Day by Day cartoon

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

It gets hot out on those ramps...

Which might explain strange behavior like this crew chief marshalling his jet out from under the canopy.

Having spent a few minutes of my life out there on the ramp I can assure you that long hours, sunshine and boredom can create foolishness that you might not see anywhere else.

A long time ago, when I was a scheduler in a tanker unit at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, I was upstairs, waiting to get into the commanders office for a signature on some routine business. Outside, in the hallway were 4 guys, two of whom were mid-grade NCOs that I knew were the expediters that drove the trucks on the flight line every day. These four guys were obviously waiting to see the commander for something much less routine than my business, in fact, the looked like kids sent to the princpal's office for misbehaving in class.

Turns out, that's what it was- misbehavior. Simple, seemingly fun stuff, or do it seemed, water ballons on the flight line for a little levity. Seems that one truck was approaching the other on the access road and somebody decided it would be fun to toss a water balloon out, onto the windshield of the second truck- just to see the splash on the unsuspecting driver's windshield.

You know what happened. The balloon did not burst harmlessly, instead it struck the glass like a pineapple and shattered the windshield into the lap of the driver and passenger! Yeah. It spread glass on the road, in the truck, required a major cleanup and took an important truck out of commision for a day or two. And I'm mighty certain it earned some serious butt-chewing for the party's involved.

Another day I'll tell you about flightline naps...

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