bet that you can find me trolling the internerds for all things balloon-related. Balloonery is always pretty widely covered by bloggers and the Jew-run media alike, and deservedly so, for what other adventure sport gets the pulse pounding like a balloon ride? This is what has kept balloonism at the forefront of the American imagination for centuries, while things like revolutions, powdered wigs, the Cola Wars, and Bayrock Alabama (or whatever that guy’s name was) have all fallen by the wayside like the passing fads they were.

Needless to say, I was caught entirely by surprise yesterday to see the entire nation hold its collective breath while a child hid in his parents’ garage. It wasn’t until much, much later, when I read the story on (my fave site on the planet! xoxoxo!) that it started to make sense why this story had captured the hearts and medullae oblongatae of everyone you know and I know combined, including the oh-so-lickable Diana Ross: They thought Falcon Heene was in a balloon!

No wonder the story got three hours of airtime on CNN!

Of course, what the Falcon Heene incident highlights (other than the obviously impending grounding of that adorbzable little trickster) is the compelling and urgent need for stringent legislation to protect children from balloons, and perhaps from homebrew aircraft of every stripe. We can’t have the irresponsible amateur aviators of this nation leave their temptingly fun flying contraptions loosely tethered to their backyard fences where children might accidentally not climb into them and thereby transfix an entire nation without some sort of consequence. Or else the next kid not to climb into a Reynolds-Wrap-and-toothpick craft could be YOURS…

The balloonistas in this country are inevitably going to cry foul over such an egregious restriction of their rights. But they only have themselves to blame. I mentioned how popular their chosen pursuit is, didn’t I? This would be totally different if it were, say, a story about a kid getting shot with an Uzi at a gun show. Gun-related mishaps don’t garner nearly the attention that balloon safety non-incidents do, and for very good reason. You can’t even find reliable statistics about gun deaths in this country, because it’s just not that big a deal. Meanwhile, the Falcon Heene Affair very publicly raises the number of balloon-related media frenzies that do not involve fatality or injury throughout recorded history to ONE. And that’s something that we and our elected representatives can simply not afford to ignore.

Also birthday clowns. They cannot afford to ignore this either. And carnival workers. And horses. Pay attention, horses, if you're not already doing so. (It's hard to tell with horses in New York - you get the distinct impression that a lot of them are going through life with blinders on.)

To think, this all could have been avoided if the Heenes were gun enthusiasts. Nothing like a good Second-Amendment-sanctioned child slaying to keep a family below the radar, eh? Chuckle chuckle chuckle bang.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A letter to an Old Friend

Dear Jesus,


So I know You and me haven’t really talked since Angelina Jolie took over Your spot as my spiritual adviser and frozen yogurt buddy. I mean, You kind of had it coming after You spent the entire summer on Fox News telling people to bring their guns everywhere and blasting “President Hopey McNobel Prize” (Your words) for trying to horn in on Your healing-the-sick game. Let’s just face it: I needed help, and You were Nowhere to be found. There were no sets of footprints in the sand.

Between You and me (and Your Dad, since He/She knows All), I think frosting me at the ESPYs was a little bit juvenile, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt like the stigmata. You certainly know how to cut me, Lord. Angelina and I can’t seem to find our footing as spiritual adviser/advisee and fro-yo enthusiasts either. She always insists on meeting up in LA even though she knows I can’t fly without potentially lethal doses of horse tranquilizer in my system. Also, she likes Pinkberry even though that shit is disgusting. (Nice job fooling the masses on that one, BTDouble-You. That abomination has Jesus written all over it.)

But that’s not what I’m writing to talk about today. I’m writing to talk about Japan, the benighted land that You and Daddy obviously either forgot or gave up on, as evidenced by the country-wide obsessions with sushi, Godzilla, Scooby-Doo, and being teeny tiny. I strongly suspect Your Abandonment is also why the Japans have to keep inventing so many technologies there so they can keep up with your chosen people, the Americas, where Hummers and M&Ms plain chocolate candy and Motorola-brand cellular telephones rain from the sky, and where free syringes full of Your magical healing essence periodically wash up on the shores of Long Island and New Jersey only to be “mistaken” for medical waste (probably to fool the poors into being afraid to eat the syringes themselves, right? Thought so.).

The Japans have none of that, except the cellular telephones. But their cars are much more smaller, and M&Ms there have a distinct octopus flavor. (Okay, I don’t know for certain that it’s Octopus, but it’s definitely the flavor of some kind of underwater cephalopod.) And according to this miraculously preserved piece of video evidence from YouTube, the Japans are also evidently forced to walk around at a fraction of normal human speed.

Wasn’t Your Mother Jewish? How do You not feel just the teensiest, Japan-sized amount of guilt for this?

You disgust me, Jesus. That is the opposite how Renee Zellweger made Tom Cruise feel in the hit ABC sitcom Jerry Maguire. But since I need some delicious fro-yo STAT, and since we don’t really take breaks from canning during the pre-holiday rush, can You possibly pick me up some? And please don’t forsake me with the atrocity that is Pinkberry.

Yours in David Schwimmer (he played Ross on the hit ABC sitcom "Friends", in case You forgot who he was or thought he was a Japan or something),