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February 28, 2003

Posted by Teresa at 03:33 PM *

Can’t explain; giggling too hard. Just go read it. (via Patrick, who got it from Erik)

Comments on Blimp:
#1 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 04:02 PM:

Reminds me of the time I had a bunch of black balloons (filled with I-guess helium) and had them tied to the inside doorknob of my front door.

During the day, when I was at work, most of the helium leaked out. The balloons were then hanging variously between waist and floor level. Also, I forgot about them.

When I opened the door late in the evening, the air currents caused the balloons to surge out toward me, bumping against each other in the process.

From my point of view a waist-high black blob lunged at me, with a kill-cry of "bdupdbupbdupdbupbdup!"

Man, I was skeered. Then embarrassed. I deliberately left them there for my then-boyfriend to find in the same way though, sadistic bastard that I am.

#2 ::: Jon ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 04:04 PM:

Oh. My. God.

"Deep in our alligator brains we all know that the world is just chock full of evil and monsters and sinister forces aligned against us, and it is only a matter of time until they show up."

I KNEW it!

#3 ::: Scott Janssens ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 04:29 PM:

Now _I'm_ giggling and getting funny looks at work :)

#4 ::: Holly ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 04:43 PM:

All my cubemates are going, "Are you laughing or crying?" They just don't have the right sense of humor. Also, that's one of the best descriptions of physical terror I've ever read.

#5 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 05:21 PM:

I'm beyond giggling and am scaring the cats. And, t, would you please answer your email?


#6 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 06:18 PM:

Chad got a blimp for a present a few years ago.

After hearing that he was flying it over me while I was dozing, his mom got me a Nerf gun.

#7 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 06:20 PM:

I am reading this, when I hear behind me the sound of a cat sharpening its claws. I look around. Moggin tries to look cute and innocent. I suspect I shall be safe from floating terrors, but those claws are sharp

Beware of Airborne Kittens. Death from the curtains!

#8 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 06:49 PM:

I feel for the blimp. And for the daughter, who is going to have Unanswerable Questions. When she is old enough, perhaps she will read about the Akron and the Macon and have a small shock of recognition.

#9 ::: Anita Rowland ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 08:50 PM:

There's a bunch of good stuff at that teemings site! I didn't realize that the denizens of the straight dope discussion boards did so much longer-form writing also!

#10 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 10:31 PM:

Maybe I'm in the wrong mood, but I feel this git should get a new balloon, and that he should apologize to the blimp.

#11 ::: Chip Hitchcock ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 11:22 PM:

I suppose the blimp's size (and the hour) made it more threatening, but a long time ago I found a simple "Space Pet" was pretty effective as an office guardian. It was the basic two-sheets-of-mylar-flatironed-together balloon with a bit of scored cardboard pasted on one side; you peeled off the bits until it trimmed. People who entered intent on interrupting me tended to run down when they saw it hovering nearby; it didn't look menacing, but apparently they thought had a vicious streak a mile wide even if they couldn't see any fur.

But his wife sounds like a very forgiving woman; I know people who would have shut their spouses out of the room after a fright like that.

#12 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2003, 11:33 PM:

I certainly wouldn't let him babysit any of my blimps. And we're not letting him anywhere near the Tor Blimp, in its moorings on top of the Flatiron Building.

#13 ::: janeyolen ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2003, 07:11 AM:

Of course I had to read this at 6 am in my son's office and howled, which set the dog off and he howled, which. . .you get the idea. And my daughter-in-law is 3/4 of the way gestating twins.

So why am I the bad guy here?


#14 ::: Andy Willett ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2003, 01:16 PM:

I've been a poster on the Straight Dope boards for ages. Scylla is a funny funny guy. The Horror of Blimps became mandatory reading for everybody as soon as it went up.

The thing that is REALLY amazing, though, is watching it run amok now that it has made it into blog and e-mail circulation. It is suddenly everywhere. The 'views' count on the thread itself, back on the board, has gone berserk--it's clearly about to become the most-viewed thread in board history. It has spawned its own metathreads. Fascinating: we're watching this thing be born, and it may turn into one of those things that circulates forever.

#15 ::: Rachel Heslin ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2003, 03:34 PM:

Oh, dear -- what have I done? I sent the link to some friends, and one of them (once he picked himself off the floor and regained close to normal breathing) was inspired to call Zany Brainy and get himself a blimp.

Of course, considering his car, I shouldn't be surprised that this would appeal to him. He likes toys.

#16 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2003, 04:14 PM:

"Your Magnificence?"


"The Imperial Memetic Assault Group reports complete success. The arrival of your Imperial Airship of Doom is not certain to strike terror into the hearts of the Earth people."

"Read that again."

"Uh ...'is -now- certain.' Sorry, O Frabjous One."

"S'Okay. After the conquest we gotta get a new ISP. And broadband."

"Hail Ming!"

"Hail Me, yeah. What a time to run out of donuts."

#17 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2003, 06:51 PM:

Jim, I think you would like the Minicon Air Force.

Jane, I don't see why you're the bad guy at all. For me it's the unexpected, then logical, then inevitable flight of the balloon, up the stairs and into the bedroom...

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