Was it a hoax?

Published 1:39 am Sunday, October 18, 2009

The big news this week — at least as far as water cooler talking type news — came toward the end of the week when we watched with horror as a balloon blew across Colorado on the way to Denver.

For a long while, most everyone, including the authorities in Colorado, thought a 6-year-old boy was aboard that balloon as it sped across the sky as high as 5,000 feet. News readers told us the parents were down on the ground, fretting about the well-being of their boy.

One of the first questions to come to mind was: How did this child get away from Mom and Dad and sneak onto the balloon? Where were the parents?

Miraculously, the balloon touched down, without breaking into pieces. Authorities looked at the box, poked the balloon. No kid.

Then, we heard the news: No child on board.

On the heels of that announcement: People saw a cage drop and the kid must have been in the cage.

More searching. Still, no results.

Finally, Mom and Dad proudly announced: We found him in the garage attic. He was pulling a pout at Dad.

In the movie “The Twelve Monkeys” one of the main characters remembers hiding from his parents as they looked for him in an abandoned well, knowing, just knowing their son had hit the bottom and drowned or died from hitting a hard bottom.

At one point during this escapade, some of us agreed: Too much like “The Twelve Monkeys.”

Now authorities are beginning to wonder if Dad orchestrated this “gone missing” to gain attention because he wants to score more from those folks who put the reality shows on air. That’s just sick.

When does all this stop? When do we start thinking and quit acting out like a group of seventh-graders?

Our so-called reality-based television lives seemed to have move too far. Now people have litters of babies to stretch their contracts with television or they agree to swap wives, families.

This is nauseating. This is what popular culture has come to? Then return me to the days of “The Price is Right.” At least nobody put a kid in a runaway car to get on the game show.

Leesha Faulkner is editor of The Selma Times-Journal. You may reach her at 410-1730 or leesha.faulkner@selmatimesjournal.com