Ricky Harpole 12/18/12

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Peanut butter fix saves Nick and Elves at Moccasin Bend

As a pilot in my misspent youth, I was a watcher of the midnight sky. (Especially on December 24, a habit I developed as a child).

I am a firm believer in jolly old elves who work 364 days a year and using reindeer power to deliver to the deserving. That being said, I’ve a seasonal experience to relate.

Dateline:  24 Dec.

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I was watch commander and air traffic controller at the Moccasin Bend Tick and Chigger Emporium Airfield which is basically a Bush-Hogged cotton field, when I got a mayday call.

“Mayday-Mayday. My coordinates are relative to Moccasin Bend, we are losing altitude with myself, five Elvish souls and a priority cargo. Please respond.”

“What is your flight plan and who is your navigator?” I responded, while I was turning on the runway lights. That involved positioning six four-wheelers in the Bush-Hogged cotton field and turning on the redneck GPS which is a bonfire built with old car tires and diesel fuel.

I spotted him coming in on the southern approach via redneck radar which was red tick hounds and one Mexican jackass, all a ‘barkin’ and brayin’ and looking toward the north forty.

“We have you visual and you’re cleared to land. Try to avoid crashing into the runway lights if you can. They’re for the most part uninsured and some of them are loaded with aviation fuel.
“As for the priority cargo, the only security we can provide is a rusty shotgun and a pack of dogs. The only real security is the ani-mule. He kicks and bites; the dogs just bark and run under the house and keep on barking til you shoot something. (We lost a lot of dogs that way).”

He was breaking up a little and probably having trouble with the controls ‘cause the approach was shaky and landing rough but he made it intact, cargo and all, and said, “We have a problem. The elves can’t fix it and we’re in a fix. It seems that all these text messages for last-minute presents are interfering with our new Rudolph Navigation System and have corrupted it.”

I did the only thing I could think of to do. I texted the local John Deere field mechanic and asked him if he knew or had access to information on a model 324-A reindeer-powered sleigh.

“In all honesty I’ll need to inspect and analyze the equipment. Will I need a security clearance?” he asked.

I didn’t know the rules for an internationally-licensed aircraft, so I lied and said, “No.”

It turned out that the text system was interfering with Rudolph’s nose. We tried numerous solutions to block signals with no luck until the technician said, “Duct tape nor baling wire, nor cuss words, have worked. We’ll have to go to the ultimate cure: peanut butter.”

Never disagree with an expert, especially one who can fix a John Deere tractor or sleigh.

The problem, he said, was “The navigator’s nose is being interfered with. We’ll have to go to Case International to get their patented peanut butter recipe to fix the problem.”

To make a long story longer, peanut butter is a cure-all.“Smear the peanut butter on the interface of the nose and it will block the texts,” he said. “The peanut butter will keep your navigator straight. Nick and the Elves will keep the tradition.”

Merry Christmas.

Ricky Harpole

P.S. Nick said don’t bother with the milk and cookies. They just make him sleepy.

(Contact Harpole at www.facebook.com/harpolive or www.colespointrecords.com)