Letter to the Governor of New Mexico

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
490 Old Santa Fe Trail
Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Dear Honorable Governor Bill Richardson:

My ex-husband Brent has been renting my guest house for almost a year now. He’s an aviation enthusiast, and as a hobby he’d been assembling a hot air balloon cabin in our back yard that he hoped would be capable of extended time aloft. It had gotten pretty close to finished, and Brent was testing it one night, when a gust of wind broke it free from its moorings and sent it drifting up into a powerful seasonal Santa Ana windstorm.

By the time I was able to make contact with him on the shortwave, he was far out past the city and had no idea where he was, but he was still traveling East and a little South. We’ve been trying to pin down his location for a day and a half now, but he hasn’t been able to provide any obvious landmarks, and of course he went and left his brand new expensive GPS machine on the kitchen counter. Idiot.

As near as I can reckon he’s gone clear through Arizona and is headed towards you. He says he will touch down the minute he gets close enough to a population center, probably so he doesn’t have to walk his fat self too far to get to a phone. The path he’s taking will hopefully set him down in Silver City, but failing that he might hit Alamogordo, and if he misses that he’ll be headed for Roswell.

There is no cause for alarm, he’s got enough water and Cup o’ Noodles to last another week (and a waistline to last a decade) and the balloon won’t hurt any people or property, but there are a couple factors you should be aware of. First, the balloon is custom-built and doesn’t look like an ordinary hot air balloon. It’s silver, like a weather balloon. In fact I think that’s what it originally was. It’s also kind of saucer-shaped, and from a distance you can’t see the little cabin hanging from it. Brent’s strung a bunch of lights all around it, he said so other aircraft could see him. I think he just likes to get noticed. He’s also been using his spotlight to flash cars and blaring “Ride of the Valkyries” out his PA to try and call for help.

Thank you for your time, and if you want to arrest him when he finally lands that would be just fine with me.


Martha Sauvel

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