Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Dad, The Hot-Air Balloon MC

I am fascinated by sub-cultures. For example, I am a stand-up comedian. Most of my friends are stand-up comedians. This is all completely normal to me, but for someone else this might seem strange and/or exciting. Right now there's somebody who's life is totally and completely dedicated to burritos. I don't know how or why, but he/she is out there. (It would be awesome if the undisputed champion of the burrito world was a hermaphrodite. Also, burrito means "little donkey" in Spanish. I can't seem to find a connection between little donkeys and hermaphrodites, but my brain refuses to relinquish that there is one.)

Here's another example: My dad has been into hot-air balloons for as long as I can remember. Because of this, when I was a kid, I got to crew for the balloonists and sometimes even go up in a balloon. I found that balloonists tend to be (in my experience) wealthy, fun-loving, small-townish and really fond of drinking in parking lots. And now my dad's interest has led him to become a hot-air balloon race MC. Think about that. A hot-air balloon race. A race of the slowest vehicles known to man. And he uses a microphone to tell people what is going on during them.

"Folks, if you look up above, you'll see #2 Dale Johnson. Don't blink!"

Two hours later:

"Well, there's Dale Johnson...still right fucking there!"

How do you keep something like that interesting? I've never actually seen my dad MC one of these things (because I've only been around when it's a single balloon), but I imagine in order to keep people from falling asleep he's setting off fires and releasing parking brakes from random pick-up trucks.

Here's what I mean when I say I'm fascinated by sub-cultures. I want to know any and all of the following: Where is my dad in the all-time ranking of hot-air balloon MCs? Is he the Marv Albert of inflatable competitions? If so, does that mean my dad wears dresses in the bedroom? Would a hot-air balloon of my dad in a dress be successful and if so, would he actually acknowledge it in the air or pretend it's not there? Is my dad going to be replaced by a younger, hipper hot-air balloon MC? Has the word "hip" ever been used in the same sentence as "hot-air balloon" when not referring to the joints of the average spectator? If my dad in fact does get replaced, would it take the guy ten years to get there because he's in a goddamn hot-air balloon?

All valid questions.

I'd like to conclude today by giving a message of hope. Never give up, folks. My heart told me that there is a little donkey/hermaphrodite connection and I now I know it's true. I'd like to present to you all...a heart warming story of Derek the Little Donkey and his best friend, Tootsie the Hermaphrodite Pony. Don't stop believin'!


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