My weekends are usually tame, and consist of me just sitting at home watching Spanish soap operas on TV while pretending to understand what is going on.
This past weekend, however, I decided to put an end to this cycle and go out for a change. It did not take long for me to figure out that I wanted to visit the USS Intrepid on the West side of Manhattan. Just to put things into perspective, I have watched Top Gun over 832 times and love jet fighters in general. Besides that, I also used to command an internet squadron a long time ago called the Hell Cats; we would play online games and I wore sun glasses and had a mustache. Coming to the realization that I should be spending a few hours on board the Intrepid, staring at the wonderful flying machines, seemed like the perfect thing to do.
When I arrived at the dock where the gorgeous ship was docked, I felt the gust of the sea air splash against my whole body and, due to my tiny frame, almost knocked me down to the ground. While buying the ticket for the museum, I was both enthused and saddened because there weren’t enough people visiting. Which they should. The ship is awesome. The planes are awesome. You will be awesome, too.
While walking around on the upper deck where they launch the fighter jets from, I started to get an uneasy feeling; kinda like that Spider-Man 6th sense thing, if you know what I mean. Low and behold I was correct! Storming towards me was none other than Maverick himself, Mr. Tom Cruise. He grabbed me by my arm and started dragging me towards one of the F-14s that was parked on the deck. While pulling me towards the plane, he explained that a few Russian MiG–29s were on route to attack and that we had to go Goose and Maverick on their behinds. I thought about it for a second and immediately knew that this was my calling – this is what I had trained my whole life for: flying with Tom Cruise in an F-14 Tomcat being a pure badass. As we took off the carrier, the immediate speed pushed me back into my seat. The velocity was amazing, and I was about to dog fight some MiGs with Tom freaking Cruise.
We could see the bogeys on the radar screen; there were 3 of them. “Easy,” I said, and Tom agreed by giving a thumbs up. We flew up high above the clouds; while they could see us on radar they wouldn’t be able to see us with their eyes. We banked left, turned the jet upside-down, and proceeded to make a reverse half loop. At this point the MiGs were scrambling because they realized we had them on lock. The mini gun took out the first one, leaving only two bogeys remaining.
The other two managed to split left and right respectively, trying to make us choose and chase one of them, while leaving our tail vulnerable. We decided to chase the one on the left and, as expected, the other guy was right on our tail. Basically, we are chasing one MiG, while the other is chasing us. Tom goes, “I got this, no problem.” We wait for the MiG tailing us to lock on and fire the missile and, as soon as that happens, Tom pulls the plane into a Cobra maneuver, essentially stalling in mid-air while jumping over the missile, and landing behind the MiG that was chasing us. The MiG’s missile takes out his buddy in front of us and now it’s just us and the single MiG. We have him in our sights, and he is trying to shake us off, but it’s useless, because I have Tom freaking Cruise as the pilot, baby! We lock on the target, I yell out “Fox 2,” firing our missile, and the MiG is toast.
When we landed back on the USS Intrepid, a huge crowd was gathering, hugging us and screaming from joy. I look at Tom and he looks me back in the eyes, and I say “You can be my wing man anytime.” To which he responds, “Bull, you can be mine.”
And so it ends, my wonderful Sunday getaway.