Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

June 12, 2014

Beware Greeks (friends) bearing gifts

We’re all familiar with the story of how the Greeks pulled a sneaky on the city of Troy by concealing soldiers inside a huge wooden horse. When the offering was pulled inside the gates of the city the soldiers inside then conquered their foes. It’s assumed that the old saying of “Never look a gift horse in the mouth” came from this trick. Whether or not this tale, having been passed down over centuries, is factual, we should all be aware of gifts that seem to be too good to be true.

A few years ago my grand son received a small remote controlled helicopter as a Christmas gift. Within an hour the little showoff was cruising the thing effortlessly through the house, flying from room to room and driving their dog crazy by hovering it inches from the mutts nose. Fascinated, I told Judy, “I’ve gotta have one of those things.” My dream came true the following Christmas. Called an Air Hog, it came with a warranty that assured the new owner that any faulty parts would be replaced free of charge. After charging the batteries, with a steely glint in my eyes and sweaty palms, I advanced the controls and slammed the thing into the ceiling. An inspection showed no apparent harm, but I used a little more care on the next takeoff. The manufacturer should have included specific instructions concerning extra caution in avoiding ceiling fans. The final score, ceiling fans one, little helicopters, nada. Afraid to submit a warranty claim and possibly have to explain the reason, I decided to move to a bigger chopper, one with friendlier controls.

Voila! This one was more stable and due to its size it flew more like a bumblebee than a nervous house fly. However, even bumblebees can be a little erratic. After bouncing the thing off furniture, leaving rather attractive swirl marks on the ceilings and hearing Judy complain about close calls with her hairdo, it was time to move up to the big leagues. Another Christmas gift and I now have a mongo chopper, two-and-a-half feet long with 22” counter- rotating rotors for stability. Meant to fly outdoors, the ceiling fan is now safe, Judy’s hairdo will remain unruffled and the neighbor’s bird snatching cat is in for a big surprise. Now, I’m not sure if I’m a Greek or a Trojan. Only time will tell.

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