“You’re an idiot,” Matt said. It was not the first time he’d said something like that to me, and probably won’t be the last. In fact, our conversations are often peppered with such pithy “observations” by him. The occasion of this one was me bitching, as usual.
I should start at the beginning.
The Boss wants to buy an airplane to supplement the helicopter. Our business has expanded to the point where he and his employees need to range out further (and faster) than the helicopter can take them.
Airplanes are different from helicopters. They go places. We don’t ever go anywhere in our helicopter; we pretty much stay within a 100-mile radius of home base. So the idea of getting an airplane is kind of neat. I'll get to fly it. I'm what they call "dual-rated" in that I fly both airplanes (land and sea!) and helicopters. Helicopters are fun, but airplanes are fun in a different way. Airplane pilots can change their climate. We helicopter pilots are always stuck in whichever one we took off. If you asked me which one I prefer more, I'd have a hard time answering.
“I’m going to Dallas this Thursday,” the Boss told me last week. “Set up some airplanes I can look at.” Luckily Dallas, Texas is, like, the airplane sales capital of the country. So, no prob.
I called around and found some of what we’re looking for. One dealer even offered to send a jet over to fetch us. This, we agreed to right away. Sure enough, at the appointed hour on Thursday morning a Cessna Citation landed, taxied-in, scooped up the boss, his girlfriend and me and, as they say, “whisked” us off to Texas, where we landed two hours later. There were already two pilots up front, so it was a treat to get to sit in the back for a change. Riding in the cabin of a business jet can make you never want to set foot in one of those crappy "regional jets" ever again.
In Dallas, we looked at airplane after airplane. Some at this airport, some at that airport. Lots of airplanes. Tons of airplanes. Problem was, I was recovering from a nagging flu that just didn’t want to go away. I don’t get sick much, but when I do I become a big, whiny baby. By, ohhhh, the eleventh of twelfth airplane, I was pretty much airplaned-out.
Not to mention this other screwup. The Boss was staying for the whole weekend, but I had just planned on staying overnight and leaving out of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport next morning to come home. However, things changed and there was yet another plane to see on Friday before my flight. Great. So now I needed a car. After the Boss got to where he was staying for the weekend, the aircraft salesman that had been chauffeuring us around got tasked to drop me off at a rental car place at D/FW, only “a little” out of his way. We pulled into what looked like the right place, he kicked me out and left. As it was pushing seven PM, I didn’t blame him for not hanging around.
I walked around and around, looking for the rental office. None was to be found in any of the three big buildings. It was merely a maintenance place where they wash and work on the cars. Nobody paid any attention to me, either. Finally I cornered some worker who (I swear) spoke only two words of English, maybe three. When he understood that I wanted to rent a car, he pointed in a far off direction. “Afuera,” he said. (Outside?) “I take you,” and he motioned for me to get into a nearby car. See, at D/FW there is a whole separate building where all the rental car counters are. You cannot just go to the remote facility like you can at most any other airport in the country. Damn you, Texas!
Anyway, by the time I got to my hotel room I was feeling poorly, dehydrated, hungry, frustrated, and aggravated. So I called Matt, naturally, and bitched, naturally, about my day.
“You’re an idiot,” he said. “You should be like a kid in a candy store. Instead, you’re complaining about having to look at airplanes. You love this stuff.”
And he’s right, of course. I do. I should be excited. Which just goes to show you how jaded a person can get. We probably will get a plane of some sort, probably soon. My life is fixing to change, hopefully for the better. Hey, who doesn't like a new challenge? I might even have to change the name of the blog from "Helicopter Pilot" to...ohhh..."Corporate Pilot" or something like that.
I really can be an idiot sometimes. And I can always count on Matt to point it out. I’m glad I have friends who are honest enough with me to tell me the truth. If I'd only listen more...