My guess is, for ALL
of us, our most embaressing moment will come infront of a memeber of the opposite sex (or, around here, possibly the same sex)
Mine was last summer. I was working as a banner tow pilot living in a resort town. The guy that did most of the work in our shop, Joe, actually took the job because he was bored with retirement and wanted something to do. And since we spend a great deal of time in the shop as well, we were all good friends.
Well, one day his brother came out on a weekend, along with his 3 daughters, all who were 19-25 and Joe made it clear that they were also single. Well, we're all playing it off as no big deal; we're just doing our job, as they look at our airplanes and ask questions, and express their disbelief that we'd actually strap our sorry asses into these wrecks.
Well, I'm off #4 for the morning. We head out, and start our planes. Mind you, we have what is known as the "Armstrong starter" because it makes your arm strong hand propping your airplane 2 or 3 times a day.
Everybody goes out and starts their plane right away, 3rd or 4th time. Execept of course, me. Me, I'm out there for 10 freakin' minutes trying to start the damned thing, and finally, someone else comes over and helps me (at which point it fires on the first compression stroke). When, unbeknownst to me, the lock nut on my tow hook retraction reel has slipped, and my tow hook has fallen down and is dragging on the ground, visible to all.
We takeoff one at a time and swing back to grab our banners (a banner is picked up off the ground by diving at the ground at a steep angle and high speed followed by a sharp pullout at 5 feet AGL and a zoom climb to 300'). Now, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I was pretty darned good at grabbing it at the first swing; around 90% of the time I'd get it without needing a second swipe at it. This morning EVERYBODY gets their banner on the first time throught the poles, except of course, you guessed it?
Now, all of this would be just written off to making an fool of myself on my bad day, right? Except, a month later we're over at Joe's for a fish fry. And his nieces are there. Introductions are going around, and when it gets to me, they remember me.
! You're the one that couldn't start his airplane, right? And then took off with his hook dragging? And missed the pickup?"
-sigh- My ONE off day, and it HAD to be that.
Oh well, I'm drunk now, depressed about women, and counting down the days till I'm back out there.
To summer on the Jersey Shore! [CHEERS!]