Paper Airplanes

We had some very good friends over for dinner last weekend. He and I served together about 4 years ago in Virginia, and our wives have been friends ever since. Our duties have carried us in different directions over the years, but we somehow both managed to find our way to San Diego and rent houses 2 exits away from each other. As an added bonus, their 3 kids are right around the same ages as our 2, so it works out perfectly.

While they were over this weekend, I was sitting on the couch when Princess walked up to me and asked me to make her a paper airplane. I told her that I’d be happy to which instantly created a line of kids 5 deep looking for the same thing. It had been quite a few years since I had made one, but I thought I remembered the basics. I also have a master’s degree in an engineering related field. How hard could it be?

Princess brought me a piece of paper, and I got to work. By “got to work,” I mean that I stared at it like a monkey doing a math problem for about 5 minutes. I seem to remember that I had to fold the paper length-wise to create a seam. I think I also had to fold the corners back to the middle. Wait, did I have to fold it twice length-wise first? Why do I have this random piece of paper sticking out of the side over here? Shouldn’t there be a point of some sort on the front? Does anyone have a pair of scissors and a piece of tape? How about a stapler? Could I stabilize this part with a piece of cardboard? How would you like a paper ball instead? No?

The thing that I finally handed back to her looked like Satan got really drunk one night and tried his hand at origami. Half of it looked like a roadkill squirrel, and the other half may have been a regulation throwing star.

Princess took one look at it, and I could see the doubt creeping in. She said, “Daddy, this doesn’t really look like a paper airplane.” I told her that I made a very special kind just for her. I told her to try throwing it, and she’ll see how great it is (I made sure to put safety goggles on first).

She gave it her best effort. The “plane” managed to go about 18 inches and may have cut off one of the dog’s ears. She looked at me and said, “Daddy, it doesn’t really work very well.” At that point, I did the only thing that a good father can do. I told her, “Sweetie, it works perfectly. You’re just throwing it wrong.”

I don’t understand why the other kids went to CinC HOUSE and Military Gramma to have their airplanes made, but it was probably for the best. I had dog blood to clean up anyway.

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