When he opens it, the message reads “RAISE THE PLANE!” He holds up a sign “Use Of Electronic Devices Prohibited During Takeoff and Landing.”
“RAISE THE PLANE–NOW!” He looks me over in disapproval and then shrugs. “OK. PULL IT IN.” I haul in the bag and we rise to the occasion.
The plane cruises on, so close to water I am soaked by sea spray. “CAN I OFFER YOU A REFRESHING BEVERAGE?” David asks. “I’M GOOD” I reply.
We travel for several minutes and then David asks “WHAT DOES ‘RAISE THE PLANE’ MEAN ANYWAY?” “YOU WERE FLYING TOO DAMN CLOSE TO THE WATER!”
“NEXT TIME WHAT YOU SAY IS ‘INCREASE ALTITUDE’ NOT ‘RAISE THE PLANE.’” “GOT IT. DON’T DO THAT AGAIN.” The raised plane noise is unrelenting.
The rest of the flight south passes in a deafening blur. We maintain our 100 foot altitude for the duration. David sips soda after soda.
After endless ocean hours, we approach a sandy beached island. A mountain rises over its interior. “MAN!” shouts David “I REALLY GOTTA PEE.”
“CAN IT ‘TIL WE LAND?” “NO NEED. HOLD THIS.” “ABSOLUTELY NOT.” “NO. I MEAN THE YOKE.” “THE WHAT?” “THE STEERING WHEEL.” “WHILE YOU DO WHAT?”
“HOW ABOUT, DUMP SOME BALLAST?” “THERE’S NO TOILET ON THIS PLANE. HOW DO YOU INTEND TO…OH I GET IT.” “NO WORRIES. I DO THIS ALL THE TIME.”
“NOT ON MY WATCH!” “NOT ON YOUR WATCH, OUT THE WINDOW!” “NOT OUT MY WINDOW!” “IT’S OUT MY WINDOW!” As we struggle, the island looms closer.
I place a hand on David’s shoulder to keep him seated. He releases the yoke and the plane plunges. Suddenly the isle’s mountain is upon us.
Letting out an amazingly high squeak for a man his size, David grabs the yoke and pulls back hard. We climb vertically up the mountainside.
David is shouting something at me, but I can’t make it out over the engine noise. “FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT” I suddenly hear him scream. Uh oh.
Our plane stalls and the relative quiet is alarming. “Can you hear me now?” David asks. “AAAAHH!” I’m not sure which one of us is screaming.
“BOTH F@#KING ENGINES AT THE SAME TIME?” I inquire. “No need to shout.” he replies. The steep climb levels off to a plateau landing field.
With a bump David lands the plane, pulling up beside a small hanger. The props start up again. “Well, I don’t need to pee anymore.” he says
I extricate myself from the copilot seat. “This is the airport? How in the world do they transport 1000+ students to the island each term?
The air taxi sits upon a narrow plateau surrounded by higher peaks. A small hanger beside the grass landing strip is the only structure.
“I’m only allowed to use this old airstrip. The main airport is down below next to campus.” David looks at his pants. “Excuse me a minute.”
He enters the hanger and returns in a few minutes in a cabbie’s uniform. “How’re the ears?” he asks. “I can hear, if that’s what you mean.”
David places blocks against the wheels. “Noisy flight huh? Why you didn’t put on your ‘phones?” “Headphones?” “Yeah, the ones at your seat.”
(The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery)