Saturday, April 19, 2008

Whenever Two Or More Are Gathered

By that I mean, "Whenever two or more guys are gathered."

Ya put two of us together and any thing can happen.

Depends on the chemistry.

Take a hangar deck.

Throw thirty or so guys on five or six airplanes.

You'll see and hear all sorts of things.

If you work your way in and around various groups you'll see and hear even more.

I can only speak FROM the Trades. I can't speak FOR the Tradesmen.

Well, I guess I can speak OF them.

We are a rough, crude, mean, fun loving, ornery, harsh, caring, insensitive, obnoxious, eclectic bunch.

Notice any incongruities there?

There are certain Codes.

"If ya can't hang then ya shouldn't have came." English: You need a thicker skin.

"It's never too late for truck driving school." English: What made you think you could do this job?

"If I ain't screwing with your head it means that I don't like you so stay away." English: Do you really need a translation?

"If I'm Ignoring you see above and stay the blank/blank long way away!"

We are hardest on ourselves first and the folks we care about second and the others we leave be.
One guy is out with 'Shingles'. On the side of his head no less. We are all worried about him. We will all give him hell when he gets back. "We luv ya Brother! We missed ya. BS! Where is your XM radio?"

One of the young guys just bought a Snap-On roll away tool chest. A BIG Snap-On tool box. The damn thing cost more than my truck. He did get a great deal on it. Paid less than I paid for my truck for it. (I have bought cars for less tho.)

There was some 'oohhin' and aahhin' over his purchase.

But!

The majority response went something like this-

"Boy!!! Did you get PERMISSION to buy that box?!", Me.

"Hey Bert! I see ya bought the do it yourself divorce kit!", Sheetmetal Leadman.

"Yer a dead man.", Any Mouse.

There is always verbal abuse. If we likes ya.

It can get physical.

(Not often because honestly it can be dangerous and none of us really want to hurt each other. Scarred for life is one thing but drawing blood is something entirely different.)

In this crowd no matter how old you get passing gas is always a gas.

You're in Korea in the summertime. You and your Knuckle Draggin' buddies have been out all night drinking OB Sky and Soju eating kimche and yakimando...

Next morning you're "feeling so spry" that you wedge yourself in a King Air between the pedestal and the side wall to pull brake master cylinders.

You hear one of your 'buddies' trying to sneak up into the plane.

"Don't You BLANK/BLANK do it!!!"

All you hear is a giggle and the click of the airstair door closing you in.

Or...

While in Korea in the wintertime, Christmas actually and one of your Buddies Wife is coming to visit.

So, ya set up a welcome. Breaking into his hotel room. Sling condoms and rice every, EVERY where. Disassemble the bed and stand it up in the bath tub and hide the hardware. Turn off the heat and open the window. Throw a few decks of playing cards and chips and empty beer cans around for good measure. Giggle like school boys and get out.

(He deserved it. She got even! Among other things, she got the maid to let her into my room where she soaked all of my underwear and stuffed it into the freezer! I forget what she did to the other guys.)

Or...

You're wedged in there inspecting under and behind the instrument panel with your head between the rudder pedals.

You hear someone call your name.

"Don't you BLANK/BLANK do it!"

You hear a giggle and he grabs the rudder and swings it side to side slapping your ears with the rudder pedals.

Or...

You're walking under the wing and don't hear a thing but pulleys and cables as the aileron makes a quick sweep up and down catching the bill of your cap and sending it flying.
(I did NOT do that one!)

Or...

(Those Shiny Boys in the front seats of the airplane aren't much better!!! The good ones anyway.)

I was in a T-39 headed back to Sicily from England. "Hey, (pilot) John what mountain range is that?" John was sitting in the right seat of the cockpit. He leaned forward in a very exaggerated way to look out the left window of the cockpit and says, "I don't know. I can't see the mountains for his nose!"

Or...

A Test Pilot a Mechanic and a Quality Assurance Inspector go up on a post maintenance test flight. The Q.A. Inspector falls asleep.

Test Pilot says to the Mech, "Hold my coffee and watch this!" He proceeds to nose the plane over. HARD nose down attitude AND deploys the oxygen masks in the cabin (where the Inspector is sleeping).

The Inspector wakes up to the plane in a nose dive and panics trying to get an O2 mask on. Pilot and Mech are up front laughing like school boys. They probably passed gas too.

Today I received an email saying a new comment had been added to a post from December.

Hello Rodolfo. If you happen to stop by for this post...

Prepare to have a nickname. Prepare to be handed a hard time. Prepare to keep studying and learning. (You don't want to be a Knuckle Dragger any longer than you have to.) Prepare to scrape sealer and do lubes and anything else nobody else wants to do.

There is no such thing as a 'gallon of prop wash' or ' a hundred feet of flight line' or 'a pad-eye wrench'.

There are grasshoppers, coon dicks and crows feet.

Above All Remember-

"Measure it with a tape. Mark it with chalk. Cut it with a torch. Beat it to fit and paint it to match!"

All kidding aside. I do wish you the best of luck in you life as an A&P.

4 comments:

Rodolfo said...

Just caught this post now. Thanks again for the tips. Your lifestyle kinda reminds me of my neighbor in Guam who helped motivate me to go after my ticket. He ran a tuna spotting operation down there and only hired pilots that were dual rated. In the year in a half that I knew him we probably spoke to each three times. He was always "out." The last time I remember speaking to him in person was during the Indonesian Disaster. He was looking forward to a month off away from sea when this business man who owned a King Air asked him to be his mech to assist in rescue/relief efforts. They hooked up with another Continental pilot and the three went off to save the world. Didn't last long however. The Continental pilot with over 10,000 hours made a gear up landing in Banda Aceh. Nobody hurt but the prop/nacelle were damaged. My neighbor flew back home the next day.

The freedom to "take off" like that on short notice made an impression on me and I've been chasing the dream ever since.

I'll keep you posted on my progress if you'd like. Perhaps it'll bring up old memories. Mostly good memories hope.

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