The bounce house that took 6-year old “Chubbs” Bellington and his brother Slaw on an aeronautic joyride this Monday has been spotted by the Balto Acrobatics and Space Administration (BASA) near the outer edge of the atmosphere. Though no one has yet devised a way to recover the house (or the kids inside), the manufacturer, Incredibly Buoyant Toys, Inc. is hailing the discovery as “an important first step” in learning how their product was “misused” and how the boys’ impromptu flight might “offset Vermouth’s attempt to derail the Down County Space Station.”
“One door closes and another one opens,” said IBT President, Eddy Maelstrom, at a packed press conference today, miles from company headquarters. “Last Sunday, the City of Vermouth withdrew support for the Down County Space Station, a move designed to derail the program. Today, little “Chubbs” and Slaw Bellington left our stratosphere to blaze a new trail for the county’s nascent space program. And we’re as proud of them as we are of the IBT product that made their historic flight possible (though we admit no prior knowledge of such capabilities). It’s one small step for Chubbs ‘n’ Slaw, one giant leap for Down County!”
Maelstrom’s lackey’s erupted into applause, but reporters were quick to cut the enthusiasm short.
“What do you say to those who claim your toys are a menace to society and hold you responsible for launching two unwitting kids into space?”
“What do you say to the parents who claim their kids were the victims of unsafe toys rather than ‘heroes’ in an aeronautic space race?”
“What do you say to District Attorney Mayweather Simms who stated today he’ll seek the death penalty in this case?”
Within seconds Maelstrom disappeared into a limousine and reporters descended on Down County Commissioner, Thornton Vance. “What’s the city’s plan to get those kids back?” shouted one reporter. “Do you know where they currently are?” shouted another, shoving a mike at the Commissioner. “Can you tell us if they’re still alive?”
“Okay, hold it! Hold it” Vance screamed, waving his hands for the crowd to sit down. “If you’ll keep yer damn boots on, I’ve got a statement.”
The reporters sat down.
“At approximately 2:30pm Monday afternoon, 6-year old ‘Chubbs’ Bellington and his 5-year old brother Slaw of 1334 Graphite Cornerz Road (two blocks south of the Take It N Git Markit) inadvertently bounced their IBT Bounce House from their Graphite Cornerz backyard into the jetstream by bouncing – I’m told – ‘at a centrifugal rate of speed.’ The house was grabbed by prevailing winds, lifted further by rising storm clouds over Tire Fire City and eventually deposited into orbit somewhere around …ahem…. 100 miles above the earth.”
“How is that possible??” newsmen leapt to their feet. “How can two kids be swept into space??”
“Gentleman?” McVeigh began. “The question is not ‘how’ these unwitting toddlers were swept into space, but why? And given the unfolding events in Vermouth, we’re confident that wind and clouds couldn’t possibly be the culprit in this act of buoyancy. That’s why we’ve asked Special Agent-at-Large, Blake Mosley, of the Flubug Bureau of Investigation to join our investigation. We feel – and I believe his agency agrees – that these events are inextricably tied to the Down County Space Station. If so, there’s a lot more going on than a couple of missing kids.”
“But what about the kids?” reporters pressed. “Are you saying there’s no hope? Is there any way to determine their condition?”
“There’s always hope,” McVeigh continued. “Especially since – I’m told – these kids were trained from a very young age in the art of survival. If that’s the case, it should be child’s play – you’ll pardon the expression – to release bursts of air from the intake valve and maintain minimum oxygen levels, though I admit the netting poses challenges to retaining oxygen. The big challenge though isn’t oxygen. It’s the 300 to 800 degree temperatures at that level. If they can withstand those, they’ve got an excellent chance.”
Officials from BASA were tight-lipped about the youngsters’ chances or the possibility that Vermouth could somehow be involved in a dangerous game of inter-county cat-and-mouse.