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the airman's mess

Sorting through The Airman's Mess

By the tone of The Airman's Mess, one would guess that the author, hereby known as SaigonSam, was a hard drinking grizzled old 70 year old airman with finely honed storyteller's voice.

But then one reads further and discovers that he's a 22 year old Canadian Census worker (and pilot) who still thinks that Chicken Broccoli Liguini is the ultimate cuisine to serve a prospective serious date. He describes his recent high school reunion as "Sort of like in the excellent film Grosse Pointe Blank, except I'm not John Cusack. But I do have "99 Luftballons", as does the excellent soundtrack."

The Airman's Mess is not about design. There is nothing slick about it. It's about a good, unvarnished look at the life of a young man who also happens to be a damn good storyteller. Even something as simple as poetry written on the sidewalk on his way to the grocery store becomes prosaic from Sam's keyboard.

No one is ever referred to by their real name...everyone is referred to by their imaginary radio handle: Goodbar, eGirl, Cueball, Funboy. He introduces and revisits his characters with supreme skill, low-key and never maudlin. The real emotion is always implied, rarely explicitly stated. Somehow it comes through all the more powerful as a result.

He talks about his loneliness in a way that doesn't scream out to be pitied...it's just ordinary lonliness rendered with self-compassion. One doesn't know what happened between he and eGirl, but his quiet wistfulness speaks volumes.

The Airman's Mess gets my vote as the most deeply underrated blog in the air. Don't take my word for it though, read some posts about Sam losing his wank drive, half a beer...rounded down, a blue vinyl couch and taking care of your local census worker.