It’s Albuquerque. We do balloons.

The Dark Lord

The Dark Lord, kinda laying on his side, Albuquerque NM, October 2010

There’s something endearingly goofy about hot air balloons. Which is what makes the Dark Lord, sort of puffed up and laying on his side in at dawn in an Albuquerque park, so charmingly counter-intuitive.

It is the season of our city’s annual hot air ballon fiesta, nine days of a gobzillions (OK, hundreds, but literally many hundreds) of hot air balloons taking to the sky each morning at sunup. We don’t normally go out to the balloon fiesta field, what with the substantial crowd of people descending on it each morning to enjoy the spectacle. But our people in town, so we dragged ourselves out at alarm clock-thirty this morning and took the bus to see the show.

It’s really a hoot, and was worth the effort.

Dark Lord Takes Flight, L. Heineman, October 2010

Most of the balloons have the familiar teardrop shape, but a number of years ago, a tradition of increasingly elaborate “special shapes” balloons began making their appearance. Legend has it that the Carmen Miranda balloon was the first such special shape, complete with extravagant fruity headgear. Oh, it was so very fruity. Which is silly, which makes sense. Darth Vader? I’m sorry, but he’s just not silly. And yet seeing him inflate and soar off over the field this morning, a blast of propane filling his throat and a roar of approval from the crowd was, perhaps, meta-silly?

For silly, it really needs to be SpongeBob. He seemed right at home:


SpongeBob, by L. Heineman, October 2010

One Comment

  1. I liked the cow and flying pig and boxing kangaroos, personally. And the constant stream of commentary on the speakers.



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