So I recently had one of the coolest conversations ever with Kolla (co-founder of Blue Skies Mag, whose last name I completely gave up on spelling, pronouncing or attempting to comprehend long ago—WAY too many fucking vowels!) a few days ago. It all started when she told me that one of my articles, which BSM has been reprinting each week on their website [like this one], was doing quite well. (Did you know, by the way, there’s a Fuckin’ Pilot book for sale on Amazon? Only $4.99, and worth at least half that!)
According to her, the reprint of “Pants Off Dance Off” was hitting the online top five of all articles I have written for the mag. She went on to tell me that my stuff usually did pretty well with readers, and that there were even a few constant questions that were raised about me, and the articles I write and stories I tell.
One: They wanted to know if the stories that I wrote were actually real, as some of my “antics” seemed too “over the top” to have actually taken place.
Two: They wanted to know if I was actually REAL (as if someone decided to create a character meant to entertain and inform, and decided on something like me?!?)
And three: They wanted to know If I were actually THE SkyGod!
Now each and every one of these questions seems completely crazy to me, BUT, if someone else is bothering to ask, then that means somebody wants to know … So I guess we should go backward with the three and clear ’em up!
1: Am I SkyGod?
Are you fucking kidding me?? SkyGod is … well, SkyGod! The man has busty minions dripping off him like oil down a stripper’s back, can swoop the Dead Sea from end to end without getting a single salt crystal stuck to him, fly every slot on a world-record formation AT THE SAME TIME, and sit and sip single malt Scotch in a smoking jacket while the exhale from his stories directly powers half the iFly tunnels in the continental U.S.!
I, on the other hand, just went and did a handful of fun jumps (first in a very, very, VERY long time) and managed to take out a tracking dive, be the only person in recent history to funnel a SOLO, and then get grounded by the DZM for flying a complete shit pattern through what would have been the swoop lane (had there been any swoopers in the air) because I was too busy trying to remember how to stow my slider … So the answer to that question is clearly: NO, The Fuckin’ Pilot is not SkyGod.
2: Am I real?
The question would probably be more appropriate if they just asked, “Is he completely full of shit?” This question I can actually understand. I have had, without a doubt, some really strange experiences in my life. I hear myself tell the stories of things that I’ve seen, or done, or had the good (or shit) luck to be part of, and honestly wonder myself how anyone would believe a single word that comes out of my mouth, yet:
I did end up landing naked in a supermarket parking lot at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night due to a long spot on a night jump.
I did actually ask Donovan McNabb his name during a photo op on a demo we made in his honor ‘cause I didn’t have a fucking clue who he (or the Eagles) really were.
I did start my full-blown skydiving career with money I made from an 11-year career as a male stripper.
I did get run out of Mexico at gunpoint in the CSC Otter because I may have insulted the fuck out of an idiot pilot who put my friends’ lives at risk ‘cause he was a total fuckstick shitass pilot who had no business controlling an aircraft with anything larger than a rubber band for an engine.
I have jumped with, worked with, and partied with some of the best and brightest the world of skydiving had (and has) to offer, right along with some of the fucking worst, and I’m damn proud of all of them. I was once called a “name dropper” by a pretty well-known jumper, and took a bit of offense—right up until I realized how lucky I really am to have those names to drop. Although I will never be the best, or in some circles even an average skydiver, I’ve known and called some of the world’s best my friends, and that’s good enough for me.
So yeah, I’m real, I’m just another skydiver like you, and if you don’t already have one, eventually you’ll be telling someone a story while wondering if they believe a single fucking word of it!
3: Are my stories ACTUALLY real?
Looking back on most of the articles I’ve written for Blue Skies, I realized something. In most of my stories, I play only a small part in a much larger story. Events like the unofficial record for the most tandems done in a day back in ‘05 involved so many people, so much Red Bull and so many drugs, that there’s simply no way I could have made that all up. Kevin Love Rollerblade-swooping the old Las Vegas Boulevard, Billy Rhodes’ (BSBD) fat ass floating like a hot-air balloon above me on my graduation AFF-instructor candidate jump, Lord Simeon of Kent draped in pink, sashaying his way over to poor Herb, his tandem student on just another day at Cross Keys, spending the day on film strolling around Williamstown, New Jersey, in drag the day of the CK Film Festival in a last-ditch attempt to come up with something worthwhile … (yeah, won for best picture, bitches!)
At the end of the day, The Fuckin’ Pilot, me, has just been straight up lucky. Lucky enough to be there to see some truly amazing people at the top (or bottom) of their game, and had the wherewithal and memory to put their awesomeness down in print. I’ve just chronicled the epic shit that happens in our sport, and have been lucky enough to take part in my very small corner of our world. Skydivers and BASE jumpers aren’t just my friends and family, they are also the coolest, easiest people in the world to write about. All I have to do is sit back, relax and wait to see what happens next. And of course, consider myself one of the luckiest fuckers in the world to have ever been allowed a place with such EPIC company. And by company, I mean each and every one of you crazy mother fuckers!
Special thanks of course to Lara and Kolla for printing my rants year after year, and allowing me my own little niche in the most amazing sport on the planet.
Blue skies, fuckers! The Fuckin’ Pilot loves you all.
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