A Blip on the Radar (Part 26) “The Funny Guy “

Posted on April 15, 2011


Photo by “Konr4d “
A Blip on the Radar
Part 26: The Funny Guy

Question: What is it, that keeps us alive?
Us half crazy guys, that fly helicopters in far off places, jump out of airplanes, fly aerobatics, participate in open cockpit biplane mock dog fights, race motorbikes, but who point blank refuse to bungee jump?
Bungee jumping? Are you nuts!? Far too dangerous…
(And then we stare in amazement around us, as everybody falls around laughing…)

Question: What is it, that keeps us alive?
We fly, we sky dive, we drink in a bar, with comrades. Maybe not comrades-in-arms, but comrades nonetheless. People who understand and share our passion. People whose eyes light up at the description of that “mirror image” formation we flew, or that amazing four man link at thirteen thousand feet, or that three hundred ton Yellowfin foamer we chased into the net.

We live right on the sharp edge, right on the abyss, saying loudly (with barely a stammer) “I DO” for the second time in your life, and the ring slides over your finger. Full reality knocks like a sledgehammer on your hollow, echoing cranium.
Oh boy, I’ve done it now…

We buy that plummeting stock, Walther Energy, and spend $23,000 of our retirement dollars backing a strong hunch that she’s bottoming out. It’s a good stock, you tell yourself. Good technicals. They are making the profits. People are just stampeding. The Tsunami effect. It’s way too low. So you pump $23,000 hard earned dollars in, and after you have clicked “yes”, and confirmed the trade, the stupid thing goes right on down, continuing the plummet. With your eyes bulging, you decide it’s time to log off and go for a beer. Three days later, having scared the willies out of you, the stupid thing has reversed course, and is sky rocketing. It has soared upwards, way past your buy point, and you’re looking at a multi thousand dollar gain. You wipe away perspiration. But did you listen to that inner voice? Which little voice?

And we stare at the ground, in a screaming dive, in our aerobatic biplane, unable to pull any harder, for fear of an aerodynamic stall. You’re not going to make it. You are going to die. You just botched up a double avalanche, and right in front of the airshow crowd. That unrehearsed encore, you just HAD to throw in at the very end… And you KNOW you didn’t listen to that little voice, that whispered, moments earlier…

Don’t do it…

Somehow, I have grown used to that little voice. I listen to it. I have learned to do so. The hard way. He talks sense. Listen to him. Maybe it will keep you alive…

* * * * *

Thus there came the day we were scuba diving on a wreck in the harbor of Agana, in Guam.
An old steamer. I was inside the bridge, behind the helm, looking out at two of my buddies on the outside. I felt like I was the old Captain, behind the wheel, and looking out upon the shimmering seas.
Suddenly, it seemed like a fun thing to do, to swim OUT of the bridge windows. And I did so, kicking with all my force. Here I was, a lightning bolt, erupting out of the bridge.

Heh-heh-heh…

I remember chortling into my mask. That was funny. SOOOO funny. I quickly re-entered, to go do it again.
Whoosh…. Here I came… blasting out the windows again…. In a shower of bubbles…

HEH-HEH-HEH…

By the time I had done it four or five times, I was convinced I was the funniest guy on the planet. I was in hysterics, laughing so much I could hardly draw breath.

HEH-HEH-HEH-HAR-HAR-HAR…!!!!

This was TOO FUNNY for WORDS!!! Heck, this was GREAT!!! I was almost in convulsions. I would have wiped the laughter tears from my eyes, but for that stupid mask.
Heck, GLORIOUS FUN…

That little voice…
It was saying something. But I wasn’t really interested. Not now. I was having a ball. I had not laughed so much for years.
That little voice…
I could have answered: Oh, go away. Shut up. You’re always spoiling my fun. Go away!
The little voice, distant, persistent, was trying to communicate.
I sighed: Oh, all right then. NOW what…??
And quietly, remotely, sliding with difficulty onto the rim of the plate of my remaining consciousness, I heard words…
Francis… It’s not THAT funny…
Not that funny? It’s HILARIOUS! What is YOUR problem…???
Francis… something is wrong…
Wrong? What could be wrong? Nothing is wrong! I am having the TIME OF MY LIFE!
Wrong… wrong…
Francis… start ascending… go up…
Slowly, reluctantly, not wishing to end the party, I kicked up… and again…
Francis… keep ascending… go up…
And suddenly, thirty feet higher, abruptly, it was as if a vital switch had been flicked in my brain.
Into the “ON ” position…

Holy Maloney! What was THAT all about???
Oh….fukkit…. nitrogen narcosis… I was frickin’ narked! That’s DANGEROUS…
People get KILLED that way…

And the stories came back to me, of happy divers ripping off their masks (“we don’t need no stinking mask”) and spitting out their breathing regulators (“we don’t need no stinking regulators”), and drowning with wide smiles etched on their staring faces. Divers who were last seen plummeting downwards, ever faster, into the dark depths, hell bent on a vital mission never to be recounted. Divers who disappeared, and were never seen again.

* * * * *

Somehow, I have grown used to that little voice. I listen to it. I have learned to do so. The hard way.
He is my friend. He talks sense.

Listen to him. Maybe, one day, he will keep you…

alive…

Francis Meyrick
(c)

Last edited by Francis Meyrick on April 21, 2011, 12:36 pm


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