What's a Halusian Gulp?
September 25, 2008 7:49 PM Subscribe
What's a Halusian Gulp? And what does it have to do with fighter pilots?
posted by blahblahblah to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The phrase appears in this passage from Tom Wolfe's Right Stuff (quoted in a political discussion
Being a fighter pilot... presented a man, on a perfectly sunny day, with more ways to get himself killed than his wife and children could imagine in their wildest fears. If he was barreling down the runway at two hundred miles an hour, completing the takeoff run, and the board started lighting up red, should he (A) abort the takeoff (and try to wrestle the monster, which was gorged with jet fuel, out in the sand beyond the end of the runway) or (B) eject (and hope that the goddamned human cannonball trick works at zero altitude and he doesn't shatter an elbow or a kneecap on the way out) or (C) continue the takeoff and deal with the problem aloft (knowing full well that the ship may be on fire and therefore seconds away from exploding)?...
Sometimes at Edwards they used to play the tapes of pilots going into the final dive, the one that killed them, and the man would be tumbling, going end over end in a fifteen-ton length of pipe, and he knew it, and he would be screaming into the microphone, but not for Mother or for God or the nameless spirit of Ahor, but for one last hopeless crumb of information about the loop: "I've tried A! I've tried B! I've tried C! I've tried D! Tell me what else I can try!" And then that truly spooky click on the machine. What do I do next? (In this moment when the Halusian Gulp is opening?) And everybody around the table would look at one another and nod ever so slightly, and the unspoken message was: Too bad! There was a man with the right stuff.
bonus points for explaining the "nameless spirit of Ahor"...