that’s what friends are for

I’m a lucky man.

I’m lucky because I have several really close friends whom I can depend on to tell me when I’m doing Something Stupid, or just my everyday normal Chris, You’re Being An Asshole kind of stuff.

But I realize that a lot of people aren’t lucky like I am.  A lot of people don’t have friends who will tell them that despite what they think, telling the large man with biceps the size of a child that his shirt is terrible is actually not a good idea.

One of these unlucky souls was this priest in Brazil.

The story goes, because I know you’re too damn lazy to click on that link, that the priest attached hundreds of balloons to a chair and floated away in order to raise money for a good cause.

I’m not going to get into the fact that the cause was to build a church for truckers, because that’s an entire other post for another day.

As you can guess, this Brilliant Idea did not end well.

The priest’s body was found a day later in a river.

This guy had no close friends.

There is no way he could have, because one of them would have told him that maybe, just maybe, floating away attached to hundreds of balloons was not the best idea.

He had no Jimmy to explain, “Why not a bake sale? They’re pretty fun, and people love chocolate!  Why don’t we do that?  You know, instead of your suicide mission?”

There was no one to stop him.  Not even people who barely knew the dude.

I can’t imagine the priest presenting the idea, “So yes, I just float away!” and no one shaking the shit out of him and telling him that it was fucking stupid.

I can imagine that once the guy got a couple hundred feet in the air, he might have started to have some regrets.  Perhaps starting with his apparent love for truckers.

But this is what happens when people lack Good Friends.

They do Stupid Things and no one tells them, “Hey dude, I think you might die if you do that.”

Now all those truckers will just have to pray in their trucks, and really, that’s the saddest part of this story.


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57 responses to “that’s what friends are for

  1. deutlich

    You’re right. I was too lazy to click on the link.

  2. I have the exact opposite problem: my friends think everything I do is stupid and are not shy about telling me.

  3. Matt

    I like to think of priests as smart, even though they spend most of their time readong only one book…

    but that was just not smart.

    and I did click the link. Where’s my gold star?

  4. what? where did the truckers come from? and what’s stupid about tying balloons to a chair and floating away in it?
    i’m so confused

  5. Miz

    Float on priest man…Float.On.

  6. Regard him as one who
    points out
    the wise one who
    seeing your faults
    rebukes you.

    Stay with this sort of sage.
    For the one who stays
    with a sage of this sort,
    things get better,
    not worse.

    -Dhammapada, 6, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

  7. I always wondered if that balloon thing would actually work. Thanks Mr. Priest for checking that one out for me.

  8. My fear of balloons sucking me into the sky isn’t totally stupid after all!

    It can happen.

    I knew it!

  9. Dude, seriously. What’s up with the unnecessary caps?

  10. My friends would try to convince me to do the stupid thing. Maybe that was his problem, too. He had lots of friends, but their last conversation went something like this*:

    Them: Dude! A fucking balloon chair, man!
    Him: What the fuck you talking about?
    Them: Ok, dude. You take a bunch of fucking balloons and tie ’em to a fucking chair, then you float away!
    Him: But how does that raise any money?
    Them: Balloons!
    Him: I don’t know… Sounds kinda dangerous…
    Them: You fucking pussy! Did Columbus back down because he thought it would be dangerous to fly the Nina and the Pina Colada to the fucking moon?! Now fucking hit this, yo.

    *Translated from Portuguese, of course.

  11. idontliketoread

    dude, I will always be here to tell you are an ass, and you will always be here to tell me I am bad at sports

  12. Rachel

    Couldn’t he just pray?

  13. I think my favorite part of this is the tag: balloons don’t stop you from dying.

    So true, my friend. So true.

  14. You have good friends… I’m not sure if any of my friends would have stopped me either. They like to see me do silly things.

    PS. I clicked the link.

  15. So the question that popped into my head while reading the article (yes, I clicked on the link!) was, “How in the hell is this stupid fucking stunt supposed to raise money exactly?!” Actually, that was the 2nd question to pop into my head. The 1st one was, “WTF? A rest stop and church for TRUCKERS?!”

  16. Okay, so THIS balloon guy died, but a lot of people do that whole “floating around in a balloon for shits and giggles” thing and they live. I hate to be the one to point this kind of stuff out, but someone has to do it.,2933,288809,00.html

    I don’t think this guy’s problem was his lack of friends, I think he just had crappy balloons.

  17. I’d pay to see that.

  18. I’m always the friend who tells it like it is. It’s a slippery slope. Either ppl can take it or they can’t. If this guy was my friend I probably would have told him that floating on a balloon chair sounded like oodles of fun though!

  19. Keep smilin’ – Keep shinin’

  20. nancypearlwannabe

    Knowing you can always count on me… for sure…

  21. Surprisingly, I did click the link and read the story. Go figure. What miffs me is how exactly this little stunt was supposed to make money. All I can figure is maybe he had people making bets whether or not he would actually lift into the air. Or was it like a jogathon, and people pledge money for every foot he rises in the air? I guess we’ll never know.

  22. deutlich – I knew it!

    arjewtino – Damn, that sucks. Even when you bought those Poison posters???

    matt – I know, I do too! And your star is in the mail.

    jenny – I have no idea, the priest just loved him some truckers.

    miz – Hahaha – well said.

    unbearable – Sounds about right to me.

    ms.r – He was always helping others.

    kristen – You’re a genius!

    john – As Bryan Adams once so eloquently put it, everything I do, I do it for you.

    justin – Hahaha – yes, I imagine it probably would have went just like that.

    idont – The Difference.

    rachel – I know, right?

    jamie – Thanks, I just try and tell the truth here.

    mental – Well, they can be helpful in some ways. And you are not as lazy as some then.

    word – Hahaha – Exactly.

    stealth – So you’re saying that the priest just didn’t have the right balloons.

    meghan – I think I would too.

    yourgirlfriend – I’m the exact same way. It gets you into trouble a lot.

    zibbs – Yes!

    nancypearl – Hahaha – awesome!

    phil – Sadly, we never will.

  23. Plus, if you don’t have friends, there’s no one to make fun of you for doing something lame like collecting comics.

    Oh, snap!

    Oh, and there’s also no one to mock you for using phrases like, “Oh, snap!”

  24. My friends would all tell me it was a fantastic idea and then cackle with laughter as a I float away – so is it better to have no friends or asshole friends?

  25. Maybe the priest was pressured into the balloon thing by the truckers? Did anyone think of that?

    Cletis: You jes git right on that there chair and strap them there ‘loons on ri-iite? Then this here commun’ty will give’er us their money y’here?

    Priest guy: Well….I’m not so sure about this…

    Cletis: Git on, or I’ll set dis here church on fire y’know y’all y’here?

  26. Unless you have close friends who encourage you to do stupid stuff…

  27. I’m the guy who does all the stupid stuff in my group and apparently my friends think it’s funny to sit back and watch me do it. They never warn me off.

    My friends are assholes.

  28. See my friends are more of the “You’ll learn your lesson and then we will make fun of you for the rest of your life” type, so I don’t bring up anything too crazy to them…..anymore…..I still haven’t lived down that horseback riding incident…..

  29. He’s with god now. Making balloon animals. Which might be a sort of hell.


  30. what do you think you do while you’re floating through the air supported only by balloons and stupidity?

  31. Crazy Tony sure does have some love for truckers don’t he?

  32. I’m wondering what kind of chair it was. I mean, if he picked a fold-up chair, I have a hunch he just didn’t think that one through. Also, hot air balloon, anyone? Same concept, slightly smaller risk of death.

    Anyway, my friends tell me that whatever I do is dumb… but sadly, they wait until after I’ve done it and narrowly escaped injury or embarassed myself royally to tell me so. Good friends.

  33. i was too lazy. thanks!

  34. I was going to post the same info as stealthnerd, but she beat me to it. Floating, and landing (which seems to be the key), per the help of balloons is, indeed, possible.

    Thank you, stealthnerd, for thinking like me and pointing that out!

  35. Maybe he thought he could befriend the truckers with his little stunt, but didn’t actually ask them first and maybe one of the truckers hated balloons and shot him down.

  36. Good friends are overrated. You need bad friends to tell you that you suck so when in fact you do suck you suck with them.



    I’m dumb.

  37. So he died? Damn. I was hoping they would find him alive. Didn’t hear he died though. Sad. I’m glad I have friends.

  38. megkathleen

    I think this is the third story I’ve heard of somebody dying because they thought it’d be a good idea to try and fly with a chair and balloons. Do you think people hear about it and think to themselves, “I could pull that off! I’ll show them.”?

  39. yeah i really don’t get the fund raising part of that idiotic act. reminds me of ‘danny deckchair’ though, at least that one ended better. he even got a girl out of it.

  40. Pants

    I have my friends to thank for keeping me from emailing that douche bag I used to date that I can’t stop thinking about. Yay friends!

  41. Well after reading this blog now I kinda want to click on that link….and yet it still seems like too much work. What a dilemma you’ve put me in!

  42. PANTS – That really is what friends are for. I’d probably be married to some total ass-hat by now if not for my friends saying “but don’t you remember how he ran over your dog? on purpose??”


  43. Hey, tell me again about this thing you call “friends?” I’m not really understanding.

  44. pistols – I’m a big fan of “oh snap” actually, and I deserved it there.

    narm – The secrets of life lie in that question.

    alice – Hahaha – I love how you named the dude “Cletis.”

    jen – Well yes, there is that.

    todd – Yes. Yes they are.

    inreallife – Details?

    melissa – I bet it is for a lot of people.

    julie – Think about Predator?

    ifiwere – Yes, weirdly so.

    heather – I think he was just strapped into those things, no chair at all. Maybe that was his mistake?

    dmb5 – No problem!

    amind – Stealthnerd is smarter than me.

    noelle – Now that’s my kinda story!

    rs – You confused me.

    marie – Yes, smile at them today. But not for too long.

    megkathleen – I bet. People have such egos!

    katelin – Yeah, the priest just didn’t seem to have thought it all through.

    pants – But I like your emails!

    mindy – I am a drama maker.

    falwless – I will email you some details.

  45. I’m keeping that story for a writer’s block post….

  46. You make me want to Kill Myself.

  47. Sounds like something I would think of. Except…with a parachute. But then. My girlfriend would still tell me it was a stupid idea and end up saving my life…

    I love her..:-)

  48. but i know what is a good idea…!

  49. He probably saw Jamie and Adam from MythBusters try it and thought he could, too.

  50. how about i sometimes do stupid things and NONE of my friends try to stop me?

    huh? what’s that about?

  51. I think god was supposed to protect him.

  52. tia

    hmm…if a priest can die whilst trying to do a good deed, i don’t think that bodes well for the rest of us.

    good thing i’m not that philanthropic.

  53. WOW.

    I’m pretty sure that is the only reaction to that story I have.

    Cept for maybe, WTF.

  54. JL

    It does feel like candy floss when your friends tell you you’re a dumb shit! But I would like them to not let me float away on 100 balloons no matter how much I begged them to let me.

  55. I read about this. You know, apparently his last words were “I can’t get the GPS to work…”

    I swear.

    It’s like a bad joke. You can’t make this shit up…

  56. inreallife – : (

    john – Don’t say such things!

    matt – Better get a ring on her finger.

    gina – I know, but you’ve got to stop the genius at some point!

    angela – Probably, seems like that makes sense.

    amanda – Time to talk to your friends.

    hollywood – You think god was taking a nap or something?

    tia – Exactly!

    irish – I think both of those reactions are pretty appropriate.

    jl – Yeah, it’s just really not a good idea.

    kali – Hahaha – that is awesome!

  57. I heard this story when it happened. I was wondering what ever happened to that guy. That sucks, but you’re right…

    Probably one of your funniest posts ever.

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