“Keep your damn hands off that button!” Scott Richardson bellowed as he punched the man who was about to cost the Red Sox their first World Series title in nearly one hundred years.
It was the morning of Game Four and World Series MVP Manny Ramírez was returning from an overnight flight to visit his ailing grandmother. Ramíez’s plane was scheduled to land in 25 minutes when suddenly the air traffic control software went nuts. Calling out planes that didn’t exist, switching AM schedules to PM, pilots were being told to fly upside down, it was air control’s worst nightmare, the perfect storm.
In a case like this there was only one man to call, Scott Richardson, President and Chief Bottle Washer of Richardson Computer Systems, creators of the finest air control software in the western hemisphere.
“I’m sorry, I can’t. This type of problem could take all day to fix and this could be the year we break the curse.” Scott said into the phone, knowing full well he was the only man capable of fixing such a problem. “You’ll need to replace the entire system.” He let out a sigh.
Captain Joe Mcpherwitz barked back into the phone “You’ve got twenty minutes and you’ll want to be fast… Manny Ramírez is on one of those flights!”
“Prep the runway, I’m coming in!” Scott slammed the phone onto the receiver. The main advantage of working on air control software was the unrestricted access to runway parking. Scott turned to his loving and beautiful wife. “The Red Sox Nation needs me Deb, these omelets will have to wait.” and with that, he was out the door.
Born in Wurzburg, Germany, Scott was no stranger to traveling at the immense speeds of the autobahn. At least this would be true had a series of horrible events not transpired years prior. This led the Richardson clan to flee to America shortly after Scott’s birth, only two years before he would have reached Germany’s minimum driving age.
Slamming the car into reverse and stomping on the accelerator, Scott sped out of the driveway at 100 miles per hour. Air control needed him, thousands of passengers needed him, but more important than all of that-Manny Ramírez needed him.
Barreling down the interstate in the back seat of his parents minivan. Scot was moving for what had to be the dozenth time. Scott was a child without a home, without friends, eternally rooting for a team without a world series win. By now he was used to traveling from state to state, never getting to acquainted with those he met. He stared out the window longingly, with hopes that somehow or another, Cambridge would be the last stop.
Scott ran every red light imaginable, just another perk of being a computer programer. This also happened to be a perk of living in 2004, when there weren’t cameras at every intersection. By now Scott was a self-made man with a wife and two children, Deb, Alex, and Audrey (respectively), and here he sat-throwing caution to the wind for one baseball player. But now he approached the airstrip. Slamming through the fence and onto the runway Scott cut-off a plane trying to find it’s terminal. He skid into his reserved parking space at the base of air traffic control.
Scott swung open the door to the house of Janice, a childhood friend, where he was to meet Debbie McClure for the first time. As is customary on blind dates, the two were blindfolded before entering the house– if they could find each other, it was meant to be. Janice sat with stifled laughter while, Scott stumbled over tables, knocked over chairs, and stubbed his toes on stools and coffee tables. Debbie, lost in the pantry, could hear the sound of Scott’s screams of agony from across the house. It was a lovely sound, perhaps the most wondrous she had ever heard. She took off in a flash to find the source of the grunts, eventually she would run right into him. Their heads bashed together in what has since become a staple of romantic comedies and more often than not, true love. Unfortunately the two fell into concussions before love, and were rushed to the hospital. The found themselves recovering in neighboring beds, and it was there that Scott and Debbie became acquainted and would fall in love.
“How much time have we got!” Scott barked at Cpt. McPherwitz as he entered the room.
“Ramírez is scheduled to land in seven minutes.”
“Where’s the unit?”
Cpt. McPherwitz said nothing, he simply pointed across the room to a computer that was actively sparking and smoking. Scott was off like a shot. Connecting A wires to B wires, C wires to Z wires, the whole unit had to be rewired before the correct software could even be reinstalled. Luckily, all wires from D to Y were irrelevant which sped up the process considerably. With 6 minutes left on the clock Scott inserted the install disk.
“We need to divert all power to this computer if there’s any hope of installing the software in time!”
“But that will black out the rest of the airport–”
“Do you want these passengers to live or die, captain?”
Having no choice, McPherwitz ordered the redirect. Everything went dark, all that could be seen was the glowing computer screen, installing at five percent per second.
Scott turned to face the room. “Alright everyone listen closely, once the software is online it’s crucial that you wait for my command to initiate air control. If we flip the switch too soon everything we’ve worked for could be lost. One millisecond could be the difference between the World Series and a pile of flaming 747’s in the middle of your runway. Are we clear?”
Before anyone could respond the computer behind Scott started flashing beeping with a blinding intensity.
“RETURN POWER TO THE REST OF THE AIRPORT!” He shouted.
Those in the control watched in awe as an entire airstrip sprang back to life, they scarcely noticed Bob Decker sneaking towards the panel, his Cardinals Cap sitting firmly on his skull. He sat down at the panel, ready to sabotage the entire operation. Clasping his hands together he stretched them out, cracking his knuckles before delivering the final blow. But it was the clickity-clack of his bones that tipped off Scott Richardson.
“Keep your damn hands off that button!” he bellowed, as he put to rest the last chance the Cardinals had a 2004 World Series win.
Scott Richardson now lives a peaceful, quiet life in rural Maryland with his wife, Deb. His two children attend college on their own, leaving Scott to have the time of his life with his beautiful wife. For breakfast this morning he ate a hearty serving of blueberry waffles as he reminisced about the day he saved the world series.