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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Jokes about "Balloon Boy" overlook how scary it is to lose a child



CNNBalloonBoy For two hours today, all the cable news outlets were riveted by the fate of a 6-year-old child everyone was calling "balloon boy."

Falcon Heene, the youngest son of a family that has twice appeared on the ABC reality series Wife Swap, had supposedly climbed aboard the family's homemade UFO-shaped balloon and then took off, drifting through the skies over Colorado.

But when the balloon landed, no one was aboard. Now, the authorities are searching for the boy. There was some concern he might have fallen out, and there were also rumors that this is just a publicity stunt to grab attention. While the search went on, jokes quickly began to circulate -- jokes comparing this to the Pixar movie Up, or gags about Heene's favorite band being "Fall Out Boy." Somebody even concocted a Secret Diary of Balloon Boy.

Fortunately, the boy was found about 6 p.m., alive (and the next discussion should be about who gets grounded and for how long).

Granted the family is eccentric, to say the least. Granted they agreed to appear on a reality show -- twice -- suggesting they are more like Jon & Kate Plus 8 than Ozzie and Harriet.

But the fact is, there was a child missing. And we should all bear in mind that, no matter what kind of spooky Halloween decorations hang in your yard, losing a child is the scariest thing in the world for a parent to go through. If this ever happens again, folks, let's bear that in mind before we start cracking jokes.

-- Sherry Robinson

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:03am]


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