A Report From the Front

Got to fly in a Blackhawk helicopter over country X yesterday.

All was okay until the gunner on my left opened fire, followed by the gunner on my right.

This was unusual for me because on most of my prior commercial  flights, no one has shot .50 caliber machine guns.

The good news is I did not cry like a little girl.

I did, however, scream like a little girl, which is much different.

Jeff Keane (“Family Circus”) was also in the helicopter.   I was significantly braver than he was.

46 thoughts on “A Report From the Front

  1. Reading Family Circus I wouldn’t think any different about Jeff Keane. You strike me significantly braver than he is.

    Hmmm…Yesterday you were near The Persian Golf and in a country today where American Blackhawks fire .50 cal weapons…where could that be??!! 😉

  2. if i am the 100th person to make a reference to the little dotted-line Family Circus path that you guys took leading to country X will i receive some sort of prize? i am leaving now to stand by my mailbox and wait. thank you.

    p.s. haven’t you been waiting all your life to type “the gunner on my right?” just doesn’t get much more bad-aXX than that …

  3. i’d written something like this for one of my characters:
    Like any well-read, dignified man in his sane mind, i screamed like a little girl and ran to hide behind my wife.

    i’m thinking of changing his name to Stephen from Ashfaque. sounds good so far…

  4. I’m still wondering who thought it was a good idea it was to send Stephan Pastis on a goodwill tour.

    Anyway… I have to admit that Stephen (or the guy he paid to go is his place) is a brave and good person.

  5. Im patiently awaiting your arrival into country x (mine being Iraq, Tikrit Iraq to be exact) I had email correspondence with you (or at least your secretaries) before I got deployed and i couldnt believe it when I heard you were coming out here for a visit. Can’t wait to meet you.

  6. Hey, at least Jeff Keane has been near guns before…wasn’t he in The Big One? I imagine that being next to those guns broght back some memories.

    Which raises the question: If Jeff Keane had a traumatic flashback, would it be followed by a big, black dashed line?

  7. You’re still a manly man in my eyes! Real men scream like little girls sometime. It can’t be helped. You were undoubtedly braver than anyone else that day.

  8. Please tell me you’re gonna use your experiences in Pearls. I would love to see Rat scream like that. Just make sure to keep Guard Duck at home.

  9. I bet we’ll see this in a Family Circus. The whole family will be in a helicopter/plane (most likely plane) when all the kids misbehave…. But i wouldn’t know…. i don’t read Family Circus. Whenever i buy a newspaper i open it to Pearls. I keep telling them to give pearls more room… no one ever pays attention to the youth of america bla bla bla…

  10. AAAAAAAAAAAAAhhahahaahahahahahahahahaha
    Bwah hahahahahahahhaaaaaa

    ::pauses to wipe a tear and catch breath::


  11. Ummm, “most of my prior commercial flights?” Care to enlighten us which airline is currently packing 50 cals?

  12. That happened to me too the first time I rode on one. I nearly crapped myself until they told me it was SOP to clear the gun for engagement in case something actually does happen. Would have been good to know before the flight – I think they don’t tell you on purpose to scare the scat out of you.

  13. Just wanted to know that I’m on to you buddy! I know now that you coordinate strips with the ABA. The same day you ran “All praise to the Google” – the ABA Journal Tech monthly had the following story linked: “Broadening Search: Is Google Enough?”

    Coincidence . . . I think not.

    signed – lawyer scum.

  14. Was Country X Detroit or Washington D.C.? it would explain the need for door gunners with .50’s

  15. Sounds like you’re having a pretty good time over there.
    I’d like to fly in a Blackhawk

  16. How did he react? Did he jump out of the plane in fright? Did he curl into fetal position? Nah, even then he would be braver than you.

  17. Well, what do you expect? I can’t wait for the hardened Billy strips when he gets back, with the colonel up a slip and side, painting himself with fingerpaint, talking about “the horror…. the horror…”

  18. Remember to sit on your flak jacket when flying over people with guns. Prevents screaming like a little girl.

  19. I just heard from my brother-in-law in country x that you and your merry band of cartoonists had visited and done some quick sketches for the troops. They were very pleased with the visit and your support, and you all get kudos from those of us who pray for them back home!

  20. Not only are your comics great but you write an awesome blog. I can imagine everything by your words and it makes me sooooo glad I’m not where you are.

  21. You and Jeff Keane! If you two are pals, then please ask Jeff to incorporate Pearls into Family Circus. He could update an old Family Circus (back in Bil’s day), substituting rat in the following scene: Jeffy – running and holding a very stiff turtle – and innocently telling mom and dad that he found their long lost pet.

  22. Lol, so now they are taking cartoonists on the propaganda tour as well. Well, at least that means they think you have a lot of influence. 🙂

  23. ohhh, well at least the .50 cals weren’t riring at you…..then we would have had screaming AND crying like a little girl. 😀

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