Sunday, October 18, 2009
Leave Balloon Boy Alone!
Welcome to my life. Day 5788. Greetings my Vindictive Vinaigrettes. So I've been watching this news conference from Jim Alderden, the Colorado sheriff who is now trying to arrest and imprison the family of the Balloon Boy. Now, if you don't know what I'm talking about, you must've been living in a cave the past few days. Basically on Thursday, the entire country was watching breathlessly as this UFO looking balloon floated around for like three hours. We were told that there was a 6 year old boy inside, though it was pretty obvious that there was absolutely no place to put a boy in the balloon. Eventually it was revealed (by the boy himself) that the whole thing was a hoax, a publicity stunt by the family who wanted a reality show of their own (presumably about how they plan more hoaxes?!)
Anyway, I was kind of impressed by the ballsyness of the Heenes (that's their name). They threw themselves out there, probably with full knowledge of what they were in for. They must have realized that they were breaking quite a few laws and might actually serve some jail time and they must have decided that it would be worth it. It's kind of a fascinating example of the lengths some people will go to for their 15 minutes of fame. Mind you they appeared on two episodes of one of my favorite shows, Wife Swap. For those of you that are not familiar with this anthropological experiment, Wife Swap literally swaps the the matriarchs of polar opposite households for a week with often hilarious results. Here they are on the 100th episode:
They branded themselves as a science obsessed, storm chasing family and were paired with a psychic arty family. Well, reality TV obviously only wet their whistle for celebrity and the next step was naturally to get the world to freak out about their 6 year old, Falcon, soaring high above the Colorado cornfields.
Now I'm not saying we should all go out and start messing with the media and whatever but the vigor with which the Colorado authorities are now targeting them is a little disturbing. It would seem the entire Colorado police force is now on their ass. At one point, one of the reporters asks the Sheriff if they were perhaps over-reacting. To which Sheriff Alderden snickered and said:
"Most of you are not from Larimer county. You don't know this agency. I think our local media that knows us, knows how we react to a situation like this. When we have something of this magnitude, we pull out all the stops. We have have solved 110% of the murders in this county because we throw everything we have at it when something like this happens. "
So basically he equates this incident with murder. God, if not a sense of humor, at least get yourself a sense of perspective. Okay, so the family used up the state's valuable time, energy and money to further their own ends. So now you're going to spend a thousand times more time, energy and money trying to prosecute them? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I'm sorry, but this whole thing stinks to high heaven of law enforcement feelings being hurt. How dare somebody waste their time?! Well, judging by this overblown circus, they obviously have nothing better to do with their time over their in old Larimer county so if anything they should probably send the Heene's a gift basket for making them actually earn a living.
The family is being charged with conspiracy (misdemeanor), contributing to the delinquency of a minor (felony), false reporting to the authorities (misdemeanor), and attempting to influence a public servant (felony). At the very least this ridiculous case will drag out for at least a year in court and will cost the taxpayers millions of dollars.
All I'm saying is this - If the crime here is wasting state resources, then the state is a thousand times more guilty than the family. Slap them on the wrist, give them a fine and let's put this silly farce behind us. And if somebody does give the Heene's there own show, (which I don't doubt will happen) I promise not to watch. How's that?
I will leave you with Sheriff Alderden's seriously patronizing turn to the media (in the middle of a NEWS CONFERENCE!):
"Yesterday this turned into a circus. If you just raise your hands and be nice, children..."
Go piss up a cornstalk, Genius.