So here I sit, $1000 poorer than I was during a fateful February morning where I retardedly forgot that the quote by Hemmingway to “always do sober what you said you do drunk,” is the worst advice given since Mark Anthony told Julius Cesar he’d be fine going to the senate all by himself.
Okay no one stabbed me and to the best of my knowledge my wife isn’t contemplating starting a household civil war (best to be vigilant though!) I’m none-the-less still an idiot.
Sometime around 1991 or so a young captain in the U.S. Army talked me into pursuing a career as a helicopter pilot. Besides that fact that I’m sure the Army has some pretty strict regulations about spilling beer in their helicopter and you can’t smoke while flying I know now I would have sucked at, or at least hated, being a pilot. In my mind they were basically glorified bus drivers once I really thought about it. I had a cool job as an Army journalist, one day I got to play with the infantry, the next with tankers, the next with artillery … you get the point.
The real point is that I didn’t have any interest at all in becoming a pilot. Take off, fly around in little fart circles, land. Yawn. Literally I yawned typing that.
With that knowledge can any of you tell me why I thought buying that god damned toy helicopter that ‘claims’ to just cost $300 was a good idea?
Trouble started when I tried to mount a go-Pro camera on the damned thing and caused a crash of epic proportions breaking a gear and bending a shaft in the process. Then some asshole on the internet added further insult to my injury by pointing out that I was an idiot for mounting anything on what is essentially a toy.
Fine mister internet forum smart guy … you were right, I was wrong. Dick.
So off to the Ar.Parrot drone online “we’ knew you suckers would be back buying something sooner or later” store I went to buy a package of gears and shafts.
Next up the forward camera, after being introduced at high speed to a wall (or tree or bush or lord knows what) decided to break off. Back to the on-line store for a new body structure because the only way to fix a broken forward facing camera is a new ‘body structure’ and you’re basically $80 poorer for the knowledge.
Some point before the new body structure arrived (but the retarded money pit was still flyable, just no damned camera) one of the four motors sent an encoded message back to ar.drone.com headquarters that said, “watch me fuck with this drunk idiot, this is going to be a hoot.” Basically one motor wasn’t playing nice with all the other motors. This drove me insane because it didn’t seem to be a motor problem at all. These facts coupled with the fact that I have the mechanical aptitude of a monkey that’s addicted to meth made figuring out that little gem out — super-fun time.
A pack of two motors later, either because I figured if it can happen once it will happen again so order two or because they came in two packs (I don’t remember which it was), I’m starting to add shit up in my head. Helicopter, $300. Rotors and pins, $20, new body structure $80, Motor 2-pack $160. Jesus fuck this … hobby is the wrong word … ‘retarded decision’ is getting expensive.
Then because the U.S. postal service is basically conspiring to fuck me the main body and the motors arrived but revealed to me that a special screw driver was needed to install them. Ha-ha, I thought, screw you helicopter I know a full blown race car driver who has like ‘MAD tools.’ I’ll just show the screw to Ray Coley, he’ll have the tool for the job cause ‘have no fear, Ray Coley is here.”
Fourteen-million tries later Ray gave up and took me to a shop near the place we have beer-30 at and 20 euro later I had the tool in hand. Ray commented that I had been looking visibly depressed before finally finding the tool.
He was of course correct, I was thinking of suicide. Not my own, hell no I love
me too much. I was thinking of the helicopter’s suicide and that if it ever flew again how beautiful it would be to shoot it with a shotgun. Maybe that’s murder though, I don’t know, I’ll leave that decision to history.
With the proper tool in hand I set to work. The weather was nice, the sun was out and I spent hours in the garage, carefully disassembling and then reassembling, with the new parts, the goddamn nightmare of a helicopter.
Finally with new body assembly attached and broken motor replaced I fired up the iPad and … what the fuck, no firmware. Seems replacing a tiny motor, leaving the thing without any power for weeks and/or I should have never bought a remote control helicopter in the first place, fucks up the firmware.
Firmware reinstalled the helicopter lifted off and flew around room smartly with me at the controls expertly … okay it took off to about half a foot before immediately committing an apparently suicidal back flip without any input from me at all.
Every. Single. Time.
Up 6 inches followed by a suicidal flip over thingy. The helicopter hates me, or itself. Maybe both.
I should add to this, even though it won’t make any sense, I’m also a black marketer. I’m as good a black marketer as I am a remote control helicopter pilot in that I’m pretty sure my black marketing, this particular mistake aside, cost me money rather than made me money. It would be hysterical if one of you would notify the German government of my crime so that I can pay a hefty fine … a hefty fine seems appropriate.
What the hell is this drunken idiot talking about, I can hear you asking. Some of you are hitting the unsubscribe button and the guy considering offering me a book deal is likely crying right now. I’m not drunk, don’t unsubscribe and look dude I still think “fear and loathing, now with beer” is a perfectly acceptable book title.
In other words, let me explain.
Somehow when Alex, visiting with Maggie, in February talked me into ordering the Ar.Drone Parrot money synch 2.0 I not only ordered the helicopter but I also put another one in my shopping cart at Amazon without realizing it.*
Fast forward to May when Dagmar’s German friend asked us to order a ‘shit-ton’ of barbeque equipment for her husband/boyfriend/dude she lives with/whatever I, like the obedient husband I am dutifully set about ordering all of it on Amazon, cause fuck German Value Added Tax and BBQ is good!
So, looking behind me to make sure no German custom’s agents were watching (they weren’t but the cat was – never trust the cat) I hit check out never realizing that a second Ar.Drone helicopter was in the cart.
Thus during my doom and despair phase, after the firmware had been updated, but while the helicopter was still doing retarded back flips shortly after takeoff, a brand new – never been flown into a wall at high speed helicopter arrived. Dagmar was very supportive. While she said, “What the fucking, fuck! A second helicopter? Are you fucking insane.” I knew she meant, “Todd I’m so happy you’ve solved your helicopter problem. A second purchase of $300 is small price to pay for your piece of mind, go my love – go fly.”
And I did, straight into a tree so high that I had to ask the landlord for help getting my toy helicopter out.
* Drinking can not only leads to unplanned pregnancies, herpes and surprise appearances on Girls Gone Wild but it can also lead to unwanted helicopters, that’s a pro-tip kids, write it down .