You say you want a story? A true-life story, an end-of-the-road type story?
—Yeah, yeah, that kind.
A what’s-important story?
—You got a story or not?
Alright, alright, keep your shirt on. I’m thinking, ok? Ok.
Ok. I’ve got it. Here’s your story. So my grandfather used to fly planes during WWII.
Yeah, you know those things in the sky?
He was a test pilot. And one day, he was supposed to test fly this one plane, only for some reason his emergency pack wasn’t complete. See, they were supposed to carry a bar of emergency chocolate, and his pack had no chocolate. Yeah, I know, right? They had emergency chocolate! Smart brass, eh?
So my grandfather’s missing his chocolate.
No, I don’t know what happened to it—maybe he ate it one night when the mess hall had fiber fish for dinner. Maybe it melted in the Georgia sun. Maybe the rats got it, or the cockroaches carried it away. Who knows? That part’s not important to the story. For whatever reason, his pack had no chocolate.
So what did Grampy do? Well, he had two choices. One, fly the plane anyway, and risk getting written up for testing a plane without a complete pack.
—Not so good.
No, not so good. Or, he could simply get a replacement bar of emergency chocolate.
—I’d go for the chocolate, myself.
That’s exactly what he did. So the replacement bar of chocolate is across the base, and Grampy runs for it. The guys are waiting for him, checking their watches, checking the schedule. Come on, Sam, they say under their breath. Hurry up!
But there’s no Sam.
The minutes tick by. No Sam.
They prep the planes for flight. No Sam.
Five full minutes pass, and the other test pilots are sweating, there in the hot Georgia sun. “Go get Remus!” one of them says, disgusted that Sam’s not back yet.
Remus obliges. He’s got a full pack, complete with regulation chocolate. Sam will have to wait for the next group of planes. Remus will take Sam’s plane.
So Remus goes up.
And his plane goes down.
And Grampy not only had his emergency bar of chocolate, he had his life.