Thursday, April 24, 2008

The vomit comet

My dad took us up in his plane yesterday afternoon. Technically, I took us up, since I was doing the flying, including take-off.

Children Two and Three occupied the two rear seats. I was in the pilot (left-hand) seat, but as I explained to the kids, I'm only a glorified passenger. I can fly sufficiently, but I have neither a pilot license nor the desire to pursue one.

My dad was in the right seat although he owns the license and the plane. He works the radios and performs pre-flight checks while I do more or less all the manual flying.

The sky was bumpy. It was all I could do to stay within 200 feet of our 1,200-foot leg outbound. It was considerably easier once I got trimmed out, but the kids handled it less well. Once they let us know they were queasy, I did a 180 (sadly, a shallow Cessna banked turn and not a half loop over the top) and headed back to the airport.

But it was too late. Child Two hit the barf bag with no collateral damage. Child Three, whose vomit skills I have praised in this very blog in the past, tried to tough it out - perhaps because I have praised him so mightily thereof. He couldn't. He reached for the bag but before he could bring it close enough, he lost it.

Later, when we examined the result, my father couldn't believe the size of the hot dog chunks. He doesn't think Child Three chews his food.

Still in the plane, my father couldn't smell anything, but I could. It smelled like someone had turned off the refrigeration at a salami factory. And, yes, I started to get nauseated. In order to forestall a disaster of Pythonian magnitude, I fully opened my air vent but that didn't help enough. I turned over control to my father and stared resolutely at the sea. He took us the last ten minutes and landed instead of me. Given the wind and the less than graceful landing at my dad's experienced hands, that may not have been a bad idea anyway.

Bonus meaning of Passover:

I've been meaning to comment on B. Glen's screed on Passover, but idiots and vomit keep getting in the way.

What I can add is that Passover is a uniting holiday for the Israelites. I don't take the Passover story as literal truth. I think it's likely that some portion of what became the Kingdom(s) of David and his heirs was a tribe that escaped Egypt, but that the bulk of that nation was already found in Canaan. I think David ruled over an agglomeration of tribes that united in peace and war.

Passover is a story that brought (and brings) together these separate entities and forged the nation. The ceremony dictates: you are all Jews and you all experienced this. Whether you're from Goshen or Jerusalem or Moab or Newark, you are a member of this family and you must experience the common experience.

Passover in this respect resembles the Fourth of July for Americans, or St. Patrick's Day for the Irish. No matter your origins, you celebrate your national holiday. It's inclusive, and that's exactly why it exists.


Blogger Christina said...

That was one of the funniest stories (w/ the pictures especially) I've read in a long time.

April 24, 2008 3:39 PM  
Blogger Naila J. said...

Love the pics.
And the story's not bad either...

April 25, 2008 1:24 AM  
Blogger B. Glen Rotchin said...

I once inflicted a vomit-fest on my kids down south too, though it wasn't a Cessna it was a deep-sea fishing boat off the coast of Palm Beach, Fla. It's like a rite passage (for us dad's not the kids.) What is it about being under the hot Caribbean sun? Facing the open seas? I'm not sure what I was thinking; That my physically ill-equipped, pre-pubescent kids needed an adventure on the high-seas? In retrospect I think it was some kind of test. I needed to show that Dad was an adventure-man, a modern-day swashbuckler who could reel in the big one. It was one of the sorriest experiences of my life. My wife justifiably gave me a ton of shit too when we got back. Put me in my adventure-man place. Thanks for the comment on Passover.

April 25, 2008 8:50 AM  

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