She’s So Fine

I have been fined once too often and I’m going to sit here in my big, comfortable, manly, black leather poppa chair in my living room and complain bitterly to you about it. My Lady Wonder Wench came back from the supermarket today, looking totally exhausted and upset. I said, “Are you ok?” And she said, “I’m fine.” No. She wasn’t fine. I have seen her when she is fine, and she doesn’t look like that when she’s fine. She looks so very fine when she is fine. What is it with that “fine line.” It’s like we’ve taken the words, “Hi, how are you ? I’m fine” and turned it into one word. “HihowareyouI’mfine.” The person asking you how you are doesn’t really want to know 90% of the time, and you’re not fine 89% of the time. Why don’t we say what we really mean? Hi, what’s your problem. I feel like throwing up.

“Have a nice day”…95% of the time the person who says that to you really means “I’m through with you so go away.” “He misspoke.” No. He lied. “This is a Pre-Owned car.” That means some guy got tired of being nickel and dimed to death with this heap of junk, and I’d like to sell it to you. And I’ll never forget the great George Carlin bit about how we lose the real meaning of a statement by using fancy words. He said, “During World War One, we had a simple and exact description for people who’s emotions were shattered by the devastation of battle. We called it Shell Shock. Shell Shock was a tough, hideous, and accurately nasty description. Now, when somebody’s emotions are destroyed by war we call it by a totally meaningless, completely sanitary and oh so politically correct term. We call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  

I fly a small airplane. One of the joys of flying a plane here in the northeast corridor is that we use very clear words with air traffic control. When an ATC guy says, “No delay, immediate right turn to three six zero degrees!” that gets your attention. That happened to me the other day. So I flicked the auto pilot off… and turned that control wheel over hard… and I watched the compass spin up till we were at about 345 degrees…then I eased her the rest of the way till it said N for north…just like the man said. A moment later a big jet flashed by pretty close to where I would have been if the controller hadn’t called the turn. I flicked the mike and said “thanks.” And believe me, I meant it. Pilots around here call that a “Linda Rondstadt” because Linda had a big hit called “Blue Bayou”…as in “that jet just blew by you.” I flicked the auto pilot back on to catch my breath for a moment and I realized… I was looking at an “N word.” There’s no 360 degrees on an airplane compass. Just the letter N. It means North. That’s one of flyings more important N words.

If you are easily shocked, stop reading this right now. Because what I’m about to say will get some of you very angry with me. But I’ve got to say it. There are lots of “N words”…which means there is no such thing as “THE N word.” I hate it when Brian Williams is discussing some really serious race relations story, by saying “So and so said ‘The N word.” Some idiot long ago couldn’t spell the word “Niger”, so we got the word “nigger”… which became a word other idiots have used to describe people with brown and black skin…like Cecelia, the beautiful and priceless newest member of my family. Actually Cecelia has been watching a video of the story called Rapunzil, and she wants to be called Princess Cecelia these days. And Grandma Lady Wonder Wench enthusiastically encourages that.

Let’s get real. “The N word” doesn’t mean anything. Say what you mean. “Nigger” is a word that cuts. It’s the result of a stupid guy who couldn’t spell, it’s outrageously disrespectful, and it hurts. And that means something…it tells you something…something ugly… something that won’t go away if you stick your head in the sand. So deal with it. It hurts. The phrase “The N word” doesn’t hurt… because there IS no such thing as “THE… N WORD.” It has no real meaning.

There’s a dictionary full of “N words.” How about Nice, Nude, Naked (I like that one), Nabob, Naah, Nana, Nail, Native, Nose…etc. There is no marking on my airplane compass for 360 degrees. There’s just the letter N. It means North. When that jet was bearing down on my little plane, the controller said “turn north.” That meant something. If he had said “turn to the N word”… the only response I’d have had is…”HUH?” “Do you want me to turn naked nicely like a nabob with a nana who has long nails…naaah, that can’t be… do you want me to fly my plane up your nose?” By the time I got if figured out, I’d have been toasting marshmallows on the jet guy’s after burner.

And while we’re at it, there is no such thing as an “African American,” any more than there is a “European American.” “African American” means absolutely nothing. You African? Okay. You European? Okay. You American? Also okay. Africa is a continent. America is a continent. Europe is a continent. Three different continents.  Lots of water in between.

Let’s get a grip. When that controller called the traffic, I put both hands on that control wheel and put some muscle into that bank…fast. It happened, as they say, with “no delay.” The lesson ? Let’s cut the silly stuff that doesn’t mean anything…now. We’ve got important things to worry about in this country. Let it be the exclusive concern of our very capable American Association of Interior Decorators to worry about how and if brown, black, white, pink, yellow and red can work together…. what do you care? Get up off your black, brown white, pink, yellow or red fannies and get a grip on the things that count. And DO something about them.

Watch the news reports, including the ones from the BBC and other foreign sources so you know what other people are really saying about us…read the paper…learn what’s going on…make a note of which politicians don’t really answer the tough questions…tell your friends who they are, then vote them out of office. Raise hell on talk radio, and write e-mails to the politicians… and demand an answer from them by phone if they ignore you. Know what’s really going on…THINK.

And whatever you do, please remember this quote. It’s from Adolph Hitler…and these are his exact words: “How fortunate for those of us who rule, that the people don’t think.” SO THINK. THEN get up off your multi-colored butts and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

1-   What’s an instant way to make a man cry like a baby?

2-   What was the connection between ladies corsets and warships in World War 2?

3-   What late finding has the leaders of the Woman’s Movement cheering?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

While we’re talking about language that means something, a sense of humor couldn’t hurt. The thing the papers call a “near miss” is really a “near hit.” If it were a “near miss,” it would be a collision. That’s why pilots call it a “Linda Rondstadt.” As in “Blue Bayou”…as in “that jet just blew by you

A little courtesy couldn’t hurt either. The Air Traffic Control system is highly professional and absolutely courteous. Pilots and Controllers address each other as “Sir” or “Maam.” We trust each other with life and death decisions that have to be made in an instant. There’s no time to waste. But courtesy isn’t considered a waste of time. Courtesy is probably the one part of growing up that doesn’t hurt.

There’s a story about growing up in the lovin touch Personal Audio CD. It has to do with how my Lady Wonder Wench makes me feel powerful, because she lets me make her feel beautiful. That’s also how she made me get over feeling like I’m getting old, without actually having to grow up…and mature…at least not completely.  

If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just check out the lovin touch icon on the home page.

We have a number of pilots who are Proud Podcast Participants, and at least two (ex) Air Traffic Controllers. While I’m trying to be clear about things, on behalf of all of pilots and our passengers, let me take this opportunity to say “thanks” to Paul and Eric and all their brother and sister Air Traffic Controllers for looking out for us. You guys are the best.

Well…I mean Hark…I’ve had a fine time getting this off my chest and plopping it on your shoulders. And now it’s time to go and see to it that my Lady Wonder Wench really does feel….Fine. Soo Fine. I like doing that.

2 Responses to “She’s So Fine”

  1. Ellen Ferranti says:

    Cheers to Air Traffic Controllers! My late stepfather was one for years in New York & Miami.
    I like words ; But that one should never be used.

  2. Betsy says:

    Dick, I was brought up in a house where you never used that word and I don’t, but I know exactly what you’re saying and totally agree. Paula Dean’s empire crumbling down because she said she used that word in the past is total madness, a reporter who gets in trouble for using the word niggardly which means something totally different is madness. I think all the PC regarding a word causes more division. And close to this topic, why do people identify as black if they are over 50% white? Isn’t that going back to the thought that if you have one drop of black blood you’re “tainted”? As for the term African American, you’re right on there too. I have a friend who is Haitian and she doesn’t like being called African American. As for LWW, I hope she is now feeling oh soooo fine. 🙂