Dogs don’t like dog food. They like human food. Only problem is, human food gives dogs like Alan uncontrollable diarrhea. Why don’t dog food companies produce human-like dog food? If dogs want to eat lasagna and sesame chicken with rice, why don’t dog food companies make something equivalent that won’t make them shit in the cat’s litter box?
I forgot about one very exciting adventure I went on this summer while I was M.I.A. Brandon, Trent and I traveled down to Henrietta, Missouri to go skydiving, or “tandem jumping” as the professionals call it. Since Trent had been in Kansas City the night before, Brandon and I left bright and early the morning of our excursion to drive down to this hole in the wall town called Henrietta. After taking sixteen bathroom breaks and wrong turns, we eventually wind up in an area that seems to be Henrietta, but it seems to be an abandoned ghost town. We stop at various gas stations and road stops to ask for directions. One gas station we stopped at had a toothless meth-addict cashier working at the counter. “Do you know where the skydiving place is?” Brandon asks.
Before answering, she gave us a weird ass look as if she heard we had a black president, and said, “Uhh…yeah…you go down that road and you’ll come to it.”
We felt uneasy with her peculiar reaction and answer, but headed down a winding dirt road for a while until we were certain we were driving into the middle of nowhere. Eventually a semi is pulling onto the dirt road we’re driving on from another side road, and we flag him to stop. I ask him where the skydiving place is. He points across a big soybean field to a rickety old barn and says, “That’s it right there!”
…yeah, okay. We are becoming more and more unsure about the legitimacy of this place. We drive toward it and find a small gravel parking lot in the middle of the soy field, a canopy area with a concession stand, and one large white building with peeling paint. Behind the building we see a rickety ass plane that appears to have been constructed out of soup cans and recycled Pepsi bottles. Goody.
Brandon and I play on a nearby swing set until Trent arrives. As soon as he does, we proceed into the main building/office area and sign our waivers which basically are telling us that they are not responsible if we get killed and that we are forfeiting our rights by signing each document. We sign. An ancient old woman named Doris brings us into a room with an old tv where she tells us we will be viewing an educational/instructional video about our tandem jumping experience.
The tape begins. It is literally from 1975, and the “host” is a man with a scraggly beard at least 20 inches long. He began talking about the history of skydiving and do’s and don’ts and things of the sort. It told us that we would be holding an arch position once we dove out of the plane, and that it would be very important to do, and our instructors would coach us on the ground before we jump out. One important thing I took away from the video was the following: “During the freefall, keep your mouth closed, or it will be very difficult to breathe. However if your mouth is open because you are screaming with excitement, that is totally okay and is actually encouraged.” hahaha.
“This video is not intended to be a replacement for actual physical training,” it said.
But it was.
The 22 minute VHS ends, which someone partially taped over with “The View.” We wait around for a short while until our instructors start gathering us to begin. I am seriously concerned at this point about peeing my pants. Do people do that? Do people typically pee their pants when they skydive? My question stems from my experiences on large rollercoasters, where I seem to lose control of most bodily functions and laugh nonstop. Although I have never peed or vomitted on a rollercoaster, but skydiving seems to be much different.
A short, stout man with a very wrinkly forehead named Russ came and retrieved Brandon first. He gets strapped up, and then taken directly to the plane. No training whatsoever. Trent and I watch from the ground and see long ass lanky Brandon floating down to earth. Then it was Trent’s turn. Same thing. Straight to the plane and into the mesosphere he went. Then it would have been my turn, but unfortunately the wind started becoming horribly violent and the cloud cover increased dramatically. I was told the conditions were too shitty for me to jump. I was horribly depressed. Doris encouraged us to stick around however, because she had faith it would clear up long enough for me to go. We crossed our fingers, and in the meantime, stuffed our faces with overpriced hot dogs.
After about an hour, it cleared up just enough for me to be able to go. I quickly get geared up and violated by Russ, who apologized for having to fondle my boobs and asked me not to sue him for it. We hustle out to the plane, which up close I realize is even smaller than I imagined. There are no seats in this plane. It is only big enough for 5 people to squeeze in if they are balled up with their knees hugged against their chest. Our pilot takes off and we climb 9,000 feet into the atmosphere. Fifteen minutes later we’re high enough. I am very excited.
The door opens, and it becomes obnoxiously loud. Russ shuffles us to the open door and I step out onto the little ledge and let go. I am now dangling out of the plane with only Russ holding onto the door. We jump. I have never been so disoriented in my life. It is extremely loud and I have no idea what direction is up. I put the arch into action and we finally stabilize. We’re free-falling at about 120 miles per hour. Suddenly our camera man flies down in front of us and starts snapping away. I am drooling uncontrollably at this point and cannot stop laughing. We free fall for about 30 seconds until our parachute opens and we start floating gently down toward the ground. It’s hard to describe, so I’ll just put a few pictures on here.
“I’m just trying to make you perfect!”