You may recall the 2009 non-ordeal of Falcon Heene, the boy whose parents publicly, tearfully, and falsely claimed he was aboard a runaway weather balloon because they hoped to get a reality TV show out of it. See, e.g., “FAA Investigating Balloon Boy Case; Balloon Dad Prepares for Apocalypse,” Lowering the Bar (Oct. 21, 2009); “Balloon Boy’s Parents Finally Reunited With Balloon,” Lowering the Bar (June 3, 2010). If not, BOOM! I just refreshed your recollections. Yep, that just happened.
Falcon, then six years old, was actually safe at home the whole time, although his father later insisted that wasn’t true and that he and his wife only pleaded guilty because otherwise the government might have deported her. (Here’s a press release from the Heenes’ lawyers, making the deportation claim but notably not saying a word about the alleged balloon ride itself.) The fact that Falcon was not actually aboard the balloon when it landed would seem to prove the incident was a hoax, but I guess we can’t rule out the possibility of a dramatic in-flight rescue by a superhero who has preferred to remain anonymous.
Also, Falcon spilled the beans while CNN was interviewing the family, but maybe that was part of the hero’s cover story.
Anyway, the Denver Post reports (thanks, @davidfeeder) that at long last, that stupid, stupid saga has become a musical.
“It started as very brutal, biting satire with a seventh-grade mentality,” said the musical’s creator, 16-year-old Billy Reece, “but as it’s progressed I’ve tried to make the characters more human.” (Billy, you had me at “seventh-grade mentality.”) The show’s opener, “Follow Your Dream,” recently won a prize for best student-created opening number, giving him the right to participate in a workshop to develop the musical further.
The Heenes followed their dream to Florida, once the couple served their brief jail sentences in Colorado, that is. Actually, I guess this was a different dream, judging from the fact that they have since been marketing the “Bear Scratch,” a piece of wood that mounts on a wall so you can scratch your back on it ($19.99 or two pieces of wood for $29.99), and certain other inventions that at least cannot be less dumb than the balloon hoax was.
Also seeking fame: Falcon himself, apparently now a member of “Heene Boyz,” which bills itself as “The World’s Youngest Metal Band.” Based on the music video for the band’s song, “American Chili,” they might want to give the balloon plan another try.