No, actually they met on the canopy of a noble old Blanik. More believable, don’t you think? It was pure coincidence, both just happened to get stuck there, but they loved flying together and seemed to agree on nearly everything. Theirs was a whirlwind affair, springtime you know. After a weekend of unforgettable soaring – and that balmy first night together – they decided to tie the knot. Then before they knew it a little string came along, cute as a ribbon, debuting as a tuft in some hoity-toity wind tunnel experiment… Nah, that part never happened, don’t be ridiculous!

The summer romance soon cooled in the usual manner and they went separate ways, same as everybody else. Feeling disconnected, Mr. String was drifting aimlessly when found in the parking lot by a rabid student pilot and pressed into service on, of all things, the windscreen of a crotch rocket. He had to learn a different lingo for the new gig, still based on relative wind as before, but in this case measuring crab angle — a matter of outsized curiosity for glider loons; quite meaningless to normal people. Flying down narrow roads was scary at times, but only in the existential sense, and better than lying curled up on the ground.

Then one day it rained, and Mr. String met his destiny… Qué será.

Strings come and go, but their work lives on. In those two occupations, that single string was compelled to make dissimilar assertions about the same information, yet each was a version of truth. Meanwhile though, essential details were being ignored. In neither context did the string register gravity… Was the oversight incidental, or intentional? Misinformation or disinformation? Exactly!


So, how much of all this is made up, and what is’t? The difference between real BS and the fake stuff can be hard to detect. Some claim each is just the other inside out. To me they look identical, inside and out. What’s your take? In this new era of choose-your-own-facts-&-they-don’t-have-to-make-sense, perhaps a little more of the same will help us decide what to say we believe:


For her part, Ms. String eventually found a second career, working not above any figurative circus net of plexiglas, but ‘wheels up’ in what experts call the side string biz. Strings attached to the sides of a craft indicate relative wind too, but in a relative way. (CAUTION: Errordynamic Relativism, that branch of science we absolutists hate to love!) See, with nothing but air between a string and the ground, gravity has full sway at all times. No lolling off to one side when at rest, a proper side string points its tail shamelessly at the center of Mother Earth. And even at top speed, a silent degree or two of dip divulges raw gravitational data those other strings obscure.

Side strings accept gravity as a constant and weave it into the data. Put three little sharpie dots inside your canopy, one each for best glide, minimum sink and incipient stall, and let the string do the rest. Better info than that, you will have to fabricate yourself. (Hint: if you’d rather drive everybody nuts and have no scruples whatever, move the string’s attach point a quarter inch when no one’s looking. It’s a hoot!)

Anyway, with or without numbers, Ms. String is reputedly still out there, on one side or another, doing her never level best to help neophytes comprehend the obvious. Nice to know, isn’t it? Every thread goes somewhere after all, and it’s good to have a purpose.

So much for wuzzy fuzzy outcomes. Now what about that baby string? If it didn’t grow up and become a research tuft, what else didn’t it do? Or is it even still around? Very suspicious!
Lots of dust has blown across the runway since then. Operators change hands, and new rumors cast doubt on whether Junior ever existed! Another dodge? Who knows, with so many gliderports these daze, it could have found a home at any number of remote strips in the hinterland, and might be hiding soaring somewhere even now in plane site. If so, we know there’s adventure in its fiber. Sky’s the limit for whatever renegade versions of truth our little urchin might itself one day disclose. Let’s hope that, like D. B. Cooper, he never gets caught.

The only thing for sure is, you never know. Besides, what happens in the Mojave stays in the Mojave, or some such nonsense. No really, that’s what they’re saying! ????

Not sure I can believe that either, but okay…