Hi All, The following story is true, the names have been changed
to protect the innocent.
The Musical Altimeter
The year was 1973 and I was working for McGraw-Edison in its aircraft
instrument division. We had an altimeter unit that went in a submarine
seeking plane. The unit was so unreliable that they put two of the
units side by side in the cockpit of the plane. Most aircraft instru-
ments had only one technician, but this altimeter had the three of us.
In a meeting one of the techs on the job named Bo Mamason made all
kinds of wacky suggestions to what we should do to the instrument to
make it work correctly. One of his suggestions was to put a music box
in the unit and have it play "How Much Is That Doggie In the Window".
During an inventory of the shop we found one of our altimeters was
missing. The unit was in for repair and it just seemed to vanish.
The unit sold for several thousand dollars but nobody was upset;
in fact, most of us just joked about the situation.
Suddenly one of the people doing the inventory found the unit under
the company Christmas tree. The unit was wrapped with ribbon and a
nice bow. The boss went right over to verify it was the missing unit.
When the boss picked up the unit he noticed a string coming out of the
unit. After he pulled the string the unit started playing, "How Much
Is That Doggie In the Window," as the dial moved in a circle. The unit
had all its paperwork, as well as recent inspection stickers.
The boss turned bright red then he laughed and then he called for
Bo Mamason! Bo just laughed and laughed, saying, "The unit finally
works!" There was a mention of heads rolling and people getting fired,
but nobody could keep a straight face.
There was also the question of how the unit got through inspection.
Several red-faced inspectors came to look the unit over but most
left laughing. The head cheese of the company just said to write up
a damage report for the unit. I guess all places see this kind of
thing from time to time!
Till next time!
John Conrad Kleinbauer