Student Voice


May 30, 2023




Time for a bucket list of 2011

February 17, 2011

Mashley and I are doing a bucket list we are calling Fun Firsts of 2011. Some of the activities we wish to do this year include eating at a restaurant with “proper attire required,” watching the Atomic Bombshells win in a roller derby contest and the crown jewel and riding a hot air balloon (not dying is a pre-requisite).

Although the hot air balloon ride is to be done in the summer months (I don’t have enough gin and tonic to get me through these chilly skies), we were emboldened to go to the “Hot Air Affair” in Hudson in early February to promote our zeal.

We awoke to the weather female-dog-slapping us, for the visibility was destroyed earlier that morning by a rebel force of fog. However, since had already woken up at 7 a.m. on the weekend, we thought we might as well go the “Hot Air Affair” anyway. There was little hope between us that the balloons would stain the sky that day.

As Mashley and I tossed around pleasantries and recent events in attempt to warm ourselves, all of the balloons began to swell up like the eyes of an obese person passing by an Old Country Buffet. Maybe these balloonists were undeterred; we thought this showed some grit. Yet, after an hour or so, the balloons were still glued onto the ground. We could kick around the feces for only so long, before we began to get antsy. Something had to be done. Lest our excitement bow down, I walked up to one of the “air balloon enthusiasts” and asked him what the deal was. The answer made us come to the realization that we were watching “smooth posers” in stagnant action.

Smooth smüth adj.9. Ingratiatingly polite and agreeable.

Pos-er pō-zər n. One who affects a particular attribute, attitude, or identity to impress or influence others.

These “smooth posers” were no different then a high school student with a leather bomber jacket from an army surplus store and a graphic t-shirt of some esoteric phrase, which was undoubtedly a reference from a “funny” Internet video that no one has ever heard of. We get it, your asexuality has no limits, but if I were a betting man, your personality does.

These “smooth posers” were standing around their balloons with chests pumped out with pride while some of their family and friends got into the air balloon baskets, sometimes even letting the rope slip out of their hands to let the basket clear two inches, and then hastily pulling them back to the earth. If you have seen toddlers try to swim, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Yes, I understand that a lot of these people came from afar to participate in this most prodigious event which no doubt was concocted by Hudson Commerce Department years earlier, still one would think that the organizers would have said something about this on their megaphone.

Christopher Pagels is an alumnus of UW-River Falls.