It made tremendous sense at the time.

The purchase of the helicopter. We had just sold the family farm. We would never again spend another summer digging up premature beets to paint red so we could sell them for a higher price as strawberries. Nobody told Granddad about the farm. He still had a sharp mind but we kept him busy reviewing patent applications and memorizing ketchup recipes. He didn't even notice Grandma's transformation into an end table. Granddad would not have been happy about a helicopter. Being near or enclosed by processed metals made him anxious. He was convinced it was altering his molecules. He was born, lived and died in a hand dug cave under the driveway. He only ever learned 23 letters of the alphabet and spent his time judging others. The helicopter wasn't for him.

Then who was it for? Why trade everything – our land, our tools, our name – for a flying machine none of us could pilot? We couldn't even afford the fuel. Even sitting in the thing, making engine sounds and pretending to fly was expensive. And besides, the way they loaded the thing in here, it wasn't facing the picture window. You ended up staring at the wall. And the seats smelled like Ohio.

Owning a helicopter is like eating 87 pies. On TV it looks like fun. It's supposed to make you popular. But along with popularity comes rashes. Then you're stuck inside watching reptile documentaries all day, tripping over helicopter parts, wishing you had a college education.

So next week, we're gonna skip the oatmeal bath and – next week we're going to sell this house back to the church and arrange to be devoured by bears. Push it into god's lap.

Don't buy a helicopter.

Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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