Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What the Hell Was I Thinking?

It’s well known and heralded fact that the Evil Flight Planning Voo-Doo Witchdoctor has a long-running blood-feud with Short the Great.  You know this, the world at large knows this, and I, of all people, know this only too well.  Why then would I ever consider trying to get on the same airplane with him lest I become collateral damage to the Dark One’s powers.  This is how it happens.  Firepower 6 says “I need 2 people to go to K2.”  And of course Short the Great and myself are the only 2 people in the room when he says it so the assignment process becomes pretty simple.


Beginning on Sunday, Craig gamely tried to play by the Air Force rules showing up at the terminal in the early evening hours to submit our paperwork and see what the Secret Squirrel Flight Decoder System had to offer for Uzbekistan.  He returned with an itinerary of 0730 Dublin Pub Time for Monday but if I listened through the dust-laden wind I could almost hear the Evil One’s demonic laughter from Stalag 17.  Be that as it may, we were at the terminal at our appointed time only to find “K2” nowhere in the Secret Squirrel’s vocabulary.  No explanation, just “Check again this evening.”  Short the Great and myself, half of the field grade representation of the Logistics Task Force had been dismissively brushed away like annoying little gnats.  It wasn’t even worth the effort to toy with us a bit.  It didn’t bode well, but later last evening, the Secret Squirrel chattered out 3 flights for K2 scheduled for today starting with the one that required us to eat an early and hurried breakfast and walk to the terminal because the main road was closed for PT.  But, there we were promptly at “0 Dark 30”  right in time to see the first flight get canceled.


After heading back to the headquarters to get done what could be done in a couple of hours, we headed back down to the terminal and now our persistence was beginning to irritate his Unholiness; it was game time.  The second flight was canceled but Secret Squirrel showed another only two and a half hours later.  We stood fast watching bad movies, eating stale popcorn, and drinking warm bottled water.  We were stalwart and resilient, determined to overcome the adversity.  2 Hours to go and we submitted orders and ID cards. 30 minutes to go and we were herded across the flight line and shepherded aboard an aircraft that was eerily quiet but the portion of the crew that was present directed us to seats and ensured that we understood how to get off in a hurry and then we just sat.  We sat inside this metal cocoon on the flightline with the outside temperature in the mid 90s and there wasn’t a breath of air to be had because the engines weren’t running.  The engines weren’t running, because the auxiliary power unit had been started, which made sense because there were no pilots on board to start them.  In fact, the pilots weren’t even on the flight line for another 20 minutes and they timed their arrival perfectly.  As soon as the APU was started so the air conditioner could be turned on, the crew chief promptly announced that the flight had been canceled and passenger services was on their way to shepherd us back to the terminal.


What the hell was I thinking?  I am trying to travel with a person who publicly challenged the ancestral lineage of the Dark One himself.  This is a person who sat on the tarmac in Kuwait for 3 hours without air conditioning on his way back from his R&R leave.  Any Air Force person who were to let Short the Great travel without a minimum of a 3 day wait would probably be stripped of their Air Force rank and held up for ridicule among all their blue-clad brethren.  The detainees who escaped the detention facility and caused a 3 day post-wide lock-down, probably had an easier time getting off Bagram than Short the Great ever will, and yet here I am gamely trying to accompany him on the next thing smoking.


No more!  I’ve had enough.  I disassociate myself with Short the Great as a traveling partner and will complete my mission with the telephone, email, smoke signals, and carrier pigeons if I have to, but I will not board anything owned by the Air Force with him until his penance is paid and his Unholiness has granted him clemency.


Craig’s going back to talk to the Secret Squirrel in a few minutes, and like a rat deserting a sinking ship, I’ll be headed for Stalag 17.



devildog6771 said...

Lol, sounds to me like a "Mortron Salt" day, you know, "when it rains it pours!" Lol!

jon said...

While searching for new central air conditioner info for my house I stumbled onto your blog. I totally agree!