This week marks the anniversary of the first hot air balloon launch in Versailles, France in 1783. Since this was the beginning of man’s desire to fly, you must go. Please take this list with you to avoid an incident with the French (challenging to do) or to create a time continuum disruption that could be catastrophic.
Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Hot Air Baloon Launch in 1783.
10 If you are at the first balloon launch, do not try to buy a ticket. If you do, at best you will be told no. At worst, the head guy will inform you this trip is for animals only. (Do not give in to the temptation to moo like a cow, Javier. The first animals on the trip were a sheep, a rooster, and a duck.)
9 If you are at the first balloon launch, do not ask Tiny the WWF champ for a selfie with you. If you do, at best Tiny will think you are kidding. At worst, Tiny who just left his anti-witchcraft support group will think you are trying to take his soul. (I’m not saying Tiny is superstitious, but I’m not sure that phone is going to survive a foot stomp and water bath, Jagger. Also, Tiny has the same thing in mind for you.)
8 If you are at the first balloon launch, do not attempt to communicate in French. If you do, at best, no one will acknowledge that you are understood. At worst, you will give yourself away with your obnoxious American accent. (Now you’ve done it, Jessie. These folks are going to want to know how you got here and why your damn revolution got started in the first place. Please don’t say, “Je ne sais pas.” You’ll just make it worse.
7 If you are at the first balloon launch, do not admire the Palace of Versailles in front of the mob. If you do, at best most will not hear you. At worst, you happen to make your comments to Robespierre and his friends. (If you will recall, Jorge the French Revolution began in 1789 just five years from now. These Robespierre heavies look like bad hombre’s. Let’s just hope you are back home in 1789.)
6 If you are at the first balloon launch, do not make jokes about where the French get all their hot air. If you do, at best you’ll get a couple of laughs. At worst, the guys in charge of heating the air will put you on wood chopping duty. (You have to admit it, Joaquin. Life was more comfortable before all the hot air jokes. That ten-pound ax sure gets its name honestly huh?)
5 If you are at the first balloon launch, do not order a waffle from the breakfast cafe. If you do, at best no one will know what you are saying. At worst, the cafe owner will be horrified and call the gendarmes. (You see, Jimmy when you ordered a gaufre (or waffle in French) your accent was so bad the owner though you had requested a gopher. Either way anything but bread and coffee is thought to be uncivilized.)
4 If you are at the first balloon launch, do not ask the balloon owner how much he paid for the balloon. If you do, at best, he will walk away. At worst, he will take you for an ugly American and tell you to mind your business. (Then the crowd will wonder who you are, Johnny and will start to figure out you are an alien. Time to hit the wayback machine.)
3 If you are at the first balloon launch, do not make comments about the snails being served for lunch. If you do, at best someone will take yours. At worst, those in attendance will wonder where you are from and how come you have no been raised right. (Couple that with your accent, Jonas and you might earn a ticket to the guillotine testing facility.)
2 If you are at the first balloon launch, do not do a lot of smiling at people. If you do, at best some will think you have gas, At worst, most of the French will assume you are an ax murderer. (Yeah, the French don’t smile much to strangers, Julien. You are making them uncomfortable a feeling they will want to reciprocate.)
1 If you are at the first balloon launch, do not comment on the inclement weather. If you do, at best you’ll get a whats new shrug. At worst, several folks you meet will ask you to do something about it. (This is a new one, Jim. I hope you are prepared to produce miracles.)