The Damage- Courtesy of Richard Heene

The past few days have most likely been a confusing daze for the six year old boy who was believed to have floated off in some contraption his father, Richard Heene, devised for weather related purposes.   Criminal charges were just announced by the Colorado sheriff who found himself in the media spotlight.  Although the exact charges haven’t been announced, many are speculating they’ll be misdemeanor in nature. 

Here’s the problem, though (besides the obvious).  Millions of us watched this….aluminum foil thingey….float through the Colorado skies last week with baited breath.  We wanted – we needed – a good outcome.  Happy endings seem so rare these days.  For example, here are a few of the headlines on the Fox News web ticker:

  • High School Football Player Dies After Game Collapse
  • FL Businessman Sentenced for $44M Ponzi Scheme
  • PA Firefighter Suspended Over U.S. Flag on Locker
  • Police: California Mom Kills 5 Year Old Son

Naturally, witnessing the giant Jiffy Popcorn pan land safely, as if angels were guiding it, renewed our faith.  Suddenly, we let out a collective breath and thought, “Yes!! Finally something good!”  Then, to discover the little boy wasn’t even on board put us on edge once again for fear that maybe he’d fallen out somewhere along the way.  Finally, our nerves were settled when those breaking news emails began hitting our inboxes of the little boy appearing after a restful nap in his home’s attic.  A happy ending, no doubt. 

So when Wolf Blitzer intereviewed the Heene family later that night and the little boy innocently said to his father, “…you said it was for a show…”, there were more than a few upset folks.  As I’m writing this, another breaking news email just alerted me that the authorities are now searching the Heene home.  Richard Heene took that bit of good news from us – the affirmation that good things indeed happen – when he allegedly staged the possibility of something bad, only to “surprise” everyone later by bringing it full circle with a happily ever after ending.  For that, he needs, at the very least, to pay restitution for every tax dollar that was used to find a son who was home the entire time.  If it’s discovered to in fact be a hoax, he is in for a lot of years raising three boys who have a twisted sense of what adulthood is all about.  It’s difficult to even wish for him a lot of public embarrassment since he’s clearly his own worst enemy and is doing a fine enough job embarrassing himself without anyone’s help.  The only problem is, he’s taking his family along on this bizarre trip to embarrassment land.


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