Monday, December 12, 2005

Everywhere with Helicopter

Every once in a while the guy upstairs throws us a bone. (I.e. the Ambassador, who literally is on the third floor of the embassy, whereas the Consular section is on the first floor. Just wound up that way by random chance, I'm sure.)

This time, the Ambassador was going out to inspect our facilities at El Pino and there happened to be an extra seat on the helicopter, and I was lucky enough to go. The first, and perhaps most important, order of business is to note that the word for "helicopter" is "helicoptero," as if it was translated by a junior-high student guessing on a Spanish exam. "El helicopter-o flies-o dentro los cloud-o's."

With that settled, it is my further duty to report that riding in a helicopter is really cool. I know that some small percentage of the devoted readership of this newspaper have surely been in helicopters before, whether circling Niagra Falls for kicks, or under government orders on less pleasant errands. For those who haven't, it's sort of like riding on a chairlift or the Sky Ride at Elitch's, except that every once in a while the Guatemalan gale-force winds push it around and suddenly it feels like you're fishtailing on black ice. We cruised over the city -- I hadn't realized how close we are to a giant barranca, or ravine, one of many that jut into the city.

Where exactly were we going? The El Pino Medfly Program Mass Rearing Facility! It's basically a big factory that makes literally billions of irradiated sterile male fruit flies, which are then dropped off in California, Florida, or along the border between Guatemala and Mexico. Then when your wild female fruit fly is looking for love, she finds it with a male who is now impotent, thanks to our friend Cesium-137, and you have one less litter of fruit fly babies. It's a smelly business, but that's what we does best.

3 comments:

MLE said...

Wow, there's more to fruit fly sex than I ever could have imagined.

EEK! said...

Awesome - a helicopter ride, infertile fruit flies, and a GBV reference.

Well played, Holla!

sac said...

CHL. Dude.