Monday, May 22, 2006

Captain Yakity Yak

I want you to imagine showing up for work one day and you sign in by logging on to a computer.  About an hour and a half after that, you find yourself barreling down a runway at 150 miles an hour calling out critical numbers to someone you never met before.  You leap into the sky to return a few days later.  Then you find yourself at 6 to 8 miles above the planet heading to some destination and starting to talk to this person you don’t know, 2 feet away.  We pilots do our jobs well and professionally, but every once in a while you find yourself flying with a person who makes you crazy.

This trip I was the copilot and the captain I was with was given the nickname
“Captain Yakity Yak.  This man considered the death of his dearly departed mother and an untied shoe to have equal significance and bearing on his life and he had an unforgiving need to talk about it all, constantly, nonstop, for hours.  We took off from Los Angeles on a nice day, departing out over the ocean.  The water of the Pacific was blue and smooth, not one white cap in sight.  I think I said something like, “Boy, look at the water.”  Nearly 5 hours later when we were approaching New York he finished talking by saying, “And I sold that surf board two years later.”  I was in agony.  The ride to the hotel was no different as he chose to talk nonstop to the van driver about cell phone reception.  At the hotel he asked me where we were going to go out to that night.  I told him I needed go to the gym and workout and that I would see him in the morning.  I went to the gym and climbed on a stair stepper, punching in the data to start it, when suddenly I heard a voice say, “There you are, I don’t like those machines, these bikes are great, let me tell you about my first bike, speaking of bikes, how about that Lance Armstrong…………… .” Then, the next day, a miracle happened.

On the way to the airport the following morning, I was sitting in blissful silence, wondering if someone had cut the captains tongue out.  I saw that he was working a crossword puzzle.  I asked him about the puzzle, he mumbled something and went right back to work on the puzzle.  When the van pulled up to the curb at the airport it was like a switch turned on to captain yakity yaks mouth.  The siren cranked up again and he was going nonstop through security talking about what was wrong with his room at the hotel.  When we got through security I told him I would meet him at the airplane.  I went to the news stand and bought the biggest book of crossword puzzles I could find.  I decided to get the most difficult level available as yakity yak is one smart man.  We were flying from New York to San Francisco and I just couldn’t take any more.  After we leveled off and all the checks were completed I pulled out the crossword puzzle book and said, “I found this in my room, do you want it?”   He was drooling like Pavlov’s dog.  It was one of the most enjoyable and peaceful flights I have ever had.  


Anonymous Jay said...

I feel your pain - well I can only imagine it - no way to get up and walk away or try and busy yourself in something else.

The other night on my last red-eye I was all geared up to get some reading done in the back galley. I have a great book that I am really wanting to finish and red-eyes are supposed to be a great time to catch up on your reading on your down time.

Sure enough I had a "visitor" in the back galley that wanted to talk non-stop because this "visitor" didn't like to sleep on a plane.

Could we have talked about more useless stuff? I felt like I was stuck in a telethon!

1:06 PM  
Blogger Dave Thurston said...

Engineering is (I am sorry to say) no different. I am amazed at how many can talk about so little for so long.

To a fellow sufferer, your solution was beautiful.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked with a guy who could talk AT you without ever seeming to draw breath. He would carry on and on despite all the normal conversational signals. In the end it turned out that the only real strategy for coping with him was to avoid starting a conversation in the first place.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous suzierod said...

Very funny - I can just see you!

4:32 PM  
Anonymous My Sping On Things said...

Now that was hilarious:) That was the best laugh I have had all day!

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Albert said...

I think I've flown with that guy. Or at least his twin.

10:22 AM  

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