742. Salvation


3 Bears Shrek      Joel’s mind raced the way it does when he gets sweetened caffeinated iced tea sometimes…jacked up and edgy…barely contained… aggressive even. He needed all his wits to get out of this frozen pickle caper. The helicopter roared northward toward Argentina. He knew arrest and a crippling rescue bill awaited him. Even worse, Bucky would be transported to Guantanamo, perhaps forever more. For this brief moment he held his fate in a loaded Montblanc fountain pen, aimed right at the airship pilot’s goggles. Once they landed, the jig would be up, his impotent ploy disarmed. “Think, think, think!!!” He pondered every book and movie of escapes he’d ever witnessed. Houdini, Svengali, Nixon. Songs, poems, folk tales, cartoons. He was desperate to save himself and Bucky. But how?

Across the fog of time came the way, the way out…D.  Then B.  What was this? A code from the great beyond? Then Cooper. D.B.Cooper. “That’s it!!” He nearly soiled himself. The story came to him in fits and starts…

Image result for db cooper"

Dan Cooper is the pseudonym of an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the northwest United States, in the airspace between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 24, 1971. The man purchased his airline ticket using the alias Dan Cooper but, because of a news miscommunication, became known in popular lore as D. B. Cooper. He extorted $200,000 in ransom (equivalent to $1,260,000 in 2019) and parachuted to an uncertain fate. Despite an extensive manhunt and protracted FBI investigation, the perpetrator has never been located or identified. It remains the only unsolved case of air piracy in commercial aviation history.Image result for parachute pictures"

Joel licked his lips with satisfaction and then applied some cherry flavored Chapstick with his left hand. “We’re not going to Argentina, buddy.”

Piloto, “But Senor, we must. I cannot just land anywhere.”

Joel, “I’m not talking about landing, sonny boy. I want you to fly over the Falklands.”

Piloto, “Sir, that is British air space. I am forbidden. It could start another war.”

Joel, “Do it!”Image result for falkland islands map"

Piloto, “But sir, we do not have enough fuel to make the trip to Buenos Aries.”

Joel, “My good man, that is not my problem. I was forced onto this airship against my will. Now I suppose you, you must… do you know that old song, ‘It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to’?”Image result for lesley gore pictures"

Piloto, “Si, in Spanish. Uhhh, Lesley Gore, yes? How did it go?”

Joel, “Good memory, fly boy. Let’s see, I’m more a classical aficionado, but I’ll try…

It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you
Nobody knows where my Bucky has gone
But Joelly left the same time
Why was he holding his hand
When he’s supposed to be mine?Image result for lesley gore pictures"

Well, that was my theme song when you captured me. But Lesley Gore had a sequel hit. Perhaps you recall that one too, Pedro?”

Piloto, “No, senor. I am empty of trivia recall. Plus I am trying to fly this airship while you hold me hostage with a golden fountain pen.”

Joel, “Well, it was called ‘Judy’s Turn to Cry’. It’s a revenge song from my youth.

I’ll sing a few lines…

Aww when Judy left with Johnny at my party (my party)
And came back wearing his ring
I sat down and cried my eyes out
Now that was a foolish thing
‘Cause now it’s Judy’s turn to cry
Judy’s turn to cry
Judy’s turn to cry
‘Cause Johnny’s come back
To meImage result for my boyfriend is back images"
You see, there was an ironic reversal and Johnny came back to her. Poetic justice was served a bit late but was delicious. Hey, nah. Hey, nah, my boyfriend’s back.”
Piloto, “Senor, I don’t follow. What does Judy and Johnny have to do with us now?”
Joel, “I’m trying to paint you a picture and leave you with a pair of bubble gum songs to ruminate upon after Bucky and I have left you.”
Piloto, “But Senor, you cannot escape. Once we land, you will be arrested. There is no escape.”
Joel, “Aha, that’s where you are wrong, Pedro. I believe I see the Falklands on the starboard side there.”Image result for aerial photo of falkland islands"
Piloto, “That is port side, sir.  The islands are straight ahead.”
Joel, “Oh well, drop altitude, Pedro. I’d like to be around 12,000 feet.”
Piloto, “Senor, you are not thinking what I think you are thinking.”
Joel, “If you are thinking about parachuting to freedom, then you are in sync with my think. Call your men to bring Bucky forward.”
Piloto, “Sir, the cross winds, the ocean current, your advanced age. It is a suicide jump. Please, you can pay the fines and be home by summer.”
Joel, “Pedro, if you only knew the daredevil behind this fountain pen, you’d realize what a silly plea you just uttered. The altimeter says we’re at 12,000 feet. Bucky? Bring him next to me.”
Once Bucky was bundled in Joel’s free arm, something astonishing happened. The ink bladder of his fountain pen exploded, squirting squid black ink SQI1123 into Pedro the Pilot’s goggles. It dripped into his mouth as he screamed for naught. Joel kicked out the passenger side door and leaped to freedom, “Geronimo!”Image result for parachute leap gif"
He recalled his one parachute lesson from the mid sixties boot camp at Fort Rucker. “Count to 3 Mississippis and pull the rip cord”, his drill sergeant had screamed into his face. At this rate, his chute would deploy around 8-9,000 feet, ensuring him time to assess the situation and steer his parachute toward safety. Being a bit of a fraidy cat, he simply counted “1, 2, 3. Pull!!” The violent upward jerk as the chute deployed nearly caused him to lose Bucky, but he held on like Harrison Ford in any movie he was ever in.
As the chute glided into British territory, Joel smiled and felt the peace of knowing he and Bucky would be treated well and repatriated to Shippensburg as international heroes…with no out of p ocket expenses.Image result for parachute leap gif"

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