Ssssh. Whatever you do, don’t utter a certain three-letter word that might come to mind to describe any of what you see on the left.
At least not when you’re flying way, way south with the McChord Deep Freeze crew. It is forbidden to speak that word, from wheels up at McChord until all are back in the Pacific Northwest. All within earshot are entitled to demand that a violator pony up for a beverage of their choice.
Do not trouble yourself to find a rationale for this mild bit of hazing. But the Deep Freeze tradition is a spinoff from the longstanding airlift prohibition against speaking the word “green” during air- drop missions. Green is what the code word for when it’s time to start shoving the load out the back of the airplane. Pilots with that surname are rechristened “Capt. Lime,” or somesuch.
Biggest offender so far is Maj. Ernst “Dutch” Coumou, who slipped no fewer than four times on a group outing Tuesday.