Air Show, Air Show!

Posted on March 24, 2010

Those of you who know me well know that I am passionate about a few things: God, my country, my family, and Spongebob Squarepants. As a subset of the second passion, I fancy (translation: “go gaga for”) military aircraft. In fact, growing up I always wanted to be an F-16 pilot (for those of you who do not know what that is, a pilot is the operator of an aircraft). For the last 10 years I have told myself that, if it weren’t for my, to put it nicely, ‘imperfect’ vision, I would have joined the Air Force and flown an F-16. Alas, as age has brought its share of wisdom, I can now admit that the real reason I did not join the Air Force is because I probably wouldn’t have lasted 12 seconds in boot camp. I imagine my time in boot camp would have gone something like this:

Instructor: “Welcome everyone to Air Force boot camp. Before we begin the drills, we need everyone to sign in at the registration table. Remember, last name first, then first name.” (I assume there would be more profanity in that statement, so feel free to insert a %$*^ or an @#!% as you read the sentence above)

Me: “OH MY GOODNESS!! They said this would be hard. I can’t do it! (sob) I QUIT! (sob) I think I am going to puke.”

As my flight hours n the F-16 have come solely in the simulator that is my brain, I was highly excited about the Air Show returning to Davis Monthan Air Force Base this year. It had been three years since the last show and I was going through airplane-viewing withdrawals. So, Saturday morning, I made the pilgrimage to Davis Monthan (hereafter referred to as DM…oh shoot, I hope I don’t refer to anything else with the initials of DM, thereby causing confusion…note to self: no references to Dolly Madison products or Dancing Monkeys) along with nearly 99,999 of my fellow nerds (sorry gang, it’s a tough pill to swallow, but we need to accept what we are).

I took Ashton with me and, thankfully I brought the stroller for him. I parked the car in approximately Utah and walked about a mile and a half to get to the exhibits. There we met my parents, sister, and brother-in-law and we began to gaze upon the large objects showcasing the might of our Military. After the soldiers got creeped out by our staring, we took in all of the aircraft. There was a very nice selection of aircraft this year: a B-52, a B-1, an F-14 (Ashton’s favorite), an F-22, and about 347 other airplanes. Additionally, we enjoyed several aircraft demonstrations (my favorites were the F-18 and Thunderbirds). Additionally, there were exhibits showcasing World War II memorabilia, Police and Border Patrol Helicopters, and the Budweiser Clydesdales, which made total sense.

While I was in my own version of heaven, Ashton couldn’t have cared less. He spent most of the time curled up in the stroller trying to nap (probably an aftereffect of driving home from vacation the day prior). This was a difficult proposition however as every 20 minutes several jet engines were usually in full afterburner about 100 yards away. He perked right up however once I bought him a salted pretzel and lemonade.

Speaking of which, I would rate the food at the Air Show as 2 Ailerons up. I had a Philly cheese steak (my first ever believe it or not) and a funnel cake (the most magnificent food item on the planet, slightly edging out cherry Toaster Strudels). It made standing in line with approximately the population of Oro Valley worth it. However, those two items alone cost about the same as the annual taxes of a single earner in the highest income tax bracket once the health care legislation goes into effect (Hey-yo! I bet you didn’t see THAT political zinger coming).

My family and I decided to head out after the Thunderbirds demonstration had ended. Apparently there was a country concert taking place after the show. However, after spending 6 hours massaging my eardrums with jet blasts, all I would have heard was ringing anyway. Judging by some of the apparel worn by my fellow Air Show attendees, the concert was a huge success (let’s just say there were lots of torn jean shorts, beer/fishing shirts, and tank tops with matching farmer’s tans).

With my annual quota of aircraft viewing met, I can now happily start the countdown to the 2012 Air Show.

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