Adrian’s birthday was Friday. As with everything else I do, I go WAY over the top on his birthday presents.
Last year, he raced Corvettes at a racetrack.
This year, I got him a flying lesson, because I’m a fucking masochist.
I trust Adrian a lot. He’s an excellent driver, and has always wanted to learn to fly and to be a pilot. But when my ass is soaring 2,000 feet in the air, I trust no one.
Here’s how the booking went down.
“So I’ve got you down for Friday. Now, the plane is a four-seater. That means a couple more people could come with Adrian on the flight. Anyone you’d like to bring?” says the Flight Instructor who sounds a little too much like Pauly Shore.
“Sure. I know his Dad would like to go, and, I’ll go, too.”
“Fantastic! I know you’ll love it.”
Not likely, Pauly. I fucking hate flying.
Well, that’s not totally true. The part where we’re just in the air at cruising altitude and there is no turbulence is not that bad. But I white-knuckle take-off and landing. Can’t stand that shit. People have tried to tell me, “The pilot wants to be in the air as much as you. It’s his job.”
Let me ask you this in response to that–you know that person at your job who you know is going to snap at any moment and jab a letter opener into your boss’ lung before he takes out the rest of you?
What if he were flying your plane? Yeah. Think of that. Then cry. I am.
Adrian and his Dad are equally excited to get in this tiny ass plane and jet away into the Dallas skyline. I have my, “No, really, I’m totally fine, ” face on.
They promised a ‘ground school’ on the website, which consisted of us sitting in the plane while Pauly Shore removed the NASCAR sun visor from the windshield, and told Adrian how to Fly in about 5 minutes.
These are the first few impressions I have of this ordeal, and we’re still on the ground. Pauly looks over to Adrian and says, “okay, man, I want you to Taxi this plane to the end of the runway.”
The second Adrian started to taxi, I KNEW we were all gonna die.
We get to the end of the runway, ready to take off, and a very, very loud alarm goes off.
Jesus, I’mma commin’ home.
Pauly: “Don’t be worried about that alarm there. We always run the engines out of gas after we park the planes.”
Dad: “As long as it’s not the stall alarm.” (even as I type this, I can still hear his heavy accent)
Pauly: “My headset’s pretty noise cancelling. I couldn’t hear it even if it did go off.”
You know what, Pauly? We haven’t even left the ground, you son of a bitch.
So Pauly takes off, and then, no foolin’, tells Adrian, “Alright Man, the rest is you. Let’s turn right here.”
The right wing dips into what can only be described as a WWII barrel roll scenario, and MOTHER OF MARY AND JOSEPH I AM GOING TO DIE IN THE BACK OF THIS DAMN PLANE. Not fucking okay. I’m laughing, but only from sheer terror and lack of other options from what I could be doing, seeing as how no one gave me a parachute and the NASCAR sun visor ain’t gonna cut it.
To give Adrian and Pauly some credit, Adrian is actually really good at flying a plane, apparently. After the first 3 agonizingly terrifying minutes of my certain death in the Trinity River, Adrian smoothed it out and was pretty damn good.
Pauly: “So, Noa, what kind of music do you listen to?”
Me: I’m wondering if this dude is hitting on me. “Almost anything.” *terrified FUCK YOU I’M OKAY smile*
Pauly: “We’ll listen to some music.”
Y’all, the radio IMMEDIATELY begins playing The Final Countdown. I couldn’t stop laughing. What a fantastically ironic song to come over the Sirius radio on a plane.
And then I chilled out.
And then I realized why Adrian wanted to fly a small plane for so long.
And then, the tower almost ran us into a jet on landing.
Tower: “Um, I don’t know, just circle around again. Whatever. I don’t even know. Just get out of the way.” (again, NOT SHITTING YOU)
Pauly: “That guy gets flustered a lot. He needs to chill out.”
Yeah, Noa to Tower–chill the fuck out, homes. Landing jets full of people should require some attention.