When I was in high school, my world history teacher had an odd pronunciation of certain words, coupled with dramatic overemphasis. His eyes would get big; his hands would move expansively, and ‘balloooon’ would press out between his lips. Maybe it was his Greek heritage, which may also be responsible for his black Teva sandals worn with navy gold-toed socks. Still, this drama and pronunciation was oddly fascinating, even when the subject matter was not.
I can’t quite remember when in class he had the opportunity to even use the word balloon. Was it some odd tangential discussion of Louis XVIs reign and the first official hot-air balloon flight? Was it some reference to the expansion of the Mongol Empire, like a balloon? Was it the offhand mention of some current event? No matter how hard I try, I can’t quite recall the specifics of the situation, though I still have a perfect picture in my head of him saying the word ‘balloon’ as if he himself was filling with an unnamed gas.
If he is teaching class today, I hope he will do his special balloon impression in honor of the balloon priest lost at sea. While I typically am not a fan of fundraising that involves ridiculous stunts, world records, or a waste of time and resources, I must admit, I think this particular idea is brilliant. Let’s take off attached to hundreds of helium-filled balloons and see how far it gets us. Even just for fun, I think it’s a pretty awesome idea. And this is awesome plus, because not only is it ridiculous in a most delightful way, but the end result will also benefit truckers. And who doesn’t like truckers?
While plenty of preparations were taken for this somewhat risky publicity and fundraising stunt, the loss of the priest does serve to illuminate the dangers of the fun. Hopefully he will be found safe – regardless, let’s hope the additional publicity generates enough interest and support to open TWO spiritual trucker rest stops.