Ron Paul blimp apparently slashed
Four days after it was the Hook's cover buoy, the blimp touting the presidential candidacy of Ron Paul was grounded due to a four-inch gash allegedly caused by a vandal.
"Somebody must have come by with a knife or a razor blade or something and slit it," says Jack Faw, the retired goat farmer who touted his favorite candidate with a flying machine.
Faw says the blimp suffered its damage on the night of Monday, January 14. "It was a windy night, too," explains Faw, "so it was just flapping around all night, and that made it worse."
The massive parking lot at Pantops Shopping Center was the site of the demise of the blimp, adorned to spread the name of Texas Republican Paul.
"I was real proud of it," explains Faw, "so one day after we were flying it, I left it strapped down to the back of my truck."
Since word of the incident got around, Faw says he has received several donations to repair the blimp–- which cost him $3,000–- as well as aid from a Fishersville Paul supporter who specializes in pool repairs.
"He got it to where we can fly it for about 24 hours before too much of the helium leaks out," says Faw, who plans to put the blimp back in the sky on Tuesday, February 12, the date of Virginia's Republican presidential primary, and possibly the day before the vote as well.
"I'll probably buy three or four tanks for those days," Faw says, "and then I guess that'll be the end of it."
While Faw says he's been happy with the attention his prez zeppelin has drummed up for the renegade, freedom-espousing candidate, he says he can't think about what happened without feeling a little deflated.
"I guess it's just jealousy or maliciousness," says Faw. "It takes the wind out of you."