- Originally printed in issue #23 (August 2011) of Blue Skies Magazine.
- Buy a reprint of this issue.
It had been a busy week, and I guess I wasn’t really on my game. I’m usually very good at reading people, their moods and their intentions, but I was dead wrong this time. I’d just returned from a six-month stint in New Zealand, where I’d been working with a drop zone named Ballistic Blondes located on the North Island in a town called Paihia. While living there, my hardest decision was having to choose between my beloved Coruba Rum or my new favorite bitch beer KGB (hello … my nickname is Princess). I didn’t wear shoes for six months, and wasn’t even required to put a shirt on to go into the grocery store, so coming back to the U.S. was quite a shock indeed.
The jet lag from the trip hadn’t even begun to wear off, and trying to wrap my head around all the changes going into Chicagoland Skydiving Center and its new location in Rochelle, Illinois, just off the I-88 and an easy drive from downtown Chicago (shameless plug) was taking every ounce of concentration. I guess that’s why I didn’t notice the look on the fun jumper’s face when she asked me if I was “The F***ing” pilot for Blue Skies Magazine.
I’ve been writing for the magazine for some time now, and have had the chance to come across a few people who have read my stuff and commented on my articles. For the most part, all the comments I’d received were quite favorable, so I just wasn’t paying attention to the clearly negative body language coming from the older fun jumper addressing me.
“So it is you that writes for that Blue Skies thing isn’t it?”
“Oh yeah,” I replied with a smile on my face (waiting for the gushing compliments to follow), “Have you read some of my stuff?”
“Well,” she said with a scowl on her face, “I tried to read one of your articles once, but the first time I came across the F word, I had to put it down!” I was still reading the entire situation wrong, so, continuing with a big idiotic grin on my face I said, “Well FUCK, you couldn’t have gotten further than the first line!” It instantly became clear not only to me, but to everyone standing around listening that she didn’t find that comment, or any other from me, even close to entertaining.
She went on to tell me that she had wanted to approach me about the magazine the previous season, but had opted not to because she assumed that anyone who wrote the things that I did for a publication in print must be a complete “asshole.” When she used the word asshole, she actually whispered it. She also did NOT go on to say that meeting me had changed her opinion, leading me to believe that in her mind, I’m just as much of an asshole (whisper) as she though I would be.
When the opportunity to write for Blue Skies came up, it was through a friend of mine, and one of the founders of the magazine, Kolla. Kolla (whose last name defies all rational attempts at spelling or pronunciation in the English language) and I had met years earlier at Skydive Cross Keys, where back then, we were in the midst of living high and large pretty much seven days a week. So when she told me their ideas for the articles, it didn’t really surprise me that they wanted me to be as over the top as I cared to be. Foul language and talk of titties was encouraged, and semi-taboo subjects should be brought up whenever possible.
With those suggestions in mind, I sat down and pounded out my first article for Blue Skies Magazine about all the different things that piss off jump pilots. As I emailed it off to the editor in charge, Lara, I didn’t really think that the version I’d sent her would actually make it into the final print. Imagine my surprise when not only did Lara decide to print the damn thing in an issue, but didn’t change a single word! It was also her who would end up giving me my official Blue Skies nickname, “The Fuckin’ Pilot” (which, by the way, I happen to like a hell of a lot better than Princess).
For the most part, the articles I write for Blue Skies are meant to be a bit funny, somewhat thought provoking, and all-in-all entertaining. I’ve broached a few very serious subjects in the form of my reviews of FAA reports on skydive aircraft crashes, and a few over the top, like blowing ass in the plane or getting laid on the drop zone. I’ve never claimed to be anything other than what I am, which is a pretty average skydiver/instructor turned jump pilot who likes to hear himself talk. But I had never considered myself to be downright offensive until this fun jumper basically stamped that label on my forehead. Kind of a bummer when someone tells you something like that. I guess I just always assumed that being a skydiver dealing with other skydivers, some foul language and questionable subjects were not only expected, but welcomed to some degree. I believed, (in her case incorrectly) that being around other skydivers meant always being able to be yourself. I mean really, we are the lunatic fringe aren’t we??
I guess when it comes right down to it, I honestly do respect her opinion not only about my writing, but about the magazine as well, but to be completely honest, I really don’t give a fuck. The powers that be at Blue Skies see fit to allow my own personal smut to grace their pages, and unlike our over-the-top behavior at the drop zone, where students really don’t have a choice but to deal with our antics, readers actually have the ability to put the magazine down if they don’t approve. For those of you that enjoy my, and the other contributors writing, we all thank you sincerely and plan to try and keep you entertained for some time to come. For those that don’t care for us, I ask that you attempt to read between the lines, make your own mental attempt to read past the “fuck” and “tittie” lines and get to the heart of the stories. You just may find that us “assholes” have something to say if you actually bother reading on!
[team_member image_url=”123875″ name=”The Fuckin’ Pilot” role=”Monthly Columnist”]About the author: The Fuckin’ Pilot has more than 8,500 hours of flight time; 5,000 of those have been piloting jump ships for skydiving. [/team_member] [products_mixed layout=”listing” orderby=”ID” order=”asc” ids=”26630,121868″ title=”Get more like this!”]