The Accidental Extremist is now online at www.theaccidentalextremist.com


Fly The Fiery Skies [Sulleysque]

Come fly away to exotic locales!

Come fly away to exotic locales!

[Here’s an amazing yarn from our first octogenarian contributor, Bob Nielson, age 86…we’re not worthy! —Ed.]

Back in 1960 the Toronto Star sent me to South Africa to report black-white violence.  I boarded an American Airlines 6-propeller plane in New York, which crossed the Atlantic and stopped briefly at a few East African cities while heading south.  I had a window seat over the right wing and saw the nearest engine catch fire, shooting flames 30 feet high.  Called the flight attendant who ran to the cabin.  Turned off, that engine glowed like a red-hot coal.  We were over the jungle with no place for an emergency landing…

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Spin Cycle [Love on the Road, Love on the Rocks]

 

I just feel so safe with you.

I just feel so safe with you.

On Valentine’s Day 1998 I decided to surprise my new boyfriend with what I imagined would be a romantic and unforgettable helicopter tour of the Mile High City. 

           It was on the way to the airport that I learned of his terrible fear of heights. What should have been an amorous 35-mile limo ride from Boulder to Denver became nothing short of a ledge-talking scenario, but I did my best to reassure him while he nervously chugged champagne from the bottle.

            Our pilot, a sweet man in his mid-50’s, assured us that he would give us a night we wouldn’t forget. As we ascended, I glanced furtively at my boyfriend only to notice his white knuckles clutching both knees. We circled downtown Denver for 30 minutes before our pilot took us west towards the lights of Golden and Central City. By the time we reached the foothills, we were met with winds so fierce that our pilot radioed to his supervisor to request permission to land at a nearby airport. No sooner had he done this than all of the lights went out in the cabin, the engine cut off, and we started to fall for what seemed like an eternity.

           I always thought if I were ever in an accident that I would be a screamer. But instead I was silent—we all were… Continue reading