I got lots of feedback that the last entry was just too damn long. Most of you were kind enough not to put it in those words exactly, and I thank you for that.

Flight training is going as well as could be expected – I start the simulator training tomorrow. That means that from 6 am till 2 pm for the next two weeks my Sim partner and I will be evaluated by superpilots to see how we handle the aircraft during various emergencies and other abnormal situations. Engine fire with ice on the wings, smoke in the cockpit, and a terrorist knocking on the door. Stuff like that. If I don’t screw it up, I’ll be taking my checkride on the 19th. Then I could be flying you and/or your family around. I don’t believe it, and neither should you. Wish me skill – I don’t believe in luck.

THE HOME INVASION ESCAPE PLAN – A story of losing one’s shit.

Shortly after Sara and I moved into or casa, we heard rumblings of bad juju going on in the neighborhood (with a capital ‘hood’). We live in a tiny slice of Disneyland surrounded on all sides by what the city of Atlanta euphamistically refers to as “Transitional areas”. Transitional means “fewer crack houses than this time last year, depending who you ask”. While there has never been a report of anything untoward happening in our wonderful little neighborhood to date, I procured a Ruger .357 revolver partly as insurance, and partly because there is something old west about having a revolver. Mostly because I don’t really know shit about guns and my dad said “This one is easy – pull the trigger until you hear a loud noise, and if you hit what you were aiming at, it will either be dead or slowed considerably. If you don’t hit it, keep pulling the trigger until someone dies.”

So Sara and I had a scenario-based talk about what we would do if we heard anyone breaking in. She sleeps like a corpse, but I sleep like an easily disturbed bird or small rodent at the bottom of the food chain. If the cat farts in the basement, I will wake up and skitter off into a corner, covering myself with laundry.

So I said “Here’s the deal- If I think someone is in the house, I will punch you in the face until you wake up, which I usually only do on your birthday. You will then open the door to the porch (right next to the bed), which will trigger the alarm if it hasn’t already been triggered. You will also grab your phone and start dialing 911. Go out the door and climb/drop down to the ground. Then go out in the street and start screaming like a crazy person and throwing rocks through people’s windows. Whatever. Get attention.”

Meanwhile, I will have grabbed the gun and stationed myself on your side of the bed, pointing at the doorway, ensuring you will get out. If anything casts a shadow through our bedroom door it will have several holes in it, depending on how many times I am able to reload and how wild my aim is. Once I hear you screaming in the street (and assuming I am not fighting bravely with said intruder), I will then holster my gun in the waistband of my crotchless tighty-whiteys and vault the railing, diveroll into the flowerbed, and join you safely in the street where we will both continue wailing.

Whoever is in the house can have whatever they want. I do not care.

Have you ever come home from work and found that something had fallen? Maybe that rack that hangs your pots and pans from the ceiling just crashed to the floor while you were gone? No? Your television detached itself from the wall and smashed on the hardwoods?

Probably not. Here’s the reason – and no one has ever been able to explain it – that shit only happens in the dead of night when the darkness makes the walls seem farther away than they are, and you can hear your own pulse in your ears.

4:32 am. I am sort of asleep, sort of awake. House is quiet, I’m staring at the ceiling pondering something profound that I can’t remember right now. And then a wall of shittering noise (the kind that makes you poop a little) assaults my earballs. Like someone has thrown a bowling ball through a plate glass window.

I do remember thinking for a split second “not very subtle…”

And at that exact moment, the whole “scenario based escape plan” bullshit evaporated into the fabric of space and time.

For some reason I will never be able to explain, my first instinct was not to arm myself and get the hell out, but rather this overwhelming urge to find the source of the noise which until just then I was sure had come from inside my skull, as my ears were ringing.

The following happened in less than a second –

I threw the covers off and vaulted out of bed, whisper screaming in an unnaturally high pitch, “WHAWAZZAT?!?”

Finding myself outside the bedroom door (never even a part of the escape plan), I grabbed the doorframe to stop my forward progress and spun back in, returning to the top of the stairs with a fistful of firearm. I know I was in full Seal Team 6 firing stance, with the veins pulsing in my arms, but Sara (who should have been outside the house by now according to our plan) assured me I had the gun behind my head like I was going to fling it at someone in a “very girlish” manner. She’s a liar.

As time started to catch up with me, I took a few steps down the stairs and then realized I was being stupid. Whoever is in the house is certainly not going to try to throw their gun at me, and can probably shoot better than I. I started back up the stairs and Sara said “Over here”, which scared me even more, causing me to do that cool back-to-the-wall-gun-pointed-up Jack Bauer move. Then I rolled across the hall longitudinally, pointing my gun at the bathroom door where the intruder was. Again, Sara insists that I set the gun on the banister, closed my eyes, and windmilled my arms as I marched down the hall, screaming “FISTS OF DEATH I WILL SCRATCH AND BITE YOU” or something.

Of course, she was in the middle of putting on some jeans (presumably in an effort to climb down the railing to the street like we had planned), and was standing in the hallway with one leg of her pants on, pointing at the base of the bathroom door, where I saw a few pieces of shiny metal peeking out.

Turns out when they built our house in 2003, the builder in all his penny pinching wisdom decided that the best way to affix a 40 lb. mirror to the wall above the sink would be to glue it up there with caulk. Over the years and through the temperature changes, the caulk dried out and pulled away, finally surrendering to gravity at 4:32 am.

We looked at the pile of broken glass. I would estimate if I had a penny for every piece of glass in the bathroom, I could have paid Oprah Winfrey to shut the fuck up forever, which has always been one of my dreams. We stood there, my arms gradually stopped windmilling…and we sort of did that thing you can only do when you don’t have kids – we looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and went back to bed.

She said “Could you imagine how much more this would have sucked if we had kids? ‘mommy…what was thaaaaAHAHHHHHHHHH! MY FEET ARE BLEEDING!!! OH SWEET DORA THE EXPLORER HOW MY FUCKING FEET BLEEDETH!!!'”

Neither Sara nor I are sure exactly how children express themselves. Only that it is loud and sticky. And causes respiratory infections.

So we got up a few hours later and cleaned up the glass. Then we went back over our escape plan for next time.

35 Responses to “If a bookcase collapses while you are at work, does it make any noise?”

  1. on 06 Jun 2011 at 2:18 pm Cassandra D

    A knight in shining….tighty whities. Way to go, champ.

  2. on 06 Jun 2011 at 2:27 pm Jenny

    Kids, when they are injured, don’t actually vocalize their discomfort but rather than squeal at a pitch high enough to shatter your eardrums. I think it’s an evolutionary thing because it alerts everyone within a mile radius that SOMETHING IS WRONG and you essentially disturb the force when it happens. It’s pretty terrible.

  3. on 06 Jun 2011 at 2:29 pm Jenny

    – than; kids were squealing because one of them fell out of the Pack n Play and it totally distracted me from what I was typing. Also, eardrums.

  4. on 06 Jun 2011 at 2:31 pm SeaD

    Dusty, when we only hear from you once or twice a year, there is no such thing as “too damn long.” Keep up the good work, keeping family safe from falling glass. Good skill to you! I would love having such a funny man fly me across the country. Let me know where I sign up for that trip.

  5. on 06 Jun 2011 at 2:31 pm davejase

    I was just trying to stifle the gut busting laughter (reading this at work) and actually farted. LOUD. TMI?

    Dusty, what aircraft are you training for in the sim?

  6. on 06 Jun 2011 at 2:44 pm Claire

    I think I’d rather read your wife’s version of events. Tell her to start blogging.

  7. on 06 Jun 2011 at 2:51 pm JC

    If anyone ever breaks into your house they’re after your gun. Or your smokin’ hot wine bottle chandelier.

  8. on 06 Jun 2011 at 2:54 pm Ross

    I can only assume by your ninja vault out of bed that the back’s feeling better these days.

    Also, your instructor wanted me to remind you to bring 50 feet of flight line and a pint of prop wash to the next sim session. They’re almost out.

  9. on 06 Jun 2011 at 3:03 pm Dusty

    I buy my propwash in bulk. Shipping is free with an order of relative bearing grease.

  10. on 06 Jun 2011 at 3:22 pm Nightmare

    2pm? Does that mean you will be talking to us on Black sky tomorrow afternoon at 5pm EST?

  11. on 06 Jun 2011 at 3:24 pm Allie

    Way to go there, tough guy.

    “…I could have paid Oprah Winfrey to shut the fuck up forever, which has always been one of my dreams.”

    Mine, too, brother. Mine too. Alas…

  12. on 06 Jun 2011 at 3:26 pm Nightmare

    Oh and you sound like a sissy. I bought my wife one of those .357 girly guns, and told her that in a bad case scenario, you point and pull the trigger until it starts making a clicking noise, but hopefully I will have rendered the assailant’s head a fine red paste by then with my.45. If you ever drag your ass to KC, I’ll play the showoff and make you want one! Glad that your knowledge of TV pistoleers did you justice for keeping the peace in the hood,

  13. on 06 Jun 2011 at 3:26 pm Ken JP Stuczynski

    Chapless undies + jumping into the flowerbed … was I the only one who picutred roses with huge thorns?

  14. on 06 Jun 2011 at 3:57 pm Gin

    Such noisy happenings always seem to occur after dark. For me, it’s almost always when my husband is not here. As a wife who spends a lot of time home alone, I like to think I’m pretty a cool-headed and kickass kind of person.

    I mean, I can handle any automotive or pluming-related emergency. I can help out at the scene of an accident. If a scary-looking person shows up at my door, I handle it with ease and send them packing. Rabid, wild wildebeast in the back yard? No problem. See? I’m pretty cool. They could almost make a movie about my kickassedness.

    Unless it’s 3 am and there’s any sort of undecipherable noise that I can’t blame on the dog. Suddenly, I’m much less kickass. Instead, I turn into a whimpering, quivering little girl who knows only that the monsters can’t get her as long as she keeps her hands, feet, and head under the covers.

    I do find that my trusty Glock helps quite a bit, though. As soon as I actually remember that it’s there, that is.

  15. on 06 Jun 2011 at 6:40 pm Will

    I’m all done wondering why incredibly noisy shit happens only when I’m sleeping. What I’m wondering now is how a six-pound cat manages to make the upending of a small recycling bin sound like a grand piano and 73 bowling balls falling down a xylophone staircase.

  16. on 06 Jun 2011 at 6:55 pm Linda

    Gin, “kickassedness” would be a definite challenge in Scrabble to “ridiculousnesses”.

    Will, you evidently have a cat related to mine.

    Dusty, display your kickassedness and skill on that test … I’d be happy to have you as pilot in command on any flight I take. I bet your PA announcements would beat the crap out of anything I’ve ever heard in my platinum freakwent flierness.

  17. on 06 Jun 2011 at 8:59 pm dusty

    Yo Nightmare. you may weigh more than I do, but I’m better at almost everything else. Just sayin.

    Plus, do you really think you’d notice the difference if you were hit by a slug from a 357 or a 45? I have a feeling even a .22 would smart quite a bit. No one likes to be shot by anything. Or, hopefully even have anything thrown at them.

    You’re a sissy. Sissy. I say all of this out of love.

  18. on 07 Jun 2011 at 12:00 am Mike

    Seeing as how neither one of you actually broke it, who gets the seven years of bad luck, you, or Sara (since when did you quit calling her “the skirt)? Doesn’t matter how long your etnries are, Dusty, I enjoy the shit outta them. And…I’d be glad to fly with you. (No Top Gun queer reference inferred)

  19. on 07 Jun 2011 at 1:00 pm Shannon

    funniest sh*t I have read in forever!!!!! Literally in tears at my desk!! Love!!!

  20. on 07 Jun 2011 at 1:24 pm angela king

    Great blog…Laughing much…. gotta love the Oprah comment….LOL….

  21. on 07 Jun 2011 at 1:32 pm Cindy

    You may poop yourself a little when you hear a wall of shittering noise, but I just peed myself a little reading this.

  22. on 07 Jun 2011 at 1:35 pm Monica

    There is absolutely no such thing as an entry that is “too long” from you. Loved ones must have suggested that, but I am not a loved one of yours, I just love your blog (reading you since the “spider in the shower entry”,which is one of the funniest things I have ever read. Your skething talents are incredible as well. I have to agree with SeaD and sure wish you would write more often, funny stuff or not. When I get the email notice that you have something new out there I know that I have to be sitting down and be ready for another great entry…with kleenex.
    You never dissapoint. Here’s hoping that a spider never shows up in your cockpit.

  23. on 07 Jun 2011 at 2:31 pm HairMetalMistress

    Nothing about you could ever be too long, my friend.

  24. on 08 Jun 2011 at 8:33 am Jim

    Dusty — I agree with Monica — no such thing as too long — in terms of a post. Good writing should not be limited. Let it flow man!

    “I sleep like an easily disturbed bird or small rodent at the bottom of the food chain.” I laughed out loud at that!

    Slap that book together you’ve spoken of in the past. I’ll be one of the first in line.

  25. on 08 Jun 2011 at 12:39 pm Jason

    so in summary…… Keep it long (the blog that is). Keep your “heat” close by. Tell amazing gripping suspense stories that make your blog followers piss and/or shit their pants. Add a tablespoon of very funny bashing towards an overzealous TV host = Your golden. Loving the blog. Keep on truckin’.

    PS: being a Canadian, it’s uncommon to hear about everyday people talking about owning a gun like it’s a toaster. I must admit is a little unsettling, but then again our practice of throwing hockey pucks at intruders would probably deem ineffective if push came to shove. just sayin’

  26. on 09 Jun 2011 at 4:09 pm Adriana

    I feel your pain, Dusty. Shortly after having an alarm installed, my husband went out at 5am for his morning smoke and forgot to disarm the alarm. I cannot, to this day, describe how loud that alarm was.

    Anywhoo, I bolted out of bed, left the lockable bedroom, and went straight for the front door wearing my underwear and a tank top with nary a weapon in hand. I have a “skull crusher” (that my husband made by welding together steel pipes) on my side of the bed. It’s literally propped up against my pillow.

    I can’t quite paint the same picture you can but, as I read your description of your reaction, I can visualize exactly what I did that fateful morning. Thanks for sharing. Now I feel only a little foolish!

  27. on 10 Jun 2011 at 2:29 pm Tink

    Getting a gun is a good start, if you aren’t compeltely exagerating your competency with one then you must go get yourself & the skirt some training. That crap you hear about more than likely to hurt yourself instead of others can be true. besides it fun. Go over to the Georgia Carry Dot Org folks and they’ll help you out (and join em while you’re at it if you aren’t already 😉

    on-on

  28. on 10 Jun 2011 at 2:30 pm Tink

    Good Lord. Did I really just post that crap with those misspelled words. I’m so ashamed right now. Gahhh!

  29. on 10 Jun 2011 at 4:28 pm jbirdPA

    Being forced into action at 4:30 in the morning is like being dumped from your bed onto a stage with a spotlight in your face and told to juggle. Gun or not, you’re in trouble…

  30. on 11 Jun 2011 at 9:53 am chef yak

    So basically you are saying all of these flight scenarios they are giving you aren’t worth the time because of how you handled the home “emergency plan.” And if you ever had flight issues you would run down the aisle of the plane in your undies…..

  31. on 15 Jun 2011 at 4:36 pm Bill

    I’m guessing you don’t sleep in a bed with a mirror over it. Helluva way to earn your red wings.

  32. on 20 Jun 2011 at 12:00 pm Reuben

    Well told…the SpongeBob of Seal Team 6…good luck on your flight training…

  33. on 14 Jul 2011 at 3:34 pm Slutface

    Hilarious! Did I tell you I was knocked up? With a bastard child?

  34. on 02 Aug 2011 at 1:42 am Byn

    Wow. No. No one meant it was too long, only that your posts are few & far between.

    Alas, I wish I had an awesome job like flying aro-planes.

    Keep us posted on the new job, and of course, all the rest of your hilarious mishaps.

  35. on 30 Aug 2011 at 2:12 pm MelissaInAz

    Remember when you used to update every week and there’d be like hundreds of comments? Those were good times.