Good News Week

Balloon Boy (GNW 23/11/09: 12 Months in 7 Seconds)

Richard and Mayumi Heene, the parents of the hoax “balloon boy” Falcon Heene, will plead guilty to charges of making false reports and attempting to influence a public official.   Falcon has agreed to drop charges of false imprisonment and psychological abuse.

The balloon boy story gripped America for several hours with people so swept away with emotion that no-one was even able to do the simple back-of-the-envelope calculation to prove that the boy was far too heavy to be carried.

They’re being punished to the very furthest extent of the law.   Because everyone’s a bit embarrassed that they fell for a hoax that, if they’d just checked their facts, is CLEARLY PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

And after the legal system has finished prosecuting the couple, it will move on to charge the 5000 journalists who reported the story as fact, even though any expert could’ve told them the entire thing was actually completely impossible.

The whole balloon boy saga caught the world’s imagination, as most people can barely imagine the tragedy of a goon bag caught in an updraft.

Turns out he wasn’t a balloon boy at all, but a regular boy made of ordinary flesh and blood.

It’s not actually the first hoax the boy’s been involved in.   Many years ago, he actually claimed to be the child of Richard and Mayumi Heene, but turned out to actually be the Loch Ness Monster.

Of course it’s difficult to prove they are actually guilty.   Unless you, you know, ask their kids.

Falcon gave the game away when he said, in a live interview, that he did it “for a show”.   And now little Falcon is spending time on the naughty perch. / in the time-out balloon.

They were trying to get their own reality tv show – called “Help! My Child Isn’t in a Balloon.” / called “I’m Trapped In A Runaway Helium Balloon – GET ME OUT OF HERE!” / called “Survivor -Helium Balloon.” / called “PUNK’D – Police and Media.”

If they are gaoled, it’s really going to put a dampener on their plans of shooting Falcon into space in a home-made rocket.   But that’s what the older kiddies are for. / But the older kiddies will manage it somehow.

They really wanted their own reality tv show – “Fooling the World’s Media with Really Obvious Hoaxes”.

The parents admit they had to hoax the incident, once they discovered that naming their child Falcon didn’t imbue him with powers of flight.

Turns out Falcon’s not even really their child!   GOTCHA!

Turns our Falcon’s not even really their child – he’s a six foot black guy from Brazil!

Turns our Falcon’s not even really their child – their real child floated away years ago, trapped in a giant helium balloon.

At the very least, they’re definitely guilty of not checking the garage properly before assuming their kid must have fallen out of a giant wine-cask.   But that law’s yet to be codified.

But if Falcon says they were faking it for a show, then they must have been.   Because there’s no way a child would lie to get out of something.   (Especially not if it meant his parents would get in trouble.)

And they have gotten themselves on a reality show.   Or whatever it is you call Crimestoppers. / Or whatever it is you call those prison rape videos.

Well it certainly did work as a publicity stunt.   Now the whole world knows they’re the go-to guys for televisual child exploitation!

The whole thing was a big hoax – there WAS no world-wide media coverage of balloon-boy!   YOU’VE BEEN PUNK’D!

The trouble is, now we don’t know what to believe.   Maybe they’re just HOAXING that it was a hoax, to get further media focus!   Or are they?   WE MAY NEVER KNOW?   Or will we?   Or not?   I JUST DON’T KNOW!   AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

Proof that this year we didn’t mind if a spectacle was clearly rubbish, as long as it titillated our senses.   Balloon boy was this year’s “WMDs”.

By Wok and Mat

Warwick Holt and Mat Blackwell are long-time writing partners, who created the mega-award winning web series Bruce, and wrote loads of jokes for TV shows including Good News Week, The Sideshow and The Glass House. Several years of their raw material for those shows is posted right here on this blog.

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