Saturday, December 05, 2015

Up up and away!

(My contribution to this week's Whirligig can be found HERE!)

I used a little artistic license when writing my account of man's first powered flight for this week's The Sunday Whirl,

December 17th 1903

“Do I have to?” begged Orville.

“Yes you bloody well do” said Wilbur.

"But it’s already late and soon it will be night. I’ll be invisible up there

But you promised Orville

“Well I’ve changed my mind”

You'll be all right – I’m your brother for god’s sake. I wouldn’t let you do it if I thought you’d be in danger”

“Then why me?” pleaded Orville “If it’s so safe, why don't you do it?”

“You know I don’t like heights” shouted Wilbur. “In the winter I can’t even wear two pairs of socks because I get dizzy
Now climb aboard and I’ll surround you with cushions, so if it goes wrong you won’t hurt yourself”

“What do you mean if it goes wrong? You said it's safe”

Orville’s pathetic pleas went unheeded. The engine on The Wright Flyer 1 spluttered into life, and seconds later the brother's fragile timber and cloth contraption wobbled its way off the ground and into the sky. Well, not really the sky, but it did lift itself off the ground!

Above the racket, a terrified voice could be heard “Oooo ... I don’t like it....I hate you Wilbur Wright”

Twelve seconds and one hundred and twenty triumphant feet later, the flying machine bumped back onto the ground. Wilbur and his mates ran to catch up and Orville, green-faced from his ordeal, tumbled out and sat with his hands clutching his tummy.

Later that evening a proud Wilbur raised himself to his full height (he wasn’t very tall) then with a quivering voice he started to speak to the assembled crowd “One day man will cross hostile terrains, fly above oceans. He will travel to places currently unreachable, and unravel the mystery of the stars.

 “Bugger that” shouted Orville “He can do it without me! I'm off for a beer”


  1. it is ahrd for us to write a very powerful story,
    I bet you have the skill on it.

  2. Many of us have been in the same situation such as riding a sled for the first time down a snowy hill not knowing whether we will fall off or hit the fence at the bottom. I loved how you made Orville the scapegoat to try out the stupid machine and having a good moan about it.

  3. Hysterically hilarious. I'm willing to bet it was really like that!

  4. Turning green and going for a beer - yes, it's good when you're queasy..sorry my infantile mine - thought of Orville the duck and 'I wish I could fly way up to the sky..but I can't' - hanging my head in shame to even know the words

  5. I believe that most major inventions and strides forward have far more in common with your rendition than the inflated story we hear afterward. Thanks for the laughter,


  6. So funny! Thank you for your take on this momentous occasion!

  7. This definitely brings a smile. It's difficult sometimes to think of historical figures as regular human beings. By the way, I'm fortunate to live near the brothers' birth place and to have visited the site of their initial victory. :) Be well!



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