FW: flying jokes and stories (fwd)

Mark Q. Maxham (max@research.apple.com)
Mon, 22 Jul 96 10:36:09 CDT

Collage 289 H u m o u r N e t 20 AUG 96

As many of you already know, I am a skydiver. And, as many of you
already know, I travel a lot (hence the occasional interruption in

And, as a dedicated skydiver, this means that I must bring my rig on
board the aircraft, as "carry-on" luggage. (Since its value is
roughly 15 times what the airlines offer in checked-baggage
insurance, it's carry-on luggage).

(The whuffos in the audience might benefit from some new terms here:

1. Whuffo: Anyone who cannot comprehend skydiving. Origin unknown,
though it's rumored to be derived from the comments made by farmers
who witnessed the earliest skydivers landing in their fields:
"Whuffo y'all jumpin' outta them PAIRchutes fer?" Anyone who feels
compelled to ask this question -- or a similar question* -- is a

2. Rig: The harness and container system that holds the main and
reserve canopies in modern skydiving gear.

3. Canopy: "Parachute."

*The "similar" question is: "Why would you jump out of a perfectly
good airplane?" The answers are: (1) There are no "perfectly good"
airplanes, and (2) if you saw the junk we jump from, *you'd* jump,

Back to carry-on luggage ...

I have this fantasy that centers around those trips on which I bring
my rig. No, it's not the usual D.B. Cooper drivel -- it's *far* more
insidious than that. In fact, we don't even have to leave the ground.

I want to sit next to a first-time flyer. A nervous one. A *really*
nervous one -- say, the guy who's sitting there with one hand on the
air-sickness bag.

The plan is simple: As casually as possible, I will put on my rig,
sit down, and start flipping through the in-flight magazine.

The conversation will go something like this:

Him: <very nervous, of course> Uh, excuse me ...

Me: <casual, feigning just the slightest bit of surprise> Yes?

Him: Uh ... what's that you're wearing?

Me: <looking at shirt> Geoffrey Beene. I didn't have any clean Diors.
Or were you asking about the necktie?

Him: <pointing to rig> No, I mean *that*.

Me: <once again feigning surprise> Oh, *that*. That's my emergency
'chute. <looking more closely at him> Hey, where's yours?

Him: You mean you're supposed to wear one of those?

Me: Don't be silly. Now put on your parachute; we're going to be
pulling back shortly, and the stewardesses are going to give you
trouble if you're not wearing it.

Him: <trying to look amused> Heh ... this is a joke, right?

Me: <serious now> You must be a first-time flyer. They should have
*told* you about the emergency-chute rental.

Him: <getting more nervous, if possible> Rental?

(At this point, we start pulling back from the gate. I take out a
copy of AOPA's "Flight Safety" magazine, and casually flip to a
cleverly pre-marked page showing pictures of Cessna crashes.)

Me: Yes, if you don't have your own. They should have given it
to you when you boarded.

Him: <trying to look around to see if other people are wearing them>
So they gave that to you when you got on the plane?

Me: Well, no, I *own* this one -- but I fly a lot, and it's important
to me to know that it's packed right. You never know with the rentals.
(Engine noise increases as we roll out toward the taxiway) But in an
emergency, they're better than nothing.

Him: <wetting self> Emergency?

Me: Oh, yes. You're probably not very familiar with these here 737
Series 400s. The 300s weren't bad -- sure, there was Air Florida,
but who could have predicted *that* one? -- but these 400s have some
*serious* design flaws.

Him: <swallowing visibly> "Design flaws"?

Me: Oh, yeah -- why, just last week, in fact, we had another incident.
<flipping to newspaper story about recent airline crash, noting large
color picture on page> Wow, look at that one.

Him: <voice cracking> "Incident"?

Me: Oh, yes, last week. <using hand as airplane> One minute, we're
flying along, minding our own business; the next minute <"diving"
hand> ... *NOSE DIVE*. (Pilot goes to full throttle as we swing onto
the runway) Lucky I had *this* puppy with me. <patting rig>

Him: <passes out>

The rest of the flight would probably be quiet enough for me to get
quite a bit of work done. (Once I took off the rig, of course. And,
if my neighbor awoke, I'd have to deny the entire conversation ever

Now, I know what you're thinking: "C'mon, Vince, you'll never find
anyone *that* gullible."

Wrong. ANY ONE of those people who believed the "unsubscription fee"
comment in last week's admin message would be *prime bait* for a ruse
like this.

(For those of you who are new to HumourNet, note that there is a US$5
to US$7 fee for unsubscribing.) (NO! There's not. It's just a joke.
I don't want to start *that* again. Speaking of *that*, I'm still
pulling together the roughly 300 messages I received to create an
opener that will most likely constitute a complete Collage. And one
of my subscribers has even done up a pretty hysterical Web page just
for the occasion. Stay tuned....)

Speaking of Web pages: In Collage 287, I mentioned a couple of
possible explanations for the sudden jump in subscribership during
the first week of this month. Well, I missed one, and it was an
egregious and unforgivable oversight on my part. Cathie Walker -- a
HumourNet subscriber *and* the Chief Schmoozing Executive for the
Centre for the Easily Amused -- pointed out to me that the "Colossal
Humor Page" (HumourNet's home page on the Web) was listed on CEA's
"random silliness" page, available off their home page:


So, as restitution for the oversight, I've agreed to mention that
"Dr. Science," one of Cathie's Web sites, has been nominated in
InfiNet's "Cool Site of the Year" contest -- and she'd appreciate a
vote (or five -- we're not above stuffing the ballot box ;-). Details
are available at:


Also, Collage 287 contained a blatant and inexcusable error. I'll
simply mention the corrected version: You must send the command
INFO HUMORNET to the listproc (listproc2@bgu.edu) to receive our
info page and directions on accessing the archives. (I'd like to
thank Georgina in Belize -- my "Belize Connection" -- for pointing
that one out to me.)

And speaking of errors: Yes, Collage 288 *did* contain a repeat piece.
I really shouldn't try to rush Collages out the door on very little
sleep -- and during the morning. (I'm *not* a morning person.) The
archived version has been corrected to remove the duplication.

All of which somehow brings me back to today's "aviation humor"
Collage -- with kudos delivered as follows:

Timothy in South Carolina takes credit for "The Better Part of Valor"
and "Sled Driver, Take One";

Al, in gorgeous Redondo Beach, California, follows up with "Sled
Driver, Take Two";

Scott in the Phillipines sends us "pAEROdox";

Dominick in Maryland contributes the "Baggage Heaven" piece;

Dr. Mike in Baltimore, Maryland, sends some "Mass-Transit

Shawn King (the Bawdy.Net moderator) in Vancouver, Canada, takes
credit for the probably-urban-legend piece, "Hot-Shot Pilot";

Randy Cassingham (of "This is True") in we're-just-as-gorgeous-as-
Redondo-Beach *Boulder, Colorado*, (it's not just a humor list, it's
a veritable travel catalog, as well) explains "Life in Space";

Graeme in Johannesburg, South Africa, submits the "Ground Effect"

and Nick in New Zealand closes out Collage 289 with "Disaster."

Whew! Big thanks to all the contributors for this Collage.


- Vince Sabio
HumourNet Moderator
Opener (above) Copyright 1996 by Vincent Sabio
Permission is hereby granted to forward or post this "Collage";
please observe the guidelines stated at the end of the message.

SUBJ: The Better Part of Valor

Seems that Tom was working local with a nervous FPL watching over
his shoulder. He had one air carrier jet just touching down and
another on a mile final, with a commuter holding short for departure

"I'm going to get that commuter out between those two jets," said
Tom aloud. The FPL could see that there might just *barely* enough
time to make it work if nobody screwed up. But like any good
instructor, the FPL wanted to let Tom make his own mistakes since
that's the only way for a guy to learn. Still, the FPL couldn't
help but mumble in Tom's ear, "If this works, Tom, it'll be a

Tom keys his transmitter. He intends to say "Commuter 123, taxi
into position and hold, be ready for immediate." What actually comes
out of his mouth (in one of the great Freudian slips of all time)
is: "Commuter 123, taxi into position and hold, be ready for a

There's a pregnant pause on frequency, and the then commuter pilot
says, "Tower, I think under the circumstances we'd better just hold
short. I don't feel quite that lucky."

========================< H U M O U R N E T >=======================

SUBJ: Sled Driver, Take One

Q: Why did Santa Claus ask Rudolf to lead his sleigh team?
A: Rudolf was the only one who was IFR current.

========================< H U M O U R N E T >=======================

SUBJ: Sled Driver, Take Two
Excerpted from "Sled Driver," by SR-71/Blackbird pilot Brian Shul

I'll always remember a certain radio exchange that occurred one day
as Walt and I were screaming across southern California 13 miles
high. We were monitoring various radio transmissions from other
aircraft as we entered Los Angeles Center's airspace. Though they
didn't really control us, they did monitor our movement across their

I heard a Cessna ask for a readout of its groundspeed. "90 knots,"
Center replied.

Moments later a Twin Beech required the same. "120 knots," Center

We weren't the only ones proud of our speed that day, as almost
instantly an F-18 smugly transmitted, "Ah, Center, Dusty 52 requests
groundspeed readout." There was a slight pause. "525 knots on the
ground, Dusty."

Another silent pause. As I was thinking to myself how ripe a
situation this was, I heard the familiar click of a radio
transmission coming from my back-seater. It was at that precise
moment I realized Walt and I had become a real crew, for we were
both thinking in unison.

"Center, Aspen 20, you got a groundspeed readout for us?" There was
a longer-than-normal pause. "Aspen, I show one thousand seven
hundred forty-two knots."

No further inquiries were heard on that frequency.

========================< H U M O U R N E T >=======================


It doesn't make sense: You're flying at 500 mph, 30,0000 feet in
the air, and the pilot tells you to feel free roam around the plane.

But when you're on the ground, taxiing to the gate at one mph, he
tells you to remain seated for your safety.

========================< H U M O U R N E T >=======================

SUBJ: Baggage Heaven

"I went to the airport, with my ticket to Los Angeles. I brought
three bags and told the Skycap, "I want this on to go to Seattle,
this one to St. Louis and this one to Chicago."

He said, "I'm sorry sir, but we can't do that."

I said, "Why not? You did it last time."

-- Henny Youngman

========================< H U M O U R N E T >=======================

SUBJ: Mass-Transit Existentialism
Excerpted from "The Delaney Sisters: Their First 100 Years"

When a train breaks down, well, there you is.
When a plane breaks down, well, there you ain't.

========================< H U M O U R N E T >=======================

SUBJ: Hot-Shot Pilot

A young guy in an F-14 fighter was flying escort for a B-52 and
generally being a nuisance, acting like a hotdog, flying rolls
around the lumbering old bomber. The hotdog said over the air,
"Anything you can do, I can do better."

The veteran bomber pilot answered, "Try this hot-shot." The B-52
continued its flight, straight and level.

Perplexed, the hotdog asked, "So? What did you do?"

"I just shut down two engines, kid."

========================< H U M O U R N E T >=======================

SUBJ: Life in Space

I'm up trying to view the Perseid meteor shower, and it's not very
spectacular tonight, so I rummage through CIS for a while, and find
a bunch of people who are convinced that the appropriate greeting
when meeting a space alien is "Gnorts."

Why "Gnorts," you say?

It simple. In the heavily-orchestrated,
government-disinformation-rich Apollo Moon-landing program, what's
the name that the government used to refer to the first man who
landed on the Moon?

"Neil Armstrong."

Yeah, right, as if that was his *real* name. Turns out it was in
code. Backward, it's:

"Gnorts, Mr. Alien!"

And now you know the rest of the story.

========================< H U M O U R N E T >=======================

SUBJ: Ground Effect

An Iraqi flying a Mirage F1 came upon a US EF-111A Raven at low
level, and pursued it. As a bit of background to this, the Mirage
is a reasonably decent aircraft at low level, but the EF-111A is
something else. It's an unarmed electronic warfare version of the
F-111 Aardvark, and has terrain following radar, which enables it to
fly at Mach 1 or more, 60 metres above the ground (that's about 0.4
seconds away from the ground), while the pilot watches the view.
It's one of the fastest aircraft in the world at low level. Maybe
this Iraqi didn't know anything about the F-111, but he decided that
it looked like an easy target, and pursued it at very low level.

The EF-111 crew were credited with a kill when the Iraqi (not
surprisingly) slammed into the ground.

There can't be too many occasions when an unarmed aircraft scores a

========================< H U M O U R N E T >=======================

SUBJ: Disaster

Q: Did you hear what happened to the woman who backed into an
airplane's propeller?

A: Disaster...

Anyone w/out a Sense of Humor Is At The Mercy of The Rest of Us. :-)

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