Schmuck of the Week

Shmuck of the Week: Richard Heene, father of Balloon Boy, colossal scumbag

It wasn't long after Balloon Boy's balloon fell gently and empty to the ground that I sent out the above Tweet.

Of course, in hindsight, those odds were way too high. And now we're all left to figure out how to fill up another balloon, attach Balloon Boy's dad by the ankles, and let him float, float away, with not a cameraman in sight.

It just doesn't make any sense: How could a six-year-old boy who's no bigger than a Wiffle bat climb inside a giant balloon, untie whatever was holding it down, watch it float away, immediately recognize the media circus that was about to ensue and flee, before anyone saw him, to an attic, and then manage to stay quiet for hours upon hours under the heat lamp that is global fixation?

He couldn't. He didn't. There's just no way.

Now, he might have been in the attic. I like to picture him up there with one of his friends from the neighborhood, playing Wii Tennis and bragging about how he would probably be on TV with that nice Meredith lady in the morning.

"Does this mean you have to have a different mommy again?" his friend surely asked, referring to another appearance on Wife Swap.

"No. I think we're going for that one where they give you a new house. I hope so anyway. This place is a shithole."

Anyway, whether he was ever in the attic at all doesn't really matter. What matters is, wherever he was, his father put him there. His father spent way too much time cooking up this entirely fucked-up plan that has cost us all at least three hours of our lives -- wonderful hours, sure, but empty ones.

It was, it's becoming clear, some half-cocked plan to make a quick buck off of web site traffic or T-shirts or TV appearances or something I can't even think of. And here's the worst fucking part: It will probably work. This talentless shithead will earn more money this year than most everyone you know because his cross-wired brain figured out how to make us monkeys dance -- and dance we did, all the way to the bank. To his bank.

Which is fine. It's all fine. But somebody needs to kick this guy's ass.

Meet more shmucks in our Shmuck of the Week archive.

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Joe Tone
Contact: Joe Tone