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Thursday, October 16, 2014

we're not all weird


Quick! What were you doing five years ago??  This morning, I had a little memory jog.  Meego was getting ready for school.  It's his last day this week because it's teacher / parent conference time.

I said, "Welp, I better go to conferences to discuss all of your issues", sarcastically.   I hope.

He said, "Yep", sarcastically.    I hope.

Actually, there's not really much to discuss (knock on wood), and I realized that five years ago was the last time I went to a conference at the high school.  It was for Chaco and it was for English.  Figures.  He's probably the most intelligent of all of us.

So I remembered the day vividly because I also had a conference with Meego's 4th grade teacher, since we're actually scheduled for these things in elementary school.  And what I remember is that Meego and I were home just before going to his conference, and we turned on the noon news to catch the headlines.

Balloon Boy.  There was a little kid uncontrollably aloft in a homemade balloon over the state of Colorado.

It was on every channel - this large mylar balloon with a compartment that the kid crawled into and then got caught by a gust of wind.

It was tracked all along its journey while planes and emergency personnel raced after it to be there when it hopefully landed.  Everyone wants to save a little boy caught in a big balloon!

Now, if you remember that story at all, you remember that it was all a hoax by a very strange family.  When the balloon landed, and authorities raced to attend to the little kid - who must've froze or gotten airsick or whatever - only to find that he wasn't in there.  

The family said they thought he was in there, but turned out he was hiding the whole time.  But then it turned out they staged the whole thing just to get free publicity for their big homemade balloon.

And that's what I will probably always remember about fall parent / teacher conferences.  I remember that day, going to Meego's class when the news was still fresh, and the boy was supposedly still sailing on the high winds.

I'll remember asking Meego's teacher if she'd heard about Balloon Boy.  She hadn't since she'd been conferencing all morning.  I don't remember anything else we talked about.

I'll remember waiting out in the hallway at the high school for Chaco's English teacher while we parents huddled around someone's smartphone to catch Balloon Boy updates.  

Back then, I was teaching some online classes, and a few days after Balloon Boy day, we had a first session for one of them.  We were all introducing ourselves and saying where we were from.  When it came to me, I said

"I'm Abby, and I'm in the state of Balloon Boy"

They all knew where that was.   Unfortunately.

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Linking up with Mama Kat for the prompt:
1.) A blog post inspired by the word: race

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10 comments:

Anita said...

I remember it well. I was one of the TV viewers gasping at the thought of the kid flying away - gullible enough to believe it - never thinking of the unlikeliness of him being inside.

Colorado has been in the news a lot! But, no, you're not all weird... just some of you. :)

Abby said...

I think both parents had to do some jail time plus pay some restitution. I have no idea where they are now and I don't care enough to check, but I feel bad for the kids!

Anonymous said...

Even after SLOWLY thinking about what I was doing 5 years ago, I can't come up with it. I do remember the balloon story, but I failed to remember they were from Colorado. Why am I not surprised? ;)

Riot Kitty said...

I totally forgot about that. I hope they had to repay all of the public services departments that went out trying to help.

And don't feel bad. When Arnold got elected in California, I had to tell people that was my home state.

Anonymous said...

Oh... I remember Balloon Boy very well... but don't fret Colorado, you're not Florida... you're way ahead of the curve. :D

terri said...

Huh. Yeah, I vaguely remember the balloon boy thing.

Honestly, I can't remember what I was doing 5 years ago. Quite possibly it involved some sporting event of Kacey's, but other than that, probably not much different than what I'm doing these days.

agg79 said...

Wow. Has it been 5 years already? I remember that saga as well. A lot of things have changed over the past 5 years. Now you can claim you are from pot country, right?

I recall some guy attempting a solo flight with a lawn chair and some balloons. Sounds like some redneck weekend fun.

Ginny said...

Ah yes balloon boy. What a weird story. I forgot about it until you brought it up.

Mama Kat said...

The family's ploy worked...we're still talking about it. I totally remember this headline news even here in Seattle. What a bunch of weirdos to make the whole country worry about a child, spend thousands of dollars to retrieve him, only to discover it was a hoax! I wonder if they had any idea it could become worldwide news.

LL Cool Joe said...

I have no idea what I was doing 5 years ago, probably the same crap I'm doing now just with slightly fewer grey hairs.

You'll be pleased to know that Ballon Boy remains unknown here in the UK.