The Coolest Air Balloon

Kassandra sighed and looked up from the magazine she was reading.

I want to ride in a cold air balloon.

“Don’t you mean a hot air balloon?” Sally asked rather more logically.

Kassandra shook her head. “I mean a cold air balloon. They’ve just been invented, look.” She held up the magazine and pointed out a picture to Sally.

“That looks like someone just photoshopped a bean bag onto a stock photo of some clouds, Kassandra,” Sally replied in what Kassandra swore was the exact same tone of voice her mom used when she was trying very hard to be patient with a child’s overactive imagination.

“It’s not, though,” Kassandra explained, a little annoyed. “This article has all the science and everything. The air inside is cold instead of hot, so the whole thing is just a little bit more dense than the air around it, so it sinks really slowly. You go up in an airplane and ride down on a balloon.”

“So it’s skydiving for people who like sitting on big inflatable things,” Sally summed up.

“Well… I guess,” Kassandra conceded, though it was clear that she didn’t think Sally’s description made it sound nearly as cool as it was. “Look, there’s a video and everything,” she added suddenly, pulling out her phone and typing something into her phone while consulting the magazine. A few seconds later, she handed the phone to Sally. “Look!”

The video showed a happy, laughing family who looked like they belonged in a stock photo all lying down in the center of one of these cold air balloons—which was plenty big enough for them all out of necessity, as it had to hold their weight—and staring out at the clouds.

After a brief pause, Sally asked, “What if you land in the middle of a road? That thing would be a pain to move—”

Kassandra shrugged. “They probably aim for really big empty fields or something.”

Sally frowned. “Seems hard to aim. I’m not sure they thought this through.”

“It’s cool, though, yeah?” Kassandra asked with a sigh.

“It has some design flaws.”

“That’s not a no,” Kassandra pointed out.

“Well, of course it’s not a no,” Sally answered. “That thing is awesome!

“But you’ve been saying—”

Sally shrugged. “So? It’s still cool.”


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