So I get out of a meeting at work the other day, and it just so happens that the end of the workday is upon me. I’ll be honest. I wasn’t feeling so hot as this particular meeting had been long, drawn out, and provided me with an exceptionally low IQ (interest quotient). To be clear, were I using the numerical value of the traditional meaning of IQ, it would have been the equivalent of Forrest Gump porking I Am Sam, and, by some freak miracle of nature, Sean Penn conceiving a child through his colon. Take that kid’s IQ, convert the numbers to a new, boredom-based scale, and you pretty much have a random numerical figure. Divide that number by the square root of the sum of the copyright years of the above two films, and go make yourself a sandwich.
Ok, you back? If you’re done performing useless mathematical calculations, I’d like to get back to my story. Like I said, with the levels of ennui I was experiencing as I left the office, one can imagine my surprise when I discovered a sleek, shiny, black stealth bomber parked in my office’s lot. Now, one doesn’t personally see a lot of stealth bombers in one’s life, perhaps because they live up to their namesake and are exceptionally hard to spot. And in Canada, one sees even fewer stealth bombers, because, to my knowledge, our military can not afford even one third of the tailfin.
So imagine how I felt when I was immediately compelled with the urge to abscond with this aeronautic marvel. I simply began moving toward the machine, my legs striding with a fluidity that is so rarely seen in a heterosexual male. I stroked the shiny black exterior, taking in the sensation of cold steel and military perfection it oozed.
And before I knew what was happening, I was inside her.
Looking around the cockpit, this particular stealth bomber appeared to have been “modded” for private use. For one, where I had expected to see the standard flight stick, there was a simple leather steering wheel, similar to one you could find in any luxury car. Which confused me.
My limited knowledge of aeronautics told me that to rise up, one needed to pull back on the controls. This wheel, however, only appeared to rotate left and right like with standard car steering. My attention was then drawn to the fact that there were foot pedals, namely what appeared to be an accelerator and a brake, in their usual positions. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the gas pedal was actually split vertically down the middle, each half being able to press down independently of the other.
As the keys had been left in the ignition, there was nothing left to do but simply start ‘er up and fiddle with random controls until I took off. Hell, the jet even had an ignition to the right of the wheel. Whoever was the proud owner of this machine had some exceptionally specific tastes as to what constituted a quality jet interior. Right down to the leather bucket seat.
As the jet engines roared to life, I could feel the plush seat vibrating with kinetic energy. Outside the window, parking lot dust was being kicked up all around me. I looked down and placed my foot on the gas pedal, deciding my best bet would be to press down on it as one whole and see what happened. The jet immediately began to rotate in place to the right, but its elevation remained the same. I was chagrined to note that I was clearly bumping into the cars next to me, eliminating my chances of taking off unnoticed.
I immediately switched techniques and pressed down only the right half of the “gas” pedal. This proved to be more fruitful. The jet began to slowly rise straight into the air. Not aware that a Stealth was capable of a vertical takeoff, I felt a surge of excitement.
I was now slightly over head-level of pedestrians, but the jet was no longer rising any higher. Confused as to my options at this point, and hardly out of harm’s way, I had no other choice but to step on the gas and go for it. The jet took off, smoothly zipping just over the heads of my surrounding onlookers, most likely leaving their places of employ as well. I am pleased to say that the steering wheel handled precisely as I might have hoped. Still, I was stuck at my current altitude and even with the excessive fiddling with buttons I was undertaking, nothing appeared to me happening.
I would be better off to simply fly home, awkward as it may be to be flying yet still somewhat constrained by roads and the rules of traffic. I ventured forward into the city, taking in the sights from a few feet higher than usual. Despite the stealthiness of “my” jet, I must admit that I was far from unnoticed.
A particular trying moment occurred when I was determined to take a shortcut through the area by the overpass. Knowing there would be no traffic there, I felt it would be suited to some experimentation, or at least some increased speeds. Little did I know, at this very time in that area, there appeared to be some sort of a vagrant convention.
I must admit that I had heretofore assumed that the day-to-day needs of city vagrants, pressing though they may be, were more often than not dealt with on a moment-to-moment, bum-to-bum basis, and did not warrant the gathering of hundreds of drifters.
Then again, I suppose, as a bum, it would be a relief to convene and discuss across-the-board issues such as the various textures of week-old oysters, and the correct sugar-to-mold ratio for Prison Wine.
Whatever the agenda for the meeting, it was immediately tossed aside the moment a humming black jetplane, floating just a few feet above their heads, slowly hovered around the corner and toward them.
Before I knew it, sticky hands were reaching up everywhere, shaking the jet to and fro, begging for a ride. Some of the people were even audacious enough to ask for the jet itself. As appalled as I was, I calmly reached for a button that said “afterburner” and before I knew it, the screams of those below me faded away as both my speed and my altitude increased.
Anyway, I’m taking up a bit too much of your time, I suspect. The ending is that I eventually got home, and managed to park the thing on the top of my apartment building, after having knocked down an antenna or two.
I must admit, it’s pretty convenient just taking the elevator up to the top floor, going up the short staircase to the roof, and flying to work. Cops or parking officials haven’t really given me a hassle: I guess no one reported the theft.
Still, it’s October, and already the frost is coming, and I’m not looking forward to scraping that bitch of a windshield every day.