For the 15 seconds or so that the world believed that Colorado boy had actually gone up in a balloon last week, I had real sympathy for them.
I know what it's like to have a lost kid.
If you have children, so do you. I don't mean "lost" lost, as in off in the woods and needing tracking dogs to find them. I'm talking about wandered-off-and-hiding lost, when they know perfectly well where they are but you don't.
My oldest daughter pioneered this technique in our family when she was about age 3 or 4. Her mom was shopping at a large department store when Essa decided it would be fun to climb through the clothes hanging from one of those circular racks and hide in the middle.
We almost expected the urban legend to play out: She'd be found drugged with her hair cut and dyed, wearing different clothes, being kidnapped by a stranger.
Instead, she popped out when they called out her name over the store intercom. I think corporal punishment came into play at some point.
The youngest got in on the act years later when we were moving. Our house had sold before the one we were building was finished, so we were making an interim move a few blocks away. That meant a lot of back-and-forth with small loads, with different members of the family split between the two places.
Annie was about 4 years old, in the midst of the moving-day confusion we suddenly couldn't find her. We fruitlessly searched the old house, the new house, then the rest of the cul-de-sac.
Just as we were about to call the cops we suddenly found her. She had gone in her old room, curled up behind some furniture and fallen asleep, blissfully oblivious.
That was the story I really thought about when the balloon-boy first surfaced: Complete innocence of youth. Now it turns out the tale is more about the total idiocy of a couple of parents staging an expensive trial balloon for a television reality show.
The day after the episode, while being interviewed on live television, the dad barely skipped a beat when the boy suddenly threw up. (You can find it on YouTube; it's hilarious.) Later, that same boy figuratively spilled his guts, responding with honesty to a question from his dad during another TV interview about why he had been hiding: Because his dad had told him it was for a show.
Oops. I bet Dad wanted to throw up then.
I'm convinced you have to be a certified loser to spend much time watching reality shows on TV. How much more of a loser must someone be, then, to involve their children in a lawbreaking conspiracy in hopes of being on a reality show?
They should all do us a favor and find somewhere to crawl in and hide - and then stay there.
Can't blame racism
Speaking of crawling off somewhere, it would be nice if the lazy liberal reflex of blaming "racism" for any opposition to President Obama would disappear.
A study released last week by a Democratic organization, Democracy Corps, provides plenty of reason to slam the door on that canard.
The organization assembled conservative focus groups to research opposition to Obama. Lo and behold: They found racism isn't a factor - that conservatives oppose Obama's ideology, not his skin color.
This study is a lot more important than you're hearing about - and you're probably not hearing much about it specifically because it runs counter to the perception fanned by the left.
You're also not hearing much about it undoubtedly because it was released late Friday, traditionally the time of the week when politicians post news releases that they want ignored.
Now, why is that? Think Democracy Corps was surprised that its own study failed to validate its view of conservatives as racists?
You can bet that if their study confirmed race-based hatred for Obama, the story would be shouted from the national media rooftops.
Now? I think they'll hide it in an attic in Colorado.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.