Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Gentleman's Agreement

Last weekend we visited the RC Airfield. You don't know what I'm talking about? You are seriously missing out . . . or not. My husband and kids have been several times, but this was my first time. I guess I was an RC Airfield virgin, if you will. This airfield is where grown men gather to fly their remote control airplanes and helicopters.

Rhett, who has a love pretty much for anything that I think is lame, loves the RC Airfield. So we packed the kids up, called an equally lame couple (the husband is equally lame, I should clarify, the wife is lovely. So much like me!) and went to take in the sights and sounds of RC heaven.

I was, of course, surprised there was even an airfield for this kind of stuff, but it was pretty clear when we pulled up that there was some pretty heavy demand. There were at least fifteen people in the "staging pavilion" waiting for their turn on the field. Also, don't try to go yourself and fly some knock-off, cheap AirHog just to hang with the crowd. You have to be a card-carrying member of the RC Airdorks to get on the field. Oh, I mean RC Pilots of America (or something like that).

Because I'm friendly (obnoxious), I started asking one of the "pilots" some questions.

"Is it expensive?" Oh, no. See these rotors? They are only $12 apiece. And you usually only break these when you crash. Unless of course, you bend the axle. That's going to be a little more costly.

"Is it 'dangerous' (smirk to self) to fly in high wind conditions?" Not so much with the helicopters. I mean, of course, they'll drift in the wind, but because the rotors are going blah, blah, blah, the air pressure is blah, blah, blah, and so blah, blah, blah. (Whenever I say blah, blah, blah, just insert a bunch of numbers and physics-type talk. And just tune out. Then you'll get my real experience.) Now with a plane, that's totally different. In fact, that's why there're not that many planes out today, because when they go up the wind presses blah, blah, blah, and then it makes the plane blah, blah, blah.

"Did you crash a lot at first?" Oh, yes. Everyone crashes. But now they have simulators so that you can learn to hover first and then take off and land and do all that stuff without actually crashing your 'copter. (I don't think he actually said 'copter, but goodness, I've got to spice this up somehow!) Also, you can put ping pong balls that have blah, blah, blah in them to help you steady yourself out when you're first learning.

Needless to say, I learned a lot.

My favorite moment of the whole trip, though, was when our RC-enthusiast friend (who actually knew enough to say, "So you're all electric, huh? I'm diesel myself.") asked if there was a specific time for helicopters and planes.

Oh, yes, the man nodded sagely, there's a little bit of a gentleman's agreement that Saturday from 9-2 is helicopter time.

I couldn't help shooting some dirty looks at the guys with airplanes. It was helicopter time. They were no gentlemen. They were cads.

I guess even the RC Airfield has its black sheep.


JustRandi said...

Oh, that is priceless! I guess anything you do has it's own little etiquette rules. I love that you knew just enough to shoot dirty looks!!

Carol said...

That sounds like a few hours your never getting back!! In future I'd send Rhett with the kids and have a good old nap instead!

Jen said...

I had Alex talk me through contractions by blathering about the electric vehicle he is building. It was so mind-numbing that it actually helped ease the pain!

The Rookie said...

Men: Technically adults. In actuality they are still awkward, 12-year-old little boys with more testosterone and body hair.

You are a good sport for joining Rhett.

Alice said...

Boys are weird. :)

My dad use to take my little sisters to a raceway every weekend where they raced remote control cars. And like Rhett's planes and 'copters, they weren't just any car. Luckily for me (or maybe unlucky?) I was in Jr. High and was WAY TOO cool to spend my Saturday night with them. :)

You are a good sport for sure.

Marie said...

Ha! Very funny, Heidi!

Matt, Karin, and Sienna said...

I'm assuming the swamp cake Valerie made was for Ivy. So cute! Did you help her eat the reptiles?

I love that you don't remember your anniversary. They aren't big events around here either.


Leenie said...

My husband is into RC. You have no notion of the extent that some of these people go to. Relationships have been ruined because the man would not give up his VERY expensive love of planes and all things remote control. My hubby does his RC forums for hours on end sometimes. Its really quite comical. And its amazing the amount of money some guys throw into those things.

PS. LOVE your blog!

Heather said...

Ha! This one time, when I was a case manager for people with mental illness, I had a client who was quite obsessed with said planes. His planes came to be mine, which sounds like I stole them, but no....long story. They (like three planes falling apart) sold for 50 big ones at my garage sale. I have no idea if that was a good deal or a rip off. I have no idea....