Balloon Boy

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

Could you take your eyes off the TV?

My phone buzzed Thursday right after I got in the car. It was a text alert from the Detroit Free Press with the headline: "COLORADO 6-YEAR-OLD FLOATS AWAY ON EXPERIMENTAL BALLOON AIRCRAFT."

Holy mother.

I started driving a lot faster to get to a TV because I found nothing on the radio and little on the Internet.  I walked into the newsroom right after the balloon had landed and learned the kid wasn't in it!  What a story!  I could not look away, presumably like millions of others around the country.  All I kept thinking about is my 6-year-old and what would go through my mind if she floated off in my hot air balloon contraption that we keep in the backyard. 

That's another thing.  A kid can hop in your contraption and easily cause it to fly away and reach heights of 10,000 feet?  Nice parenting.  I hate to judge, especially since these parents are going through hell right now as cops search for the boy and hopefully find him scared to death under his bed.  But really, why not just leave a loaded gun unlocked in the house?  Or have a pet alligator? 

Anyway, as this story continues to develop, here's my favorite status updates about it on Facebook right now:

"Have the authorities never watched cartoons? There's about 10,000 ways to bring down a rogue kid floating around with a balloon. Sheesh!"

"(Name) Thinks it's a promotional gimmick for Jiffy Pop."

"(Name) is rethinking plans to get helium balloons for my husband's b-day, lest the kids decide to take flight."

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