Thursday, January 12, 2006

Movie: Danny Deckchair

Who doesn't like the idea of starting anew? Australian Danny Morgan does it by floating off in the sky in his lawnchair suspended by a bunch of huge helium balloons. He lands in a little town where no one knows who he is and they have enough paxil in the water that everyone just accepts his scruffy ass as a visiting university professor. Maybe people in Australia are just really trusting and accepting.

Everything from there out is standard romantic comedy. I'm not spoiling anything when I say he falls in love with a girl in the new place, he cleans up and shaves his face, then there are some complications in the romance that are resolved.

It's good popcorn. But it's basically the story of "Lawnchair" Larry Walters (pic)wrapped up in a romantic comedy with a positive ending. Larry Walters wanted to fly. His eyesight was too poor for the airforce so he tied his lawnchair to the bumper of his truck and tied 10 weather balloons to his lawnchair. It floated. So he tied 32 more balloons to the lawnchair and got in it along with some soda and a bb gun ( to regulate height by popping balloons) . Then he cut the cord. His plan was to rise to about 30-100 feet over the house, hang out for a while, then pop some balloons and descend.

He shot up to 16,000 feet, where it is very cold and oxygen is thin.

He did not descend in a magical town where everyone is full of love, joy and acceptance. He was first noticed by a plane trying to land at LAX. When he descended, he was arrested by LAPD for violating LAX airspace and eventually was served a $4000 fine.

He did some bits on the lecture circuit for a while and eventually shot himself in the heart after a walk in the woods. No wife, no girlfriend, no kids, no romantic comedy.

Mark Barry's website has a lot of good info on the larry walters story.

Currently I'm looking at John Ninomiya's cluster ballooning website and thinking...