Up Up And Away By Martin Newell Illustration: Shane McGowan
Thursday 03 September 1998
Over grainlands, lakes and prairies
Eastbound out of Saskatoon
Bigger than St Paul's cathedral
One Canadian Met. balloon
Helium-filled and v. expensive
Perfect in design and stitch
Up until the thing goes awol
Due to some equipment glitch
Off across the North Atlantic
Clogging up the day-flight lanes
Goes the blimp, until two pilots
Shoot at it from fighter planes
Pride of the Canadian Air Force
Loosing off a thousand rounds
Fail to down a sailing target
Wider than five football grounds
Twice as tall as Nelson's Column
Hanging there serene, surreal
Back at base and post-debriefing
Wonder how those pilots feel?
Having lost their Top Gun trophies
As their colleagues give them stick
While the source of all their sorrow
Sashays on past Keflavik
Drifting, dropping over Greenland
`Til the errant rogue balloon
Comes in range of Inuit hunters
And their hot-shot, "Top Harpoon"
Taking aim, the mighty warrior
Hurls his missile at the blimp
Down it hisses detumescing
Over pack-ice, dragging limp.
"Leave it," says the Inuit leader,
"NATO can sort out this mess
Let the Top Guns think they got it
After all, they need the press."
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