Tin Cans ... Can You Handle The Truth? | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's note: Alex J. Ortolano is a former U.S. Army Medical Evacuation Helicopter Pilot in Vietnam and now a patient observer of life, and the rest of us, who act act as Alex's muses.

    We are please to announce that you will be able to find Alex here at BCN or at his blogspot here.

This is really a War Story but you have to get to the bottom to see the War Part. Be patient, the Top Part is funny.

    If where you live is like where I live, you have Traffic Reports on the radio every day. I know that those poor souls that still have to work for a living probably depend on these shouted bulletins to help them survive their commutes because the traffic is awful!

    Actually I really have no sympathy for those of you still working because it is your own fault that you are still working. If you had been born sooner you could be retired like me.

    Back to the awfulness of the traffic reporting, here is how it sounds to me...

          •  The darn things come at my ears every 6 minutes. This is not another of my foolish made up facts. The radio stations are actually proud of this 6 minute thing. They announce every 6 minutes that the reports come every 6 minutes. Commercials take up about 3.5 minutes of these 6 minutes. This only leaves 2.5 minutes for the Talk Show Host to make us worry and/or get disgusted at whatever he has uncovered that he thinks we ought to get worried and/or disgusted about.

          •  The traffic reports are very loud. I guess they are trying to wake up the bleary-eyed commuter. It's sort of a hysterical public service announcement.

          •  The traffic reporter talks unbelievably fast. It is really hard to understand what he is saying. In my opinion they take what would be a 4 minute bunch of words and spew them out at us in about 30 seconds.

          •  Usually I try and ignore them (remember I am not a commuter). The times I have tried to listen to them I have gotten very confused. Since they are working commercials into the traffic reporting, I find myself saying to myself, "I don't even know where Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle Street is".

          •  The biggest deception perpetrated by the Eye in the Sky People is that they are not in the sky. They try and make it sound like they are up in a helicopter and broadcasting to us through a radio transmitter by talking into a tin can from their well grounded radio station studio.

    I know of what I speak in the last bullet above concerning the Tin Can. Back in my former life the U.S. Army taught me how to recognize the difference between a radio broadcast asking us to land where the good guys needed us to pick up wounded soldiers and the sound of a Viet Cong (bad guys) shouting very loudly into a tin can. They used to try and trick us into landing where they were so they could make us feel real unwelcome.

    Thanks to your having read this Foolishness...Or Is It?, next time you hear the Eye in the Studio Guy shouting into his tin can, you will know the truth and then You Can Handle The Truth! General Jack Nicholson would smile at this last line (if he were smart enough to be a reader of my blog).

    Finally, if you find out where Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle Street is, send me an email and let me know. It's not in my GPS.

    Would I kid u?

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( January 18th, 2016 @ 12:31 pm )
Great post thank you.
For a short time I was an RTO (radio telephone operator) in the field and almost everything sounded like it was being transmitted through a tin can. I never really enjoyed carrying the PRC 25 radio because it's not much fun walking around on the ground with a whip antenna sticking straight up to alert everyone where you're at. Most of the time you could bend it over and it would not be so obvious but occasionally you had to let it fly high as we said.

One of the funniest things that happened was the inevitable order to pop smoke which is what they gave when they needed to identify your location. The protocol was that you would pop smoke the helicopter pilot would respond with the color and then you could confirm color.

I popped smoke it was green. Helicopter pilot replied chartreuse I replied saying again. Comeback was it could be emerald or chartreuse but it looks somewhat greenish.

The phrase smartfeller did not come to mind but it was damn close.

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