Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?

July 25, 2004 - 10:30 a.m.

Auger In

I did something yesterday I hadn't done in years. I went to a Company Picnic with my kids. It's the annual time of year, and this company is still small enough to run it from the inside. I think they did hire a bona-fide "events coordinator" to manage the entertainment.

I got called in to act as Judge for the Building Contest, where kids built structures of out marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti. Th coordinator handed me the electronic megaphone, which was a mistake. I was having more fun with it, and admiring the constructions, than actually being a Judge. The highlight for me was aiming the megaphone directly at my friend Stanley and asking him, "Well what do you think, Stan?" There's just something so hilarious to me about talking to someone face to face with a megaphone. Ha. I kill me.

Well I got fired from my Judgeship by the coordinator, apparently I was taking too much time. She based the winner vote on applause from the crowd, which seems like a more democratic system anyhow.

The picnic was held in an area that shared space with a model airplane field. We could hear the buzzing of the planes, some radio controlled and some tether controlled. Late in the afternoon the big ones rolled in. They were large ones, stringrimmer-engine sized ones and larger with six to eight foot wingspans. Sons One and Two wandered over to see them fly. I joined them with my beer cup.

These guys were serious flyers, and they seemed to know each other. One guy had one of the bigger ones, it was yellow and red and hard to miss. The engine was so big it sounded like a real plane as it flew, and the owner was a clever pilot.

Before long another guy showed up dragging one in that was just as large. This one was pink, with a red Playboy bunny decal on the side. There were a few nearly naked women decorating the fuselage; a few of his favorites from his nocturnal whack-fests, perhaps? He came out to the field and joined the others and got ready for takeoff.

Meanwhile the owner of the red and yellow one was refueling and getting ready to launch his plane again. When these engines start the prop kicks up an incredible breeze. He got the engine warmed up and then handed the controller to his friend nearby.

The plane launched and headed straight up, then did a few passes back and forth as the new guy got used to the stick. Then he headed it northeast and straight up again for some barrel rolls and that other tricky stuff they do. He pointed the plane skyward and it went heading for heaven, then rolled for a straight down maneuver. Thing is, it continued on in it's straight down position and disappeared behind a grove of trees.

Crash. We could actually hear the impact from so far away.

There seemed to be some silence from the pilots right after that. Then they formed a rescue party of sorts and trudged off into the tall grass and trees to search for survivors. We got up and left too, we'd seen the Main Event.

the last one -*- the next one

Current Terr Alert Level
Terror Alert Level
OMG, She's agonna blow!

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