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Pokin’ Fun by Doc Blakely

I never wanted to fly myself,
I was forced into it. Perhaps
it was inherited from
my Great Uncle Will who was
the first man launched into
flight when his suspenders
got caught on a passing fire
wagon.
The thing was that I accidently
backed into the
professional speaking business.
At first I hired a crop
duster to fly me to places
not served by major airlines.
I was making my mark
speaking at grass fires, goat
roping’s, feeder pig sales and
a few other high class functions.
The crop duster finally
tired of the grind and told
me, “I’ll stay with you until
you are no longer a danger
to yourself or the general
public but you need to buy
your own plane.” Then he
made a pitch to sell me the
one he was flying, a Cessna
Cardinal.
Rumor had it that the
Cessna Cardinal only had
one minor flaw, it would
“porpoise” on landing, going
first up then down before
trying to dive beneath the
surface of the asphalt runway.
Cessna put out an advisory
on the Cardinal which
was to cut some slots in the
stabilator on the tail section.
That fixed the problem but
she got a bad reputation and
her value fell like a spurned
lover’s enthusiasm for real
commitment. I got her at a
bargain price by mortgaging
my hat, house and the family
homestead.
This old bird was a four
seater, with high wings and
great visibility. It was like
flying on a barstool. I almost
always flew alone once I got
my license. People don’t
seem to want to fly with
pilots who are always joking.
I’m serious. But my teen
age son, Mike, and friend,
Jim, were crazy about flying
and begged to go with me
on a flight somewhere, anywhere.
So I invited the daring
duo to go with me to Mena,
Arkansas for a Chamber of
Commerce speech.
We plotted a direct
course to Texarkana. The
next stop would be Mena. I
had enough fuel to get there
but barely had the required
reserve after landing. I called
Mena airport on the Unicom.
“Airport’s closed,” a
voice answered.
“What? I read all the directives
and didn’t read
anything about that.”
“Airport’s still closed.
They are putting tar on the
runway. Don’t land on the
tar or you’ll get tar all over
your tars.”
“I see another plane landing
now.”
“He’s landing on the taxi
way.”
“Can’t I land on the taxiway
too?”
“Yeah, but you’ll have to
come in low and slow and
jump over that bulldozer.”
“Why is there a bulldozer
on the taxiway?”
“We’re putting in a new
water line and don’t want
some idiot to fall in the ditch
so we parked it there.”
“I’m speaking at the
Chamber Banquet tonight.
I’m in the pattern for a landing
on the taxiway.”
“Cleared for landing. Welcome
to Mena. I’ll call a cab
for you…if you make it. ”
www.docblakely.com
Humorist Doc Blakely is
a professional speaker/writer/
musician/rancher from
Wharton, Texas. He has been
Pokin’ Fun at himself and life
for 40 years.

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