What is catastrophic zipper failure you ask? Is catastrophic zipper failure any worse than just plain old zipper failure? What exactly causes catastrophic zipper failure? Is there an emergency procedure anywhere to help me deal with this unforeseen failure? Well I searched every available resource and found out that I was on my own! There was no printed help to be found in any book or in any reference material of which I was familiar. I was totally on my own to find a solution! Oh no!
In all my 36 years of being an Air Force pilot and airline pilot, I have never experienced what I endured on Friday. After a 2 1/2 day visit to Fresno for doctor appointments and Mother , sister, sons, and grandchildren visit, I climbed on a plane to go to work in LAX. My secure world was about to come totally unglued.
Before I weave to tale of woe, let me tell you what my itinerary for the next 10 days encompasses. I left Yuma, AZ on Tuesday afternoon, Jan 5th, headed for Fresno and a doctor appointment and family visit combined. From Fresno I flew to LAX to start my 3 day trip out to Honolulu. Saturday evening, tonight, I fly back to LAX arriving at 5:07am Sunday morning. I am then jumping on a plane from LAX going through Phoenix for the destination of Tuscon, AZ to meet two of my brothers to watch some good old fashion modified and late model racing on Tuscon’s 3/8 mile dirt/clay race track. I plan on staying with them in Tuscon through Thursday morning, then hop back on a plane to LAX and, once again fly a 3 day trip back out to Honolulu, Thurs. through Sat. morning. Then, fly back from LAX-PHX-TUS and catch the last weekend of this big late model racing event. That is my tentative itinerary for the next ten days!
Now that my itinerary is understood, you will have a better idea of my problem. When I arrived in LAX I went downstairs to our operations center. After a conference with the person who deals with medical retirement, I am gathering knowledge for that eventual possibility, I wondered into the Men’s room. While zipping up my trousers, the mechanism instantly gave me a completely unrestricted feeling. I thought that felt strange! So I took a peek down at my zipper only to find that I now have a “gapper”! I thought to myself, you gotta be s!#!#!#g me!!!! What are you gonna do now, Captain??
I was in a panic! I couldn’t get the zipper to reattach and function normally. Now I have to come up with an alternative plan. After exhausting all known possible fixes, the only fix that was available to me was to use 3 microscopically small safety pins. I must now pin the gapping zipper as closed as possible! This fix was almost totally unacceptable, but what was a Captain supposed to do?
To say that this fix was uncomfortable, would be an understatement at best! But that is all that I have to work with until I could get to Honolulu and go shopping Saturday morning.
I now must leave the hotel and ride The Bus to the Ala Moana Shopping Center to see if I can find a pair of uniform replacement slacks that won’t cost an arm and a leg. I am hopeful that I find a pair of pants, and leave the shopping center with a little bit of cash still left in my wallet.
EUREKA, MISSION ACCOMPOLISHED!
I have just returned to my hotel room with a reasonable substitute for my uniform pants and at a very reasonable price! In fact, I must have found the most helpful salesman in all of Macy’s! After I explained my predicament to this young man, he went to work and found me a couple of pairs of slacks that would fit the description I gave him. After trying both pair of slacks on, I made my selection and I was on my merry way!!
ANOTHER NEAR DISASTER AVERTED!