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Blown Away

Written by The Fuckin' Pilot

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Originally printed in issue #18 (March 2011) of Blue Skies Magazine.
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“Yeah, I’ll take a San Antonio Sirloin, the 12 ounce, with mushrooms and onions, baked potato with butter … Oh, and shrimp on the steak too, please.”

The dinner went down just as good as it did every time I ordered it. I’m not much on chain restaurants to be honest, but Lonestar does a pretty good job on a cut of meat, and I highly recommend it. Follow it up with a good night’s sleep and then cinnamon raisin bread—an entire loaf of cinnamon raisin bread—on the way to the DZ, and you have my recipe for success.

It was really just between Weasel and me, but of course it was a contest that everyone could enjoy. At least that’s the way we looked it at. Mr. Paul Wetzel, more affectionately known as Weasel, was the other champion in this competition, and he had his own special recipe to claim the title of “Stinky Ass Mother Fucker” at Skydive Las Vegas. The sad truth of the matter is: A fart contest really isn’t much fun for anyone other than the competitors, but neither of us really cared much what anyone else thought.

The contest got under way at just shy of 3K on load number one, and Weasel and I fell into a pretty good rhythm, trading shot for shot and gauging our success by the faces of the poor unfortunate souls onboard. For the most part, it was a dead draw and beginning to look like it was going to be an all-day affair, like a game of cricket that doesn’t make much sense and just won’t seem to end. Then a twist of fate on load 5 … With rare timing and completely without intention, both Weasel and I let loose with our own personal versions of the atom bomb.

I knew that fact to be true even before the noxious fumes had left our respective jumpsuits simply by the look on Weasel’s face, and he knew the same of me. I could feel the heat from my best effort slowly creeping out through my zipper, and like scientists on the Manhattan Project who built Fat Man and Little Boy, I feared that I may actually set the air on fire with this one. We watched together, Weasel and I, as the faces of those onboard turned from amusement to horror and eyes were opened wide with sheer terror. The radius continued to widen and drift towards the Otter door as each group in turn came to the realization that they had become the unwitting victims of a heinous attack.

The only true casualty of the war to end all wars turned out to be a little Japanese man nervously seated next to his instructor at the door of the plane. As Weasel and I traced the line of destruction floating quietly down the Otter, this poor man’s face seemed for some reason to grab my attention, and I knew it was going to be bad. It hit him all at once, and with a viciousness I could never have imagined. As the man made eye contact, his tandem instructor had just enough time to pull out the one-gallon Ziplock puke bag stashed in his jumpsuit and hand it to him before all hell broke loose. With a force that would have blown the bottom out of a lesser bag, the poor man filled it up with everything he had in his stomach, and probably some of his small intestines. It was one of the proudest moments in both Weasel’s and my careers. It was also the reason that the “No Farting” rule was instated at the old Skydive Las Vegas.

Some DZs have rules against it. Some tolerate it. Some DZs have DZOs who like to blowass in their new pilot’s face (Mr. Smith…), some have pilots who freak out when you fart, and others who just open a window. Whatever type of DZ yours is, farts are part of the sport. Always have been, always will be, and like it or not, you can’t do a damn thing about it. Wanna know why?

The truth of the matter is that if you breathe, you fart. Farts are produced through chemical reactions in our intestines, air we swallow, gas seeping in from our bloodstream, etc. The smell depends on the amount of sulfur in our systems, and foods like eggs and meats will make ‘em stink more, whereas beans can give you a ton of gas without much of a zing to ‘em. There’s simply no way to get around it. But hey, the average librarian doesn’t have to put up with telling every bookworm to stop busting ass, so why the hell does it happen almost nonstop in skydiving?

Talk to Dr. Boyle, Ph.D. if you have a real problem with it (high school science people). Ass-flavored air freshener and skydiving will go hand in hand for as long as we jump. Just reference Wiki if you don’t believe me:

Consistent with Boyle’s law, controlling for dietary variance, the amount of gas produced is constant in mass, but the volume increases when the difference in pressure diminishes.”

In layman’s terms, the higher you go the more the gas wants out, or should I say the more you’re gonna want it out. Something is gonna have to give at some point, and nine times out of ten, it’ll be your ass. Really, the only decision to make is whether you’re gonna save it until the door is open and you’re climbing out, or share it with the rest of the class.

Personally, even with pissed-off co-workers, sick passengers or the no farting rule in place, I usually opt for the pre-door extravaganza. Just knowing that air that was in my ass is now in your nose is ridiculously entertaining to me, and let’s face it, I do it for my own personal entertainment. I’ve even got it in writing from United Airlines that I smell really bad, and I refuse to keep that kind of talent to myself. You on the other hand will need to choose a course of action for yourself.

Just remember though, if you’re the type that decides to freak out at someone like me for busting ass in the plane, your time is coming, and if there is such a thing as Karma, it’ll be a shart instead of a fart.

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