Monday 2 December 2019

Say What?

I work in a highly technical field, and I'm surrounded by clever detail orientated people (nerds). Lots of them, at least lots of the ones I'm friendly with also still have a pathetically childish sense of humour. I was being shown some WW2 aircraft models by one of my friends and I said "That's the biggest pitot tube I've ever seen". He winked and said "why thankyou".

If you're the captain of an aeroplane and you wish to give control to the other pilot you say "You have control" but you do not relinquish control until they acknowledge it with "I have control". Friends of mine have recently had a baby and they use the same system to make it clear who has responsibility for her.

Decades ago I had a bathykolpian girlfriend. Don't worry about looking that word up if you don't know it, it means she looked like a dead heat in a zeppelin race. Don't worry if you're American, I've had a team of linguists working on that phrase, the best they've given me is "Two way tie in a blimp race". I still sometimes have to accept mickey taking over a telephone call I had with her. I was in my office and all my colleagues could hear my side of the conversation. I used to lend her a classic/elderly car and she used to drive it like she'd just stolen it. She rang me up, somewhat upset, and said that it was on fire. "Well don't tell me, call the fire brigade".  "Either it is or it isn't. Is there smoke and flame coming out of it?" "Where's it coming out from"  "a lot?" "So if you see flames coming out of it ring the fire brigade straight away". I then had to ask my boss if I could go home for a couple of hours.

It wasn't on fire, she'd boiled it and blown the head gasket, she was blinded and frightened by smoke and steam. I wish that the right answer had been "pull the red T handle that says FIRE and run away" but it wasn't that type of car.

Richard "sesquipedalian" B

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