Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Kent Couch: Helium Hero or Balloonatic?"

That's the provocative headline on a blog post in Great Britain's The Guardian newspaper about Bend's own Kent Couch, the gas station proprietor who flew

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 4:43 PM

That's the provocative headline on a blog post in Great Britain's The Guardian newspaper about Bend's own Kent Couch, the gas station proprietor who flew a lawn chair attached to 150 giant helium balloons from Bend to Idaho on Saturday.

"His lift-off, achieved by ditching some of the 45 gallons of the cherry Kool-Aid drink he was using as ballast, was almost as audacious as his landing," blogger Paul Lewis writes. "When he'd had enough of sailing through the air, Couch took out a gun and started shooting balloons until he was headed earthward.

"Can you imagine? A clear blue sky, breathtaking Midwest [sic] scenery, and Couch, the floating man we all secretly want to be, casually taking aim with his ball-bearing pistol and, like a man without a care in the world, popping shots at his multicoloured balloons."

"Breathtaking Midwest scenery"? In Eastern Oregon and Idaho? Better take a remedial US geography class, son. Your copy editor, too.

"Between bursts," Lewis continues, Couch "would sip his coffee and nibble at boiled eggs, beef jerky and chocolate. What a guy.

"You might be thinking it's stupidity that takes the like of Couch skywards. This weekend sailors off the coast of Brazil discovered the body of Catholic priest Father Adelir de Carli, 42, who was last seen strapped to 1,000 giant party balloons in April.

"I disagree. These men may be fools, but they're enviable fools. In today's risk-averse world, there's something admirable about a guy from Oregon willing to gamble his life on a gust of wind, just because it feels good."

So what do you think, Wandering Eye readers? Was Couch's feat an act of heroism or balloonacy? Or something else entirely?

  • Pin It

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by H. Bruce Miller

  • Who is John Galt? Who Gives a Crap?: Atlas Shrugged's tea party flops hard

    Members of the Ayn Rand cult have waited 54 years for a movie version of her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. They finally have one that's true to the letter and spirit of the book. And that's the problem.
    • May 11, 2011
  • LandWatch Goes to the Mattresses Over Resorts

    The fight over Deschutes County's new destination resort rules isn't finished yet: Central Oregon LandWatch has put the county on notice that it plans to challenge them. LandWatch filed ìnotices of intent to appealî Thursday with the state Land Use Board of Appeals, charging that the county's new rules for determining what lands are eligible for resorts ìactually increase the development potential in the county.
    • Aug 23, 2010
  • Waste and Fraud: Walden Goes After the Big Game

    Eastern Oregon's own Rep. Greg Walden and a couple of other Republican congressmen have unleashed their righteous wrath on a federal program that helps low-income folks heat their homes.
    • Jul 2, 2010
  • More »

Latest in The Wandering Eye

  • Moonshine Magic in Bend Still on the Down Low

    Get ready for our great close-up on the home distilling community out next week in our "Best of" issue. We interviewed a mixed bag of legal and anarchist distillers in Bend to find out why distilling is so very, very against the law in one's home.
    • Aug 9, 2012
  • The Eye Wanders Off Into the Sunset

    I’m really sorry to break the bad news to them during this season of peace and goodwill, but after this week the right-wingers in Bend and vicinity won’t have The Wandering Eye to kick around anymore. The decision to stop writing this blog was my own, and it was prompted by several factors.
    • Dec 26, 2010
  • DADT, Gay-Bashing and the "Icky-ness" Factor

    For the past week or so, “Zeo” of the NW Republican blog has had his jock strap in a knot over the prospect of Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. To hear Zeo tell it, if DADT is repealed and gays are allowed to serve openly in the US military it will mean the end not only of our armed forces but of America, its economic system and civilization in general.
    • Dec 19, 2010
  • More »

© 2016 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation