Expression: Up in the Air

Expression: Up In The Air

The second part of this episode, Expression: Up in the Air, is all about Larry Walters, or "Lawn Chair" Larry, who bought over 40 weather balloons, attached them to a lawn chair in his backyard and flew 16,000 feet up in the air. 

Click here to listen to the episode.


Welcome back. I hope you’re having a nice day wherever you’re at in the world. A while back, I asked you guys what you enjoy doing while listening to this podcast, and I received a ton of responses. Actually, the top five activities are exercising, commuting to work, cleaning house, cooking, or out walking, out with a dog or a cat. Not a cat, actually, but yeah,out walking.

Whatever you’re doing while listening, I just wanted to say congrats! You’re listening to a podcast that is 100% in English. If you can understand this, hats off to you.

As you probably know by now, every episode that is labeled as an expression episode has two parts. The expression part, part one, is always paired with a fun story about the United States; usually it deals with society, culture, history, sometimes it’s about people. There is always an overlap in the theme for the week. In other words, the topic and the expression somehow go together.

I like the association! When words and concepts are connected in some way, I think it’s a great way to remember them.

Today you’ll also see a theme. In part one, we’ll talk about the common English expression "up in the air."

In part two, I’ll share the very odd story of a man named Larry Walters, who is more commonly known in the US as Larry "Lawnchair." He became famous after taking flight in his lawn chair. That’s right. Larry tied himself to a chair in his backyard, attached a bunch of helium-filled balloons, and he went up in the air, he traveled!

Today, we call this uncommon activity "cluster ballooning," and Larry’s flight inspired many others around the world to do it too. It’s a very memorable story, I think, and I think you’ll want to retell it to a friend after hearing.

I’ll be sure to share a lot of unique vocabulary and phrases as we go along, so be sure to stay tuned for part two.

For now, let’s do the first part of this two-part lesson. As usual, we’ll start with a joke. Are you ready?

Why are balloons so expensive these days?

Do you know?

It’s the cost of inflation.

That’s the end of the free version of this transcript. If you would like access to the full transcript as well as mp3, interactive transcript reader (to work on accent) and quiz, be sure to sign up to Season 3 or All Premium Content.