The Great Explosion

November 12, 2010

in Passenger Stories

Those of us who traveled in the early to mid-1990s remember the ranch being given away on the frequent flyer programs.  One could actually MAKE points by flying first class on Delta – the upgrade cost was paid back greater with bonus points for BEING THERE.  Costs of a free flight were also less, relatively speaking, than today’s plans.  Due to this, my fellow co-workers and I used to go for maximum points.

First off, this story is hearsay; accordingly, some of the details may be slightly off.  I was not present as my work assignment to San Angelo, Texas, was shifted to Atlanta that one 1993 week.  This story, and I feel it must be smelled, er told, occurred through the eyes of a great friend and coworker, “Robby.”

To give some brief background, Robby was the MASTER at spending either the most time (if it was worth it) flying, or the least amount of time (if it was worth it) working over the airlines.  He once pulled off the envious “DOUBLE” by voluntarily giving up his seat on a Delta flight (earning a free personal flight later) and then quickly jumping on a waiting American flight and BEATING US HOME (as American was a direct flight).  Damn, I am still mad at Robby for his achievements that day, and I heard later he renamed the Double to be the “FU.”

Robby decided on this one fine weekend in our second year (we were still newbies) to go for the “QUAD” to San Angelo; few had tried it and one had actually gotten in trouble doing it as he missed a flight.  The quad is when you go from TAMPA to ORLANDO (1 leg of frequent flyer points), then on to ATLANTA (2), then to DALLAS (3), and finally on to SAN ANGELO (4).  Again, back then (not sure how it works now) you could get max “juice” for such a move (earning free travel very quickly), and if you upgraded to first class, you made TROPICANA proud – er, for full juice… ha ha; right, bad; right, let’s move on.

The problem with BLOWING your entire Sunday pulling off a quad is that not only are you bored but you must eat less than standard foods.  Robby was not one of the better eaters in the company but he could hang.  Only our shared manager could top us.  I will call him Kenny (and hopefully he doesn’t like the blogs too much).  Now, Kenny occasionally would pull a triple but never could do the quad as his wife would kill him.  Us worker bees were all single, young workers in this era.

Robby and Kenny met in Dallas at the HUB – the cul-de-sac where all the TINY planes are parked (for small towns).  You see, San Angelo, despite having the best and most numerous food establishments per capita, was a smalllll town.  You flew forever over dust and small ugly trees (not everything in TX is big) until you landed.  On these small planes, one had a lot of turbulence (and flatulence).  This particular flight was on the DELTA CONNECTION’s ASA prop jobber (never mind that I once threw up in their corporate offices there, different story for a different time) plane that sat approx 11 folks… very small, with a curtain separating you from the young pilots.

NO BATHROOMs; ok, you know where this is going.  (1) airport foods, (2) no bathroom, (3) free from wife to drink a little.

Robby had first noticed Kenny had a small issue as he hit the bathroom twice before they set out on the windblown tarmac to enter the small plane.  Kenny had apparently sampled some new foods; originally from Texas, where they only eat steak and steak (ok, TexMex too), he tried some of that “foreign cuisine” earlier.

Off they went.

Sorry, I have to make a long story short here:

When it was discovered by a frightened Kenny that he, let’s say, “HAD TO GO,” the fellow ‘FEW’ passengers on this flight decided it would be embarrassing to ask the pilots what to do – there was no turning back.

It was then, when the plan was wrapped up for CONTAINMENT, that Kenny turned to Robby and said, “Son, I am your manager so you know what comes next.  We both know a barf bag can’t contain it all.”

Robby: “No sir, I DON’T.”

The one thing I remember from college statistics class is that you often have a few “outliers.”

Kenny: “Hand it over.”

Robby: “Hand WHAT over?”

Kenny: “Your briefcase, F***er.”

To help the visual, you must understand we used those seriously OLD SKOOL accountant cases (huge) – they look similar to old doctor’s bags.

Robby: “Damn, Ken.”

Well, not to state the obvious but the passengers moved FORWARD (i.e. a few rows forward) on this tiny plane.

The Explosion that occurred next remains COMPANY LORE to this day.

– Paul

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

paul November 13, 2010 at 8:11 am

Why did you even write this story?

Obviously you have too much time on your hands.


Peace Lover November 13, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I'm sorry but I don't understand.


karl November 14, 2010 at 1:13 am

Why did you write this mambo jumbo? Bored because no one wants to date you?


rerere November 14, 2010 at 4:55 am



Clare November 14, 2010 at 10:47 am



Chris November 15, 2010 at 3:12 am

Well, that is 4 minutes of my life that I won't get back. I should have stopped when I read, "FIRST, this story is hearsay…."


Jingles November 15, 2010 at 3:58 am

Way too much information


au over ga November 15, 2010 at 5:25 am

Four? Kinda slow, eh? Must be Canadian.


JonJon November 15, 2010 at 6:34 am

ZZZZZZZZZZZZ…. 1993 are you kidding me !!!??????????????


Jodi November 15, 2010 at 7:11 am

Um.. okay.. well I thought I was bored until I read that and found out what true boredom is…


paul November 15, 2010 at 7:20 am

Jon/Jon: "Mr. Dangerfield, I don't get the humor here."

Rodney: "Ask your, ah, 'friend'; you are holding up the show."

Jon/Jon: "One more question: what does your reference to 1993 have to do with the story?"

Rodney: "It doesn't."

Jon/Jon: "I am confused."

Rodney: "Bar Maid, get this young man in the cute sweater a beer on me."

Jon/Jon: "I am bored."

Rodney: "Bar Maid, get this young in the cute sweater a beer in a cup to go."


ElegantErica November 16, 2010 at 4:19 am



JonJon November 16, 2010 at 5:46 am

Poor Paul, I will answer you back

There is no humour at least that I can read in my reply.

Read your own story "was shifted to Atlanta that one 1993 week."

Seventeeen years ago – nice zzzzzzzz OMG I falling a sleep again.

I somehow do not think it take much for you to become confused or bored.

Everyone move on LOL that's a little hunor. Bye Paul


WellTraveled August 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm

I'm sorry what is this supposed to be about? I wasted 30 seconds of my life Paul. GIVE THEM BACK IN A. FREE FLIGHT


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