The Beta Flight Good News Report

01Nov06

As longtime readers and members of Beta Flight know, Beta Flight is a superteam comprising me and my friends Scott Feenstra and Mike Martelle and is so named because “Superfriends” was already taken and to signify our willingness and readiness to step in for Alpha Flight, Canada’s premier metahuman squadron, when so needed.

Beta Flight West
Now that it’s out in the open, I can tell you: Scott’s having a baby! Or, as he put it in his official announcement: “Well, it’s my wife and me. Mostly it’s my wife. She’s making the baby. Well, I helped to start the baby but she’s doing most of the work. Basically, she’s going to have the baby and after she has the baby then I’ll have a baby. ”

Congratulations to Scott and his lovely wife, Marlene. By a two-thirds majority, Mike and I have both voted to name the baby “Beta Flight Feenstra”, thus honouring the first confirmed impregnation by a member of Beta Flight (although there was that time I picked up a girl and brought her home and never saw her again but did see someone who looked a lot like her standing on the subway platform at Yonge station eight months later, except that this girl was heavily pregnant and I was unable to discover if there was any connection because I was busy sprinting up the stairs as soon as I got off the train).

Scott also writes

Gentlemen,

I have MORE good news! I just TOTALLY shit my pants! It doesn’t get any more Beta Flight than this. In related news, DO NOT eat at Kyoto Japanese Cuisine in Edmonton.

Beta Flight West

Sadly, it really doesn’t get any more Beta Flight than that, as evidenced by this post and by the similar incident that Mike blames on the creatine supplement he was taking at the time (a story I suddenly remembered years later when I realized I was now working for said product’s manufacturer). Although I laughed out loud at Scott’s story, it made me question what Beta Flight stands for. Are we really about grown men shitting their pants? “Yes, yes we are,” says Mike, “It is about the symbolic honesty and finality of said gesture.”

Beta Flight East
Turning now from the man with the first confirmed impregation to the man likely to have the first confirmed kill, Mike and I seem to have this ersatz exchange program going in which he’ll come to Toronto at the exact same time I have to go to Kingston, thus ensuring that we fail to cross paths. In theory, this means that each of us can at least use the other’s place as a base of operations; however, the first time this was tried, there was an incident in which his mother somehow came to believe I was trying to bludgeon her pet bird to death and I wasn’t allowed back in the house after that. Thus I’m essentially banned from both Mike’s mother’s house in Kingston and his wife’s house in Montréal (the latter for reasons given here.)

This time, the exchange ended up being one way only. I was supposed to go to a fencing tournament a couple of Saturdays ago at our alma mater of Queen’s University, but unforeseen transportation issues meant that I would have had to catch a midnight bus, arrive around 3:30 a.m. and then hang around until 8:30, when the competition was due to begin. At around 10:30 p.m. I was still mulling over whether or not to even bother when a friend called me up and invited me out for a pint. At that point, I said good-bye forever to the $25 I’d already paid in preregistration fees.

Mike, on the other hand, had a much more productive Saturday. He brought some of his martial arts students to a kung fu competition here in Toronto, and on a whim, decided that even though he hadn’t practiced kung fu in about 13 years, he’d enter the national tournament for “push-hands” (a style of Chinese wrestling). As it happened, he just demolished everyone he faced until he faced the Chinese national champion, an incredibly jacked guy who was fresh off the plane and had similarly blown through everyone in the other bracket of the tournament. Mike ended up losing to the guy by one point as time expired, and was a little annoyed about losing, but the other guy does practice and Mike did get a silver medal.

Now the head of the push-hands commisssion (or whatever you call it) wants to take Mike out to dinner and pick his brain about how to improve the tournament, since he’s obviously very good at push-hands. “Of course you realize he just wants to figure out your technique so they can redraw the rules to eliminate the chance of some guy just coming in off the street and destroying all their skilled practitioners,” I told him.

“Oh, I know.”

“What is your technique, anyway?”

“My technique is I’m big and I’m strong!” Mike said.

We’re not too sure they’ll be able to eliminate that technique, but Mike’s happy to get a bunch of free Chinese food out of the deal while they try.

Beta Flight Central
I’ve been using my time off to grow a ridiculous moustache. I can’t look at myself in the mirror without laughing. I did manage to maintain a straight face while out grocery shopping today, and so — barely — did the teenage girl behind the cash register.



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