Sunday, November 02, 2008

he'i ... op ... tah

(or 'helicopter' as pronounced by a 16month old - mine)
We live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Or so I'm told. It's certainly the most beautiful I've ever seen but then I don't get out much. But I mean really, this is virtually in my backyard, so don't tell me I'm exaggerating here.

However, besides this fucking awesome mountain, we also live very close to a busy public hospital, an over-rated tourist hub, a military air-base and, as a result, directly below the flight-path of about (and for once I'm really not kidding), 20 helicopters a day. Ok, maybe 10 but still, that's a lot of air traffic.
And the reason why I can't claim to have spawned a child prodigy on this one, just a Very Observant Little Girl.
Anyhoo, a favourite is the Huey. It's a genuwine Vietnam-era Huey he'i ... op ... tah, did tours out there, the works. And it's the only Huey in The World licensed to carry commerical passengers. (It's highly likely this is an indication of our slack Aviation Authority, so nothing to really be bragged about, but we take our accolades where we can in this town.)
The Huey comes over every day, twice a day, with its distinctive whup-whup-whup sound - and although Frieda doesn't yet have the noise branded in her aural soundbank from too many 'Nam movies (like some of us), she always notices it over and above the other helicopters, it gets a special finger pointed in the sky, a special gleeful toothy he'i ... op ... tah mention.
And so it came to pass that it was my brother's 30th birthday last week, and being one of those chaps for whom it's impossible to buy gifts, and a consummate aircraft geek, we all chipped in and booked him on the Huey's Combat Mission - a combat simulated flight up the deserted West Coast, complete with fast and low beach flying, popping over sand-dunes and flying far to close to the sea than anyone who's not a seagull should contemplate doing.
And obviously he was totally blown away (figuratively of course, this was just simulated you understand) and had an amazing time AND scored a second trip, with his wife, because the pilot (who my brother reckons got his license the same year the Huey was built) thought he was a big enough fan to deserve it.
Where am I going with all of this you wonder?
Well, to the rocking good fun I had last night creating this beauty (although muchos engineering credit must go to the husband) for said brother's birthday lunch today. Do you have any idea of the satisfaction in attaining perfect Huey-green icing? And that all I could sing in my head the entire time I was making it was Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones?
And the hilarity at having one's daughter say, every time the fridge was opened this morning, 'he'i ... op ... tah, mmm, hmmmm'?

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