It is Balloon! (1)

This is an urgent bulletin from FOX News (2). I’m Sean HaNutty along with Fucker Gnarlson. We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to announce that Top Gun Maverick has just popped a balloon. Let’s watch it in slow motion for the 6,752nd time. Yes, that’s Top Gun up there, and you see something – it looks like a large needle – pop the balloon.

Down it goes. Excuse the interruption while we set this video to the Blue Danube Waltz (3), or the last 20 minutes of Phillip Glass’s Koyaanisqatsi (4).

Wait, we have a report that bright objects are being seen in the sky as the balloon descends. It looks like … confetti. A celebration of Chinese New Year, perhaps? Or those little soda cans they used to study tornadoes in Twister (5)? Let’s go to Retired Former Joint Chiefs Chair Brigadier General Jack Ripper (6) to find out what we know so far.

Ripper:  Let me be clear, we are so fucked. They know everything about us. They’ve seen the MAGA sticker on a pickup truck in Montana from 60,000 feet. This situation is incredibly dangerous and meaningless at the same time. They already knew everything from spy satellites and our iPhones, but now they know absolutely everything everywhere all at once (7) from their weather, er, spy balloon.

This means war. But first, why did it take so long for the President to pop the balloon? If he’d popped it in Alaska, it wouldn’t have floated over Montana, and if it hadn’t floated over Montana, they wouldn’t have our launch codes (8) or the codes to disable our deflector shields. Kaaahhhhnnnnn!!!! (9) Now they’ve seen our ICBMs, which everyone knows we have there. They might have overheard the guys deep underground ordering lunch from Arby’s (10). Like I said, we’re fucked.

The Chinese are pissed. They may come over and pop our balloon any day now. Then it will be war. Hot air balloons, helium balloons, trial balloons, party balloons, lead balloons … any one of them could be a Chinese spy balloon. None of us are safe until we pop all the balloons in the world.

HaNutty and Gnarlson: Thank you, General. We now return to showing you 9,728 more shots of the exciting moment the balloon popped. And remember, as the General said, we are so fucked.


(1) Apologies for using the most racist TV expression I could find on YouTube.

(2) Apologies to anything that is actually news. If that even still exists.

(3) Apologies to Johann Strauss, Jr.

(4) Apologies to Phillip Glass.

(5) Apologies to Twister, I guess.

(6) Apologies to Stanley Kubrick.

(7) Apologies to the Oscar favorite.

(8) Apologies to War Games.

(9) Apologies to Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn, but sorry not sorry to William Shatner.

(10) No apology needed except maybe to John Oliver for stealing his schtick.

Fred Baumgarten is a writer living in western Massachusetts.