Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fond Air Force Memories - Cherry Tomato Incident

I have to admit that I don't have too many fond Air Force memories... mainly because I was drunk most of the time... except on duty and I can't talk about what I did on duty, so about the only clear, lucid, not involving aliens or talking animals memories are from the early Air Force days.

Having survived:
  • 6 weeks of basic training at Lackland Air Force Base
  • 6 weeks of English at Lackland Air Force Base
  • 47 weeks of Russian Language at Lackland Air Force Base
  • I forget how many weeks at Goodfellow Air Base (Crystal Confectionery 5 for 1 happy hours)
  • 3 weeks of leave in Indiana during the COLDEST FREAKIN winter of the century
I was finally winging my way to my first duty station: Berlin, Germany.

When the plane finally took off from La Guardia to Frankfurt, back in the days when they gave you real food, allowed you to use real knives and forks, and you could smoke, I looked forward to my first international flight meal.

To this day, I have no recollection (and I was totally sober during the flight) of the meal after the salad because of the horrible international incident I nearly caused.

The salad had cherry tomatoes.  I love cherry tomatoes.  I especially love to pop them whole into my mouth and bite down, causing them to explode in your mouth.  I love that.

Since I was on an international flight, and because biting cherry tomatoes so they explode in your mouth seemed so kid-like, I wanted to be all international and worldly, so I poked a cherry tomato with a fork and proceeded to bite one end... like all world travelers and high society people do.

The only problem was that instead of exploding harmlessly in my mouth (had I been kid-like) this tomato exploded out the other end like a bomb, showering the woman in front of me right in the hair with such force that I thought she would be knocked unconscious.  Lucky for her, she was sporting one of the largest bouffant hairdos I have ever seen (until the creation of Marge Simpson), which probably saved her life and spared her from feeling the assault from behind.
I glanced around frantically, thankful that nobody else had seen what just had happened, but then a wave of guilt came over me and I really wanted to let her know that she had the guts of a cherry tomato imbedded and slowly oozing off the back of her head.  When I heard her speaking German to her seat mate, I knew there was just no way I could pantomime the event, and to make matters worse, I started giggling uncontrollably. 

That happens to me when something really serious happens (not serious life threatening serious, I'm really good at staying calm and rational during those things), but if something non-life threatening happens that's serious... I laugh.  I'm pretty sure if I tried to explain it while laughing, there would be all sorts of horrible national implications and I'd end up starting some kind of war. 

I opted to stay quiet about the whole thing, and then spent the rest of the flight transfixed by the goo in her hair.

This is how I saved the world from certain annihilation.

6 comments:

Cassandra Vale said...

my sympathies are soooooo with you I suffer from a syndrome which is abbreviated to ILATWT

or as as sufferers know it "Inappropriate Laughter At The Wrong Time...."

I cannot even count the days someone has entered my office (and a friend who was similarly afflicted accompanying me) to be told solemnly that some office person we all knew has died. Suddenly. And in most cases in a bizarre fashion. Which adds to our discomfort.

Friend and I, do all the solemn stuff, enquire about funeral details et al. But somewhere, dear Lord forgive us both, laughter is bubbling up, like a spring which has not been discovered, but god, does it bubble. And it bubbles hysterically in the end.

So much, both my friend and are, are known for years later by my other friend, as the heartless bitches who laughed at her misfortune years ago. xx You can never win.............!

Cassandra Vale said...

my sympathies are soooooo with you I suffer from a syndrome which is abbreviated to ILATWT

or as as sufferers know it "Inappropriate Laughter At The Wrong Time...."

I cannot even count the days someone has entered my office (and a friend who was similarly afflicted accompanying me) to be told solemnly that some office person we all knew has died. Suddenly. And in most cases in a bizarre fashion. Which adds to our discomfort.

Friend and I, do all the solemn stuff, enquire about funeral details et al. But somewhere, dear Lord forgive us both, laughter is bubbling up, like a spring which has not been discovered, but god, does it bubble. And it bubbles hysterically in the end.

So much, both my friend and are, are known for years later by my other friend, as the heartless bitches who laughed at her misfortune years ago. xx You can never win.............!

Anonymous said...

sorry no idea why it posted twice.

Lynn said...

Wonderful story! May I ask when you were at Goodfellow? My hubby attended ASU in the late 70s. I asked if he remembered Crystal Confectionery; he said, "Some club." LOL

The Thundering Herd said...

Having eaten many a meal in my square foot of real estate on an airplane, I howled at the thought of squirting tomato into Marge Simpson's hairdo. Thank you for the visual.

Huffle Mawson said...

I'm going to try this one day... and since I occasionally get to sit up the pointy end with the snooty people, it will be even better.