Spinning in circles

I recently Netflixed Apocalypse Now Redux, the extended version of Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 masterpiece, and had the following thoughts: One, all he added were wet dreams that the studio probably found too racy — the crew hooking up with USO girls, Martin Sheen taking down some smoking French broad; and two, those scenes with Robert Duvall as Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore have to be some of the best in the history of cinema. When those choppers storm in, blasting "Flight of the Valkyries," you can't help but be blown away. This is especially true if you're a member of the Viet Cong — and by Viet Cong, I mean innocent villager. I also like how the soldiers sit on their helmets so they don't get their balls blown off. This makes a lot of sense to me. And it led to another, somewhat disquieting thought: How come I've never flown in a helicopter? Sure, I weep openly at the prospect of confrontation, so the military thing is out, but I'm a pretty suave, sophisticated dude, as well-traveled as the plague, but with none of the pesky side effects. You'd think I would've been in plenty of choppers by now.

When I called my dad to ask him why the fuck he hadn't taken me in a helicopter as a child, he told me he was busy and he had to go back to work. "Yeah, I'll bet!" I shouted to the dial tone after he'd hung up. "Back to work crushing dreams!"

My mom has stopped answering my calls, so she was no help, and when I asked my older sister why I hadn't been in a helicopter she said, "I've been in a helicopter. I took a sightseeing tour in Hawaii."

She's very, very selfish, that one. My little sis, the only helpful one in the bunch, suggested that I take advantage of my enormous clout as a weekly columnist at a free newspaper to demand that someone out there take me on a helicopter ride, free of charge, just because I'm Adam fucking Cayton-Holland.

I liked my little sister's suggestion and decided to immediately contact 9News, since I know they have a chopper and it's piloted by a woman named Amelia Earhart, who, in addition to having common ancestry with the famous aviator, is a total hottie! So I went to the website, clicked on the "Contact Us" part and fired off an e-mail to a man who appeared to be the big cheese, one Mark Cornetta, President and General Manager.

The gist of my screed was that I'm pretty much the shit, and that a recent survey concluded that I have 70.2 million weekly readers, and that he should let me go up in his helicopter just 'cause, and that it would probably be some good PR for his station.

Cornetta's response? "We do not allow anyone to fly in the ship for liability reasons. Thank you for the request."

Perfectly reasonable, but never one to leave good enough alone, I wrote back.

"I'd be willing to sign something, but sounds like that is simply policy, so it's all good." No harm, no foul, right?


Cornetta fired back, "We do not allow ANYONE to fly in the ship unless they are an employee of the Helicopter company or our company. No exceptions."

Sheesh, broseph, what's with the all caps? I'm merely trying to engage in some pointless, risky escapade on your company's dime and maybe ask your hottie traffic reporter on a date. Why the attitude?

I wanted to write back, "I read you LOUD AND CLEAR. You're really good at FOLLOWING RULES," but instead I've decided to go over the head of Mr. Cornetta and speak directly to Amelia Earhart. Here goes. Hey, Amelia, it's me, Adam. If you have access to some other chopper, you should take me up in it some time. I figure with the Earhart connection and the chopper circles you no doubt run in, you can't even spit without hitting a helicopter. It'd be really cool. I could tell you about all the movies I've been watching since joining Netflix, and also, I've never been in a helicopter before. Gee whiz, I'll bet the view's amazing! P.S., don't tell Mark.

See? Totally harmless. And for those of you who have access to helicopters but don't work for 9News, I'd be willing to accept your offer of a free helicopter ride as well. I'm not all that discriminating. All I ask is that you allow me to check out your background first to make sure you're not some whack job who's going to shuttle me into the side of a building, and that you're as hot as Amelia Earhart.

Oh, and don't worry about a soundtrack. I'll bring "Flight of the Valkyries."

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Adam Cayton-Holland

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