high flying bird

in a word, oops.

somebody apparently forgot to tell people in manhattan and jersey city that the defense department was flying some big-ass birds for a photo op yesterday.  two f-16 fighters flew the low circuit around parts of new york and new jersey and scared the bejesus out of thousands, who feared a repeat of 9/11. the birds had flown in the grand canyon for a photo-op; now, some brilliant person wanted them filmed in the famous cavern of hell.

and no, i’m not making this up.

i can identify with these terrified people. see, i live in the flight path of national airport. i also live near both the pentagon AND, for the terrifying trifecta win, arlington national cemetary (our county motto: welcome to arlington: america’s graveyard!) we lived through our own local installment of terror on 9/11; and while we didn’t experience the  twin towers’ scope of damage, ye olde pentagon certainly had seen much better days.

(by the way, i write with only a microscopic scintilla of sadly-twinged gest: a friend’s wife was on the plane that hit the pentagon. so yes, it’s real. really, r e a l l y, real.)

and now, whenever some muckety-muck dies and wants to be buried among the gazillion, the proud, the dead military people, arlington cemetary presses the big guns into service.  over my neighborhood, we get fighter planes, we get scary planes — hell, one day, a B52 bomber shook my house’s foundations as it flew over to honor some very important soldier. (i wonder sometimes whether the raccoons in the nearby woods have some sort of post traumatic stress disorder because of it.) when we’re lucky, we get notice from the county that there will be some aircraft overhead that aren’t the usual jumbo jets winging to DCA.

and then, there are days like last thursday. i was out on a run (which should probably more accurately be termed as a run-walk, now that i’m the mom with the bionic knee… if only i could get the sound effects that go along with it!) when suddenly, there, in the sky… it’s a bird… it’s a plane… its THREE FIGHTER JETS IN FORMATION OVER MY STREET!

no one sent me the memo. my email, my cell phone, all devoid of info. shit! are we under attack??? well, nothing gets my ass zipping like the thought of the impending apocalypse. (if the four horsemen are going to be riding by, you bet my last moments won’t be spent jogging for my cardio enjoyment.) i flew, speedy-quick, into my house. i didn’t see anything on the computer monitor. so i did the next best thing:

i called BS.

(because, of course, my beloved spouse is the font of all information.)

honey, i cried, sweat pouring into the tiny holes of the cordless phone, i just saw… huff puff… three fighter jets over the neighborhood… puff huff… is there anything on the net about this? :breath breath breath breath: (because, of course, BS is always online; and when the revolution comes, it will be televised, but not after it’s been Facebooked, Tweeted, and probably even Flickr’d as well.)

i was still panting when i heard my beloved spouse’s annoyed tone. you know, if we’re under attack, they won’t be flying in formation.

uh. yeah. i knew that.

but apparently, what we had here was a failure to communicate. the DoD. forgetting to get the word out.

talk about your shock and awe.


3 Responses to “high flying bird”

  1. I would have booked it home too, formation or not. He could point out the obvious because he was not in imminent danger!

    I used to live in the flight path to our county airport. The airport that has a huge airshow every spring. The airshow that the Air Force Academy likes to show up for since it’s just up the road. Yeah, blue angels are awesome – unless they’re flying over your house.

  2. Scary stuff, for sure. Even if you live in an area where some of this stuff is the norm, it’s still unsettling. Our summer cottage is near a military training camp. We know that. But it still scares the hell out of us when a huge BOOM rocks the stillness of the forest or soldiers in camos come bounding out of the deep woods unexpectedly.

  3. I will never forget the evening of Sept. 12th – they still hadn’t let commercial planes up, and as I was walking in front of my house with my eldest, a military jet came right up the street, no more than 400 feet off the ground, and as slow as I think it could be going while still staying aloft. I’m an Air Force brat, and I’ve seen a LOT of planes; that was still one of the most disconcerting moments I can recall.

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