Like every other person in this great country of ours with nothing better to do, I've been drawn to the Balloon boy saga, like a man with haunted nachos in his system to a toilet bowl.
In fact, I've seriously considered making Balloon boy the centerpiece of this year's manger scene. He could be the baby Jesus, appearing alongside a half dozen or so other reality TV stars. A real housewife from some city could be Mary.
Trouble is, fifteen minutes after I made the damn thing, no one would recognize anyone in it. It hardly seems worth the effort.
Still, I have found the entire saga to be terrifically entertaining. Those first breathless 9-1-1 calls. The news that a six-year-old boy had drifted away in a helium balloon--hell, it could happen! The terrific waste of taxpayer money--more than the cost of the TARP bailout, at last count!--as police, firemen, the National Guard, Rin Tin Tin and even Inspector Gadget are called to Fort Collins to save little Timmy. And then, the discovery of the little brat in his parents' attic, and his subsequent confession: "Daddy made me do it." Kids say the darnedest things!
And now, dad's lost his home and the kids, and even the right to use his own birth name (he's only supposed to be called "Thing One," these days). Next week, he goes on trial, where he awaits felony charges.
And why did all this take place? Because the guy wanted to be a reality TV star, of course. He's only had his family on Wife Swap a measly two times, after all...he needed more!
Which just goes to show you, sinners, at some point in the not too distant future, every citizen in American will have appeared on a reality TV show, no matter how old or young, no matter how untalented. Even me!
I see it all around me, no word of a lie. My friend Psychic Sue has been petitioning to become a reality TV star for years...she even has her own web site! Josie has written letters to Oprah. Corb has been seen lurking outside the studios of "So You Think you Can Dance."
We're a nation of Harry McAfees just wanting to appear on the Ed Sullivan show. That desperate self-infatuated man could be any one of us. Thing One's Balloon boy could be our Balloon boy! So I say, why not just give this idiot his own reality TV show? Why not?
It could be called, "Whoops, I did it again," and every week, one member of his family could make a failed attempt to become a reality TV star that people remember for more than fifteen seconds. His wife could go on The Biggest Loser, only she's not really fat, just covered from head to toe in lard. One of his sons could go on Flavor of Love disguised as a ho. Balloon boy could pretend to be possessed by the spirit of Chesty Morgan and end up on Ghost Hunters.
Personally, I think he needs to capitalize on it fast, though. From what I can see, reality TV is starting to lose its appeal, and is on the way out. I mean, where else can it go? Or more to the point, where else hasn't it gone?
What's that? There's a new show in development about Christians and lions? In a fight to the death?
Hmmm. What's old is new again...