Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Full of Hot Air

Its that time of year. People are bbq'n and spittin' watermelon seeds. Another hallmark of the summertime for the "beautiful people" is the fascination with Hot Air Balloon rides. Not content to float aimlessly over their sylvan suburban nirvanas oohing and ahhhing over the "Lawns of the Month", instead they choose to "drop in" on those of us who have sought sanctuary from the omnipresent rows of McMansions and Burger Kings, OOPS! Perhaps this explains the absence of Hot Air balloons over Czar-Town, there simply isn't a vessel sufficiently sized to contain the volume of hot air (AKA gas) emitted from the hallowed halls of the Foggy Bottom.

I can remember in our beautiful Village one year when I was startled at the anxiety and furious stampede of our horses. Rushing outside to determine the cause, I spied a couple of HOT AIR Balloons floating over the place carrying "This Is My Oyster" aviator wannabes who most likely paid a substantial amount of money for the "adventure".

I got the gun and contemplated a well calculated shot at that Balloon but quickly realized the fact that I had been overcome with the "fear of fliers", a concern that would surely pass, albeit slowly. Ultimately, I contacted the appropriate authorities and advised them to "cease and desist" the stampeding of our horses by this HOT AIR cruising over our property.

You might think that a "small town Mayor" would know little about this ancient form of travel. If you do, you would underestimate the breadth of experience a Victoria childhood can bestow. I've been in a Hot Air Balloon only once. That was enough. Knowing little of the dangers or finer points of navigating a sack of hot air towards a preferred destination, one late afternoon in May, we piled into a hot air ballon basket with our south Texas survival kit of Brie, Caviar and Champagne and set off from the McCann ranch after the Polo Match. Something went terribly wrong because while we set off from McFaddin, Texas we found ourselves barrelling at a disturbing speed and finally landed in Brownsville. Full of seriousness on the outside and laughter on the inside, Mr. McCann sent cars to come and pick us up and bring us back to the launch pad.

We were "wind-blown" and rattled, but educated and informed to know that there is nothing to gain by investing in HOT AIR and that those who so travel are probably not the sort you would want herding horses.


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