Ingrained with an innate fear of flying, most historians never got closer to getting airborne than being on an Amtrak train when the bar car derailed. The story they would have us believe, was that Orville and Wilber Wright invented the airplane after studying the gliding experiments of a German fellow named Otto Lilienthal. Well, hardly . . .
Orville, ever the thinker, had read that this guy in Germany was causing quite a scene when, shortly after launching himself in his glider, he would launch lunch. This was turning out to be a bit of a problem for all who came to watch the flights as the resulting “blow” would spray people, animals and various objects for miles. Nicknamed “Spew” by his friends, Otto was having a hard time getting people to watch his flights for which he charged a small fee. He needed the money so he could afford to build a motor and attach it to the front of the glider. The idea of motorized flight had occurred to him one day when the wind just quit and he did a flying face plant in some of his own byproduct.
So Orville set out to invent a solution for Otto’s problem. After several years and hundreds of tries, Orville approached Wilber and proudly announced that he had finally invented a solution. An excited Wilber, sensing a sure windfall from the invention, asked Orville, “Well, what do you call it?”
“Why,” Orville said, “It is a Blow Alter Reflective Facilitator, or BARF bucket.”
“Well,” quizzed Wilber, “Just how does it work?”
Just about to pop a button, Orville said, “That is why I came to see you my brother, here, just drain your bilge in this.”
Wilber, looking a bit puzzled said, “Say what?”
“Just blow your beets for heaven sakes; don’t you know what tossing cookies is? Worship at the old porcelain alter, but do it in this bucket,” continued Orville.
Wilber stammered, “Are you breathing different air than I am? I don’t feel the least bit ill and I have no intention of flashing hash in that bucket or anywhere else, but I will call a doctor and have your head examined.”
Now Orville had two problems. First he needed to test his BARF bucket and second he needed to get Wilber in the mood to spew stew.
Then he had another thought, why not just go over to Germany and have Otto chuck lunch a few times for him. He went directly in and checked the flight schedules from North Carolina to Germany. To his surprise, there were none, seems that no one had invented a plane yet. “Wow, what luck,” he thought, “all I have to do is invent a plane, fly to Germany and use Otto as my test pilot for the BARF bucket.”
Orville worked feverishly to build his plane, hoping all the while that Wilber would just get a fever, and in December of 1903 he was ready to head for Germany. But first, he thought it might be a good idea to test his flying machine, patent number 821,393 (he later dropped the patent number and just called it his flying machine 821,393). But who to put in the death trap, errr, flying machine? “Hey, I’m pissed at Wilber, why not him!”
So on December 17th, Orville strapped a now visibly drunk Wilber into his flying machine and released the brake. While history tells us that this was the first manned flight and that it lasted only 12 seconds, the truth is that the major success of this flight happened within the first three seconds when Wilber took a Technicolor yawn right into Orville’s BARF bucket and passed out. It apparently took them another nine seconds to catch up with the rapidly falling craft. With this unquestioned success, Orville started the BARF Wright Company but went bankrupt when the weight of the buckets proved too much for other flying machines.
The brothers had a very strained relationship after that and lived in abject poverty. It was rumored that the two brothers never spoke after that day in 1903, but the truth is that as he lay on his death bed in the home they shared, and with his last breath, Wilber motioned Orville to lean down and in a whisper said, “Bag, you moron, bag.”