Spud gets full of hot air

Spud's monument to himself takes flight

As Spud's website was closing in on its 100,000th visitor, the potato racked his brain trying to think of some special way in which to mark the occasion.

With the popularity of his website growing exponentially across the globe over the past year, Spud had become somewhat of an international celebrity. As he traveled from country to country, the tater was mobbed by thousands scurrying to get a glimpse of the famous potato. In fact, his celebrity had grown to be on par with that of major world leaders. All of this publicity fed the tuber's immense ego and provided the inspiration for how Spud would celebrate his new found 'presidential-like' status. The 'tato commissioned the Cameron Balloon Company of England to construct an enormous monument to himself: a 100 foot tall balloon, and like most world leaders, it was completefly filled with hot air.

After labouring for months, the gigantic 590lb (268kg) airship was finally finished and ready for its maiden voyage. For the vessel's first flight, Spud thought it was only appropriate for it to take place at the world's largest gathering of hot air balloons: The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico, USA.

The Fiesta attracts millions of visitors each year to see the 750+ balloons that attend from each corner of the globe. In anticipation of the 'Super Spud's launch, extra security had to be called in to corral the crowds.

The massive envelope of the balloon was unfurled onto the field. There was so much fabric spread out it looked like the floor of Roseanne Barr's bedroom. The tater fired up the 25 million BTU propane burners and the mammoth starchy tuber rose to life.

Spud readies himself to pilot his new hot air balloon

The crowd cheered as Spud climbed into the tiny basket beneath the collosal dirigeable. Concerned about possible damage that could be caused from christening his new airship by smashing a bottle of champagne on it, Spud elected to drink the bottle of bubbly instead.

A little light-headed, the tater blasted the propane jets one last time into Super Spud's innards and the 10 storey side-dish lifted off into the wild blue yonder. Spud was amazed how the giant ballon was able to keep a smile on his face with an 800 degree flame being shot up his rear end.

As the tuber continued to rise gracefully into the sunny New Mexican sky, it soon dawned on Spud that he had never flown a hot air ballon before. The potato looked around feverishly for a steering wheel and brake pedal but none were to be had. Instead, he found nothing more than a wicker basket filled with 45 gallons of highly flammable fuel that was floating aimlessly enroute to the heavens.

Feeling somewhat panic-striken, the potato scrambled to look for some way to bring the runaway balloon back to terra firma. The tater stopped the burners but the warm New Mexico air currents continued to drive the airship upward. Soon it became apparent that there was no stopping this hot air carbohydrate from rocketing toward what appeared to be: outer space.

Spud takes to the skies....

Teetering on hysteria, Spud felt his only option was to abandon ship or risk winding up as an extra in the next Star Trek movie. Fearing the thought of working with William Shatner was a fate worse than death, the tuber strapped on his parachute and leaped from the basket toward the safe confines of earth.

The Giant Potato continued its ascent toward the stars without a pilot, as Spud expertly navigated his canopy back to the ground. The tater looked up at his giant monument just in time to see it disappear into the cobalt sky forever...his self-glorifying memorial had become a contribution to the space program.


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