The Mad Bomber

Ready to Crash!

Is It What You Say? Or How You Say it?

Circuit Board 2

Some stories are funny only in retrospect, like the one about the “mad bomber.” A man on a plane (our Donald, again!–see an earlier posting) just prior to takeoff said something to the passenger seated next to him about being “ready to crash” in the sense that he was tired and ready for sleep.

Other passengers overheard the remark and hurriedly reported him to authorities on the aircraft. Suddenly armed FBI agents boarded the plane, which was still at the gate, and according to Donald, he was “lifted straight up by my armpits” and escorted right off the airplane much to the chagrin and delight of fellow passengers, no doubt!

He was temporarily removed from the aircraft and his belongings searched, whereupon they discovered a clump of circuit boards in his suitcase. “Boy oh boy was I in trouble,” Donald thought to himself.

But he worked for Hewlett Packard at the time and was often to be found on flights between Honolulu and the Mainland west coast as he traveled back and forth on business. And it was totally normal for him to be ferrying computer circuit boards on his trans-Pacific flights.

When it became obvious to the powers that be that these circuit boards were totally harmless, and the officials thus realized that he, indeed, was not a bomber at all, and certainly not a ‘mad bomber,’ Donald was allowed back on board the aircraft.

When he got back on the plane and took his newly assigned seat, a neighboring passenger, who apparently hadn’t seen him before during the preceding hullaballoo, excitedly and eagerly said to him, “Hey, did you see the ‘mad bomber’ who they apprehended and took off the aircraft?”

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