The Chinese spy balloon that took its American journey last week has finally ended. While floating over Billings, Montana, on Wednesday, it rose (quite literally) to prominence among the American public, prompting political outrage, 24/7 watch parties, and, of course, the generation of thousands upon thousands of memes.
And while much of the coverage centered on what the U.S. government should do and how its military should respond, the perspective of the balloon was given no credence ... until now.
These are the thoughts the balloon (probably) had while floating adrift over the United States, until its epic demise at the hands of an F-22 fighter jet over Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
1. I’m in Idaho. What a ridiculous name for a place. Do they not know what it sounds like?
2. What exactly is Montana? A state? A famous quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers? It’s really pretty here though.
3. I am definitely a weather balloon. I think. Am I? This is probably a bad time for an existential crisis. I don’t feel like a spy balloon though...
4. Why is there a Kansas City in Missouri when Kansas is right next door? It makes no sense at all.
5. They call so much of the Midwest “flyover country.” It’s perfect for me. I’m a balloon. This is where I belong.
6. ...Okay, I get it now. This is really, really boring. Why is there SO MUCH CORN? What do they even do with it? Corn pudding, corn dogs, corn cob pipes.
7. There’s been a lot of chatter about blowing me up lately. I’m a balloon. Technically I’m already blown up! HA!
8. It’s awfully nice of the FAA to suspend flights along my path. There’s nothing scarier than a roaring Boeing 737 with 348 passengers headed straight for you. I never liked playing chicken in the pool, much less in the air.
9. Is that water? WATER! I’ve made it to the coast. Finally.
10. I love the beach. It’s a shame I forgot the sunscreen though. My white skin is going to burn something fierce!
11. Huh. What’s that sound? It’s like an air conditioning unit is running inside of a washing machine.
12. That F-22 Raptor looks awfully close.
13. Oh God. Oh NO. OH S***!
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.