Allow Me To Ruin Hot Air Balloons For You

If you find yourself awake at some ungodly hour you may spot some colorful blob floating above the horizon without a care in the world.

Hot air balloons are seen as relaxing and even romantic by some. I think those giant, colorful nylon sacks are terrifying.

First, archaic technology freaks me out. There's a reason we progressed from a technological standpoint. We wanted to make things faster, more efficient, and less likely to be deadly.

Hot air balloons are seen as a novelty, much the same way horse and buggies are. If you want to get anywhere on time, use a car. Horse and buggies are only used by anyone who isn't Amish so they can kill an afternoon and post the pictures on Instagram.

Look how much fun we had in Lancaster. We held up traffic all afternoon, it was great!

There's no practical reason to go for a hot air balloon ride. They're not faster than planes; they're not even faster than zeppelins for God's sake! They're only useful if you find yourself needing to perform reconnaissance on a Civil War battlefield.

Plus, they maneuver worse than shopping carts, because they don't maneuver at all. This could be the thing I hate most about hot air balloons. Perhaps, I'm outing myself as something of a control freak, but I'm really not okay with the idea that a hot air balloon goes up in the air, but after that, there's only a rough guesstimate as to the final destination. I'm not okay with this. I don't like that safely flying a hot air balloon requires you to have a friend in a pickup truck who follows you until you "land," which is really more of a gentle crash at best.

I get that they can maneuver up and down, but even that is done in a way simple enough for neanderthals to wrap their heads around. You drop sandbags to go up, which also seems dangerous. I'm honestly shocked that I don't see several deaths a year about how someone was driving to work or out for a jog and got clobbered by a rogue hot air balloon sandbag.

Also, how has the basket never advanced from a technological standpoint? How is it still nothing but a wicker basket? I feel like at this point it should be made out of carbon fiber or at the very least a light metal like aluminum or titanium. 

It's crazy to me that in the 21st century we're still mounting a giant torch big enough to fry an entire flock of geese to a flammable basket, and then people are getting inside that basket and soaring through the atmosphere. Every word of the at sentence sounds like a bad idea.

The other thing I don't get is how they came to be viewed as romantic. I see people proposing in them, but what you never see in those pictures is Hot Air Balloon Captain Dan awkwardly standing to the side of the couple. It's not like you can have a quiet moment in a hot air balloon basket. There's always at least one other person with you in the basket, and the peaceful silence you find at that altitude is routinely shattered by the whoosh of that flamethrower strapped to the top.

Maybe I'm wrong (I'm not), otherwise they wouldn't have stuck around this long. But I'll stick to planes and airships, thank you very much.

Nothing bad has ever happened to an airship.



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