Saturday, April 25, 2009

Don't Laugh: You May Be Asked To Do This Too

A week ago, Seattle’s now “online only” newspaper, SEATTLEPI.COM staff writer Casey McNerthney's typical day was spent looking through gruesome photos of a homicide scene.

"So when my job assignment Friday was to ride in a La-Z-Boy-style chair suspended by helium balloons 50 feet off the ground at Gas Works Park, it was a nice surprise.


ZoomJoshua Trujillo /

A member of the Seattle news media goes airborne in a chair tied to more than 60 helium-filled balloons on Friday during a publicity event for a new Disney movie at Gasworks Park.

The event was blatant promotion for "Up" -- a Disney-Pixar animated movie about a man and boy who take a ride to South America after tying hundreds of helium balloons to a house.

Disney officials hired top crew members from several states (including a an FAA certified hot air repairman --didn't know those existed) and launched promotional tours along the U.S. coasts.

A replica of the red chair in the animated movie was specially designed to fit a harness and have dozens of large helium balloons tied to it. Four rope lines kept it from floating away.

The public wasn't allowed to take rides, but I got to be one of the enthusiastic media guinea pigs.

Fair? No. Fun? Yes."

"You feel like a kid," KCPQ/13 Meteorologist M.J. McDermott (after her 10-minute trip up.) "It's so relaxing and so beautiful."

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