1. The passenger looks like… a scientist?

    Is he trying out different balloon shapes to see which work best, in the name of science?

    That’s all I got.

  2. .. or two propellers. We don’t see anything that could be a working rotor to let them spin. But who would have believed that bacterial flagella could have 360-degree motors?

  3. I was trying to see if the balloons “made” anything, like Dumbo, that would be flight-worthy. But it just looks like the tangled mess a party clown would make on his first job. “Here ya go, kid, it’s Nyarlathotep.”

  4. I agree with Grawlix. Its a balloon sculpture. Long baloons twisted into a rough ball.

    That’s the thing about The Far Side, many of them aren’t ‘jokes’ as such, just bizarre ideas. Some of them are funny, some are Cow Tools. This one tends towards a bovine spanner.

  5. I remember a children’s book from my own youth called “The Twenty-One Balloons”. Which I found and ordered online, reading as a nostalgic exercise. I enjoyed it in that way, but could not donate it to any of the Elementary (or Middle) School libraries where I worked and had friends – it turned out that the fun nuggets of international lore that I remembered now read as a wincey stew of unfortunate stereotypes.

    I don’t know if this Newbery Award book could have been a translation, but the author has a French name, and when I first tried to read Olivier’s clever scrolling inclusion I thought it might be this book. (But then, the balloons weren’t that big a part of it.)

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