Local Airshow Fails to Maim, Kill Spectators
MILAN, Mich. – Despite organizers’ best efforts and months of fevered preparation, Saturday’s 31st Annual Mad Dog Air Races failed to grievously injure or take the life of any of the over 22,000 spectators in attendance.
“You know,” said airshow promoter Bob Kruger, “this is only the second time in Mad Dog’s history that we haven’t succeeded in our efforts to kill or paralyze at least one of our paying customers. I’m mighty disappointed that we had let our fans down like this and deprive them of what they paid $37.50 to see.”
Mad Dog certainly didn’t fail for lack of effort, however. On at least seven occasions, a plane came within about 100 feet of the crowd, only to recover at the last moment and pull away. Each time, an audible groan could be heard from the mass of spectators.
“I want our fans to know that we really tried hard this year to give them the death-by-air excitement they’ve come to expect from Mad Dog,” said Mike Simpson, chairman of Mad Dog Mayhem Inc. “And I thought we had it in the bag. I mean, at least half of our pilots were 80 years old and over and all of the planes we featured either dated back to the Second World War or were missing a vital component, like a wing or a rudder. We even ordered our pilots to conduct all their most dangerous stunts directly over the grandstand. And it turns out that these grandpas are so old and dumb that even when they point their airplane’s nose straight at the ground, they miss.”
Added Simpson, “How the hell am I going to find a way to refund $37.50 to each spectator, as required on the ticket in the event of fewer than five cases of level II trauma? It’s just not doable, especially when I was already banking on selling the grisliest footage to CNN for a pretty penny.”
If not for the regrettably death-defying execution of several incredibly dangerous stunts, Simpson and his customers may very well have gotten their wish. The Inverted Engines-Off 720° Triple Lutz Axel, performed by WWI-era pilot Ebenezer Brown in a never-restored 1918 Siemens-Schuckert D.IV biplane, placed so much stress on the wooden frame of the nearly century-old aircraft that its propeller snapped in two. Still, he was able to land successfully, to the chagrin of all in attendance.
Said spectator Lynda McConnick, “I was really holding my breath when that zeppelin pilot prepared some crème brûlée in mid-flight using a blowtorch while he was hovering directly over the VIP grandstand. But the damn thing just didn’t explode. These air races were just a big snoozer this year. I really should have stayed home and watched NASCAR instead.”