While I was idling in the hammock today, an airship passed overhead. Next door’s pug and I were equally delighted.
It was a lovely thing to see on a quiet autumn day, drifting proudly across a backdrop of cirrus clouds.
Oddly enough, we recently enjoyed a curious BBC documentary programme called Cloud Lab about a team of scientists flying around in a custom-made airship discovering things about clouds.
Not for the first time this week then, I was struck by how grand it would be to actually have an airship to ride around in.
What does it cost to have an airship, I wondered. Far too much, surely. About a hundred thousand dollars perhaps, or even more.
And then it struck me. That actually wasn’t very much. It’s more money than I have, obviously, because I’m an indolent wastrel, but it’s the kind of money that fairly ordinary people spend on things like houses and cars and all the rest of junk they think they need.
An airship was no more ridiculous that those things, dammit! I could have an airship if I wanted one.
My mind began to race. I loved the idea of an airship, perhaps permanently moored above the city, like how the HMS Belfast is moored in London.
I wouldn’t need an address any more. When people asked where I live or work, I could just proudly say “oh, I live in the blimp” and gesture up into the sky.
“You live in the blimp?!” they’d say.
And I’d say “Yes. Yes. I live in the blimp.”
The HMS Belfast is a tourist attraction in London, as is the permanently moored Tall Ship in Glasgow. I can only assume that the City of Montreal would be delighted by my plan. The blimp would attract people from far and wide–Ottawa even–and if they paid enough money I could take them for rides, maybe even drop them off at home.
I’d fulfill my ambition of being able to take a rope ladder to work. I’d be the only person higher than the crane operators. Their necks would creak as vertebrae groaned with the unfamiliar sensation of looking upwards. “Sweet Jesus,” they’ll say, “Someone found a way.”
It wouldn’t be very nice for the people who lived in the shadow of the blimp, I suppose. They’d never get any sunlight. The value of their property, now permanently eclipsed into a state of permanent night by my blimp, would plummet. The plants in their window boxes would shrivel and they’d all complain of a D-Vitamin deficiency. To them, I say: sorry.
This is the kind of revelry that comes to mind in a hammock, of course. There’s no practical application to any of this, of course. And even if there was, it would be highly unethical to plunge so many people into a state of permanent twilight. Of course.
But. Ah, but.
I got onto Google and searched “how much does it cost to buy a blimp?”
According to the first result on WikiAnswers, “A lot of money, but don’t worry. Keep smoking your crack pipe and I’m sure you’ll find one.”
Another answer: “It costs a quarter of a million dollars to rent the Budweiser Blimp for two hours.”
Yet another: “The Goodyear Blimp cost them three million dollars. And you’d need a special hangar to keep it in, which would also cost millions.”
Hangar. Pfft. Hadn’t they thought of a permanent mooring? Leaving it floating in the sky eternally would be free, the idiots. No one has thought this through except me.
And my blimp wouldn’t need to be as ostentatious as the Goodyear or Budweiser blimps. Mine wouldn’t be decked out in flashing lights to amuse the painted yobbos at Molson Stadium. The very thought.
I bet I could find someone willing to sell me a more humble blimp, perhaps one that I could deck out in the New Escapologist masthead colours or even a likeness of my own face like some kind of Batman villain might do.
And that’s when I found www.personalblimp.com
It costs “between $100,000 and $200,000″. That’s perfectly affordable and I’m sure my bank manager (who has been trying to get me into a mortgage for years) will be delighted to stump up the cash.
The personal blimp website also says something about FAA certification and needing permission to fly an airship around above a city, but I’m sure that’s all just legalese and nothing to worry about. I think I can confidently say that I’ll be flying (driving? piloting? plenty of time to learn the specifics) my own blimp pretty soon.
Look up, Montreal, and maybe you’ll see my new home office.