Throughout human history, there have been feats that gave us pause; epic heroes who demanded public declamation. When the forces of Illium sacked Troy, Homer sat down to immortalize the event in flowing prose. When Washington swam the Delaware and beat up Benedict Arnold, everyone got together and built a huge stone copy of his bizarrely-shaped dick. All so that we would never forget.
And today, we carry on the tradition of canonizing our ubermensch. After all, when a guy lands a thousand-ton hunk of metal filled with screaming people on a boat-filled strip of water and doesn’t bat an eye, a Wikipedia page and Facebook fan page are certainly in order. But I can’t help feeling that those aren’t enough for Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger III. The man was a first chair flautist, for Christ’s sake.
Screw keys to the city; screw inaugural invitations. It’s time to rock a dedication old school. Sully, this one’s for you.
The Epic Ballad Of Sully And The Devil-Birds
Sing, O Muse! Of a man most valorous and righteous
Of he, the winged son of Danville
Who is even now flying high out of LaGuardia,
That morose beef patty between two moping buns— Sullenberger—Sullenberger the demi-God
Who was thrust that day, all unknowing
Into the airborne lair of Skree, the SatanGoose,
And her dastardly horde. The birds, all joy-blind
From a day of pecking orphan’s eyes
And honking on overpasses so as to cause accidents,
Hurled at Sully’s plane full speed,
The twisted evil in their feathery hearts
Drawing them straight and true to his mighty engines.
Sully and his crew and human payload,
Still freshly of the air, thoughts astir with the hope
Of nine salted peanuts and Wall-E on the in-flight,
Were ROCKED! By the impact of the traitorous fowl.
“Hitler’s beard!” cried he, bronzed chest rippling,
“’Tis the long-awaited death of Skree I now sense,
and she means to drag us to Hades with her!”
So broad grew his chest with a mournful keen
That his tie ripped free of his swelling neck,
His coat opened in a jagged V, buttons springing forth
To rebound off the faces of swooning crew.
“To arms” cried he, “To Teterboro! To victory!”
Spit flew from his mouth, caught in his drooping mustaches
And reflected a wan sun. He cried out for the Tower.
“Oh great Sully,” came the reply “whose name does not sully,
but exalts all ears it deigns to enter, we on the ground,
Our pants heavy and sopping with the poop and pee of fear,
Can do little but move planes around, so feeble are we.”
Dashing the radio to the ground, Sully grimaced,
The silence of his crippled plane filled by the triumphant flute
Blowing as if to wake the dead in his Mensa-level brain.
“So it must be,” said he, “and so shall it be. We seek refuge with Poseidon.” All in earshot gaped,
Aghast at the godlike moxy of this mortal man,
And some doubtless recalled the whispered legends of his birth,
The tales of his father’s cuckolding on the prong of the Sea god.
Would Sully, half-son of the watery god, be welcomed?
“Brace for impact,” was all he said.
Great Poseidon! Shaper of the world, both man and woman,
Help me tell now of Sully’s entrance into you
How that great steel length swooped low
As if to plow you something proper,
Then glided into your watery cooch
Never grazing a wing nor disturbing the ferrymen
That clung about your lips to stare in fear and wonder
At the life-giving consummation of Father and Son.
The beleaguered plane rocked and shuddered,
Readying to spill its human seed upon the deep.
“And so,” breathed Sully, biceps putting tree trunks to shame,
“As you had your way with my mother,
So have I had my way with thee.”
And he left the cockpit then, so aptly named,
Trailing a palpable grace and strength
No ethics book could hope to contain.
The sun, O Muse, that hung then in the rosy sky
Set on the death of Skree, fowl most foul,
And on the reunion of Sully and his godhood,
On a Hero who strides among us,
Humbly, with balls the size of giant balls.
Sorry Chesley, but until the Treasury Department approves my design for the zillion-dollar “Sullybuck,” this’ll have to do you. I’d recommend printing it out and framing it above your mantelpiece, or maybe getting someone to crochet it into a scarf.
Here’s hoping you pilot every plane I ever fly in.
When not carrying on the proud traditions of our forebears, Michael serves as head writer for and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!