Corn Rockets

My boss’s boss told me a lovely (yes, lovely) story, yesterday. His sister owns a hot air balloon. She’d take him up in it – they could go a mile high if they wanted to. They could touch down on lakes, the surface tension of the water keeping the basket afloat, and drift steadily according to the wind. But what they liked to do was land the balloon in a cornfield and pull in all these ears of corn; then they’d take off. They’d fly really high above the rural towns and take the ears of corn, shuck them, and then drop them out of the basket. They called them “corn rockets.”

In my mind, I make this into an animated short or maybe draw it as a comic strip. The first beat is the balloon steadily filling up. Doing that thing where it lies limp, then teeters on its side, and finally expands enough to be respectable and upright. It’s all in bright colors. Then the people get into the basket. They fly up high. They land in the cornfield. They go back up and drop the corn rockets, whose pulled-back husks make them spiral like helicopter seeds. In the town, when the rockets hit, they immediately explode into popcorn. Air pop, most likely.

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