On the morning of Saturday, February 4th, an extremely off-putting sight sent the state of South Carolina into a tizzy. Just as it entered airspace above the state in the early morning hours, civilians gathered their guns (much to the disappointment of local law enforcement) and looked to settle the score with the military-grade Chinese balloon that so crassly flipped the bird at our continental sovereignty.
Only, to our organization’s personal embarrassment, the balloon was not in fact so much a disrespect to democracy as much as it was a botched attempt at something much more innocent.
You see, reader, in past years, The Third Spur has experienced a surge in attendance, which has naturally resulted in a surge in money handled by the treasury. Instead of a silly mountain weekend or grossly overrated formal, we pooled our money and took to the skies. That’s right — we bought a damn cloud-watching balloon.
Now I understand if this sounds too good to be true, but I can assure you, it is just as true as it is adorable. After sending our treasurer on a wild goose chase on the ol’ Facebook Marketplace, we actually managed to find a professionally engineered balloon outfitted for a continental tour above the United States’ airspace, posted by a user named @Not_a_Chinese_GovernmentEngineer_Spy. After much negotiation, we were given a price reduction of 60% off as long as we promised to send pictures of the beautiful clouds we were to see in our upcoming voyage.
We began our voyage in Alaska, doodling our way down to see infamous landmarks like the world’s biggest ball of yarn and the state of Ohio, all headed towards our final destination: the pearl of the south, the jewel of the East Coast, the Oasis of the Northern Hemisphere…Myrtle Beach. But instead of being met with the family friendly waterparks and well-taken care of public schools that we know and love, we instead were met with a pair of fighter jets blasting “Fortunate Son” in sync as they honked their horns aggressively at us to pull over.
We quickly thanked our lucky stars that we did not pick truck week or bike week to go on our excursion, as we would’ve been shot down immediately, but it became clear the United Stated military thought our balloon was not as cute and fun as we did, and we parachuted out immediately to avoid being lit up by missiles shortly after.
As sad as we were to lose our beloved balloon, upon our safe landing we remembered we were in Myrtle Beach and were elated! But unfortunately because of our expenditures on the balloon, we were unable to afford a full day pass to Family Kingdom and instead had to settle for Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
Deepest apologies to the US for the accidental foreign policy crisis, but also, please venmo us $35 for our balloon you crashed. Also, fuck you Clemson, this still means we won the space race.