Monday, October 26, 2009

calling toto

16,900,00 hits.
That’s what I got by googling “Balloon Boy”.
Then there’s the Halloween costume, tee shirt, the you tube spoof etc.
Add to that TV news and law enforcement pronouncements.

That’s a LOT of hot air—enough to carry the lad all the way to Oz and back.

And with all that hot air swirling around young Falcon Henne, (Not a bad choice of first names, eh?) I struggled with whether the world wide web needed my 2-cents. What the heck. Here goes.

The journalist in me squelched a flicker of incredulity when the “story” first broke. You see, it’s the 70th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz. My first thought was of a publicity stunt connected to that. I’m still amazed that no news outlet made that connection, especially when the hoax became obvious. Perhaps because there was no little dog along for the faux ride. Toto, we’re not in Colorado anymore.

Hey, if you recall, the “great and powerful wizard” was also a sham, a snake oil salesman carried to Oz by a runaway balloon, unable to get home. Having impressed the population by his stunning arrival, he sets himself up as a wizard, working puppets and effects from behind a curtain. Humm, now who in this scenario does that bring to mind?

Yet all this begs the question:
What’s worse than throwing up on national TV or having an unrepentant narcissistic creep for a father? (Poetic justice note: his publicity besotted father is being referred to as “Balloon Boy” dad.)

Answer: Having your life defined for you at age six. It’s being known henceforth, through one’s ENTIRE life, as BALLOON BOY. Regardless of how hard you work, how much you accomplish in this life you will never escape that moniker.

He could solve the Mideast mess, cure cancer or global warming singlehandedly and when he steps up to claim his Nobel Prize the headline will be: Balloon Boy Wins Nobel Prize.

Other less fortunate options:
Balloon Boy enters rehab—again.
Balloon Boy, where is he now?
Balloon Boy found dead at age (you fill in the blank).

I’m sure you get the drift.
The great and powerful Wizard has spoken.

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