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Location:Texas, USA Naturalized US Citizen of Irish extract -   Fixed Wing and Helo trucker.Interests: "The Absurdity of Man". I am a proud supporter of Blarney, Nonsense, and Hooey. I enjoy being a chopper jockey, and trying to figure the world, people and belief systems out. I'm just not very good at it, so it keeps me real busy. I scribble, blog, run this website, mess with rental houses, ride motorbikes, and read as much as I can. I went solo 44 years ago, and I like to say I'm gonna get me a real job one day. When I grow up. ("but not just yet, Lord, not just yet") For my aviation scribbles see www.chopperstories.com.... enjoy! I wish you Peace in your Life. May you always walk with the sun on your face, and a breeze ruffling your hair. And may you cherish a quiet wonder for our awesome Universe. Life isn't always good. But it is always fascinating. Never quit.
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Of Helicopters and Humans (Part 16) "The Pakistani Captain"

                                           Hummm....This is my alternative uniform

Of Helicopters and Humans  

(Part 16)

"The Pakistani Captain"




       I speak a half dozen languages, but Pakistani isn't one of them. But I think you subconsciously get used to picking up on traits and vocal oddities when bloody foreigners (like me) try solemnly masticating American English as their second language.  I learned to put on, amongst other frivolous things, different accents. I could be a randy French lover (aren't they all?), a beer drinking German BurgerMeister,  a sober Dutchman, or a Pakistani.  

      I actually did a pretty mean Pakistani accent. So I'm told. Complete with the BIG SMILE, and that peculiar head roll, side to side, shaking that bug out of their ear, with which our Pakistani brothers indicate -most politely- the facts that:
A) they are hanging on to your every word, and
B) they mean you no harm and
C) they mean only kindness and compassion in the world.

     When you get to know them, most are very polite and cultured indeed. And some of their chicks are definitely yummy-yummy scrumptious.  Unfortunately, as we all know, there is a noisy fringe element wot lives in caves, and does NOT subscribe to holding hands and humming Kum-Ba-Ya.
I once got a buddy at tax time. Well, it was his own fault. Six months earlier, we had been drinking in a bar, and he had been boasting how he ran a successful  LLC Corporation, and liked to fiddle the Tax Man. He unknowingly gave me WAY too much ammunition to pass up on that opportunity. A little tipsy, I nonetheless excused myself to the rest room, and carefully jotted down some salient, incriminatory points. The devil in the details.   The plot was already clear in my tiny mind. Let's blow up London Bridge here, fellers...

       Six months later... he gets a phone call. In my best, aggressive officialdom, Pakistani accent, I spoke the words:
"GUD AFTERNUNE! MY NAME IS PATEL! INLAND REVENUE SERVICE!!"
(for some reason, they are all called Patel)
I heard his sharp intake of breath. He couldn't see my headshake, but I was doing it anyway, eyes shut, to try and really nail that style of speech.I went on:
"SPECIAL  INVESTIGATION!!"  
(aaahhh...!?)
And I then cautioned him he was entitled to refuse to cooperate, in which case we would see him in a court of Law, or, alternatively, we could discuss the issue, and see if we could come to an "amicable arrangement".
(aaaahh...!?)
He swallowed it. Hook, line, sinker. And the jetty. He opted, nervously, his voice up a quarter octave, for the amicable discussion. Of course, I was armed with some damning facts. That he was shocked, was real clear. On and on I led him, most wickedly, as if I really didn't give a damn, but I did have the power, and I was gonna screw him to the wall, if I felt so inclined. By now his voice was up a half octave. But more was to come. I played it out, getting him to admit all manner of sins and transgressions, until we got to the Grand Finale.
"WE CAN AGREE A PU-NI-TIVE ASSESS-MENT , SIR, TO AVOID GOING TO COURT!  ARE YOU WILL-ING TO CON-SIDER THIS COURSE OF ACTION...?"
He indicated he was.
I was having a job keeping my Pakistani voice straight. I had to bite into a hankerchief from time to time.
"WE HAVE ESTIMATED YOU ARE ABLE TO AVOID FURTHER PRO-CEE-DINKS BY THE PAYMENT OF..."
My voice trailed off, and I sensed  quiet desperation.
(aaaaaahhh...!?)
"FIFTY TWO THOUSAND NINE HUNNERED AND FIFTY SEVEN DOLLARS AND TWENTY-TWO-CENTS, SIR!"
????
"HOW MUCH...!!!????"
His voice was up a full octave now. He could have applied to any symphony orchestra as a lead soprano, I'm sure.  I burst out laughing. I had played with the mouse enough.



Dropping the accent, in my normal Irish brogue, I remarked, pleasantly:
"Damn! You're easy meat!"
There was a long, long silence at the other end of the phone. Pulse rates fluttering down from the ceiling, I guess.
Then:  "Moggy? Moggy?? Is that YOU???"
I was still laughing.
"MOGGY...!!!  I SWEAR...  I am going to KICK YOUR ASS!!"
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

     Many Earth revolutions around our modest sized Sun later, I ended up flying an interesting decade around the Gulf of Mexico.  As a chopper jockey. Glorified truck driver, really. But we try to make it look real difficult. It was the only job I could find where I got paid good money for playing with a stick.
And so it came to pass, that I landed on a platform in the Eugene Island field, one gloriously... windy day, and this really big dude started ponderously climbing into the front passenger seat. We were all ah- turnin' and ah- burnin' so it was noisy. All I could see was this massive rear end descending, and all he could see was this pilot jockey dude behind a peaked cap, dark sun glasses and headset, and he was probably a bit nervous anyway. He was struggling to find all the seat belts, and I had to guard the collective lever (the other stick I play with) (I have two), in case he thought it was a convenient grip. I've had that before. (There you are, flying along at two thousand feet, and the next thing you're flying at fifteen hundred feet, 'cos Brutus there decided he was stiff and did a seated push-up...) (it's really something when they start grabbing your stick, like)   Above the roar of turbine blades and blade slap, I shouted something, ("Watch it...") and he must have picked up on a different accent. He was a southern gentleman. From Louisiana. It seems impolite to call a customer a Coon-Ass, so I won't.  He sure was big. When he had finally wriggled his ample buttocks into an approximate position, he put the head set on.
First question to me:  "Where are YOU from, Skip...?"  With that sideways, nervous look, when they don't know you. (Most of them DO know me, now, and they have gotten wise to me, and are hard to catch... )
Ah!  Yum-yum. Opportunity knocks.
"GOOD AFTER-NUNE, SIR! MY NAME IS PAH-TEL! I AM FROM PAKKY-STAN! SALLAAM ALEIKUM! PLEASE TO BE SEATED...!!"
I got what you might call a HARD look. It got HARDER. Then he started straight out ahead, through the wind screen. Wind shield I think they say here. The bubble thing. I could tell he was thinking...
He took his headset OFF.  And released his harness.
Audibly, even over the noise of the choppy, I could hear a sincere, heart felt:
"F@#!K THAT!!"
...and he started to climb out!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
And so, to my forum friend "Little Bird" on "Vertical Reference", I want you to know, I was "Firm and Polite", and I dragged him back in, by the lughole.
"DUDE! I'M JUST MESSING WITH YOU...!!"
He looked at me suspiciously. "REALLY...?"
Really. Honestly. Chill...!  He got back in. Afterwards, once we were chatting away happily in the cruise, he admitted what really freaked him out was the solemn intonation of
"Salaam... Aleikum..."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

As the rotor turns… and poli-tickle-ally... Incorrect! I know...

(I just hope my Boss never hears about this...)



Francis    Yes




Last edited by Francis Meyrick on June 21, 2014, 6:23 am
We little humans, hurtling through the Universe on our tiny, pale blue dot, will find few answers to Life's great mysteries. But we should at least find many of the questions. To write is to ask. To seek. To grope. With humility, and humor. Peace.
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