This week marks the anniversary of the first successful parachute descent is made by Andre-Jacqes Garnerin, who jumps from a balloon at some 2,200 feet over Paris in 1797. There are two reasons we have to go there. 1. Tiny already caught a time capsule there. 2. Andrew Joyce, the very talented writer, and history buff had me tied up in his garage until I agreed to do a post on the jump. So for us not to make a mistake that could cause a tear in the time continuum and so that I don’t end up back in Andrew’s garage, here is a list of ten things not to do when we go there.
Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Parachute Jump in 1797.
10 If you go to the jump, do not ask Andre-Jacqes if you can go tandem. If you do, at best, he’ll laugh you off. At worst, he will think you are trying to steal his thunder. (That glove slap to the face means you better start practicing your swordsmanship, Jarl. Of course, you could pray he forgets about it. Likely? Not.)
9 If you go to the jump, do not try to convince Tiny the WWF champ that you can take over holding his balloon tie-down ropes. If you do, at best, Tiny won’t understand your request. At worst, Tiny, who has skipped the last seven anger management group sessions, will not give you the rope without a fight. (You better worry about that rope around your ankle, Jarrad. Your weight isn’t enough to keep the balloon on the ground. So as you dangle from one leg at 2000 feet, you might contemplate this. Does Tiny really know how to tie a knot that holds?)
8 If you go to the jump, do not start taking bets on whether or not old Andre-Jacqes will make it. If you do, at best, Andre-Jacqes will not find out about it. At worst, Andre-Jacques’ brother will make a bet that he won’t. (Now you’ve caused a family incident, Jarran. Here comes Andre-Jacques now. I see he has a glove in his hand. Might be time to go.)
7 If you go to the jump, do not offer to pack Andre-Jacqes’ chute. If you do, at best, he will ignore you. At worst, he’ll let you do it. (Funny how that thing looked like a trail of smoke when he let go of the balloon, Jarrell. The sad thing, it never opened. Oh, well, there is always next time.)
6 If you go to the jump, do not ask Andre-Jacqes to unfold your sweetheart proposal flag on the way down. If you do, at best, he’ll say no. At worst, he’ll agree. (Just your luck, Jase. There are at least four women in the spectator area named Noelle. Good luck on the breach of promise lawsuits not to mention the father’s blunderbusses)
5 If you go to the jump, do not ask the balloon pilot if he knows the color of his balloon. If you do, at best he will be too busy to answer. At worst, he’ll think you are making a joke about his balloon. (As you may know, Jaspar, Frenchmen do not take lightly jokes by Americans. I don’t think this one gets it for sure.)
4 If you go to the jump, do not try to get Andre-Jacqes to yell Geronimo when he jumps out of the balloon. If you do, at best, he’ll have no idea what you are talking about. At worst, he too will think you are joking, Jaxon. Don’t look now, but that guy in the top hat is the second coming to ask which weapon you would like to use. Here’s a hit. Tell him death by pillows.)
3 If you go to the jump, do not suggest that Andre-Jacqes should have his parachute made out of silk by Hermes. If you do, at best, he will assume you don’t know what you are talking about. At worse, he will place an order for the parachute. ( Now you are in a pickle, Jaydee. You weren’t aware that Hermes was founded in 1837. How you going to deliver a parachute tomorrow when the manufacturer won’t be in business for 40 years? You got any silkworms?)
2 If you go to the jump, do not ask Andre-Jacqes to wear your Go Lafayette sweatshirt for the stunt. If you do, at best he’ll decline. At worst, he will accept your gift. (Given the amount of angst around the support of the American revolution that shirt could cause a definite crowd reaction, Jayme. I’m not talking positive either. Can you say Guillotine?)
1 If you go to the jump, do not ask for an order of french fries at the local food tent. If you do, at best, you’ll have a thicker potato that’s been fried. At worst, the order taker won’t understand you and will alert the chef. (Here we go, Jayson. You got the big guy with the butcher knife all hot and bothered. I would hit the road if I were you.)