A while ago I was deployed on a special nocturnal reconnaissance mission: acquire milk and baby puffs to keep troop morale high and prevent a possible mutiny. Yarei gave me specific instructions to not deviate left or right, lest she be court martialed in my absence.
I strapped into my 2004 Kia Sedona speedwagon and fired up the engine. A cloud of white smoke puffed from the exhaust.
Smoke screen deterrent…check.
I adjusted the rear view mirror as I gave myself a confident look.
You’ve got this.
Muffled wails and screams of “papi’s coming with leche!!!” could be heard just beyond the garage door. I had to be quick… but not before the radio was properly tuned. As we all know, a mission without a soundtrack is nothing more than a grocery run.
With the comm properly set to receive any important intel and soundtrack pertinent to my mission, I pulled out of the driveway and charged the night.
After safely stopping at the intersection and then looking both ways, the radio crackled and came to life. Danger Zone, from the Top Gun soundtrack, filled the atmosphere as a sign that from this point on, only awesomeness was allowed. As if possessed by the music, my dashboard flipped over like a trap door and revealed a complete F-16 cockpit control board. Check engine light? I don’t think so… try electronic warfare indicator. Automatic transmission shifter? No more… behold my throttle stick with anti-aircraft trigger. I turned up the volume to an inspiring level, then instinctively reached for the sunglasses in the cockpit ceiling panel, because you can’t have Danger Zone playing in the background without sunglasses on. It didn’t matter that they were Yarei’s… I wear my sunglasses at night.
Revin’ up your engine, listen to her howlin’ roar
I waited for the station wagon to my right to safely pass by and then let all six cylinders roar… until I got to the next stop sign leading to the exit of my subdivision. Again, I waited for the ‘all clear’ to take off. Blasted delays, I thought.
Metal under tension, beggin’ you to touch and go…
An opening emerged in the traffic, so I floored the thruster and glided gracefully into the right lane as I redlined the speedometer to 45… 5 over the legal limit. After all, this is the Danger Zone. I set my coordinates for the Publix airstrip and felt the g-force push my frame into the crayon-encrusted pilot jumpseat.
Highway to the Danger Zone… ride into the danger zone…
I squeezed the heat-cracked steering wheel to get a feel of her power as I scanned my surroundings. Nighttime bike rider with a reflective light at my 2 o’clock, Toyota Tercel with an oversized spoiler–apparently the project of a high school welding class– at my 3 o’clock… no hostiles in my perimeter. I barrel rolled into the passing lane.
Headin’ into twilight spreadin’ out her wings tonight.
After a couple more barrel rolls followed with a zoom climb, I was given clearance to land in the Publix sector and brought my vessel to a smooth halt. Although I caught a good tailwind, the clock was quickly winding down. I had to acquire the supplies for the front lines and make it back to the Kia F16 before the song was over… lest my return flight be powered by the likes of Bell Biv Devoe or Lionel Richie. I couldn’t risk such loss of power… not when so much was at stake back home.
Highway to the danger zone… i’ll take you right into the danger zone…