Budd Davisson, Plane and Pilot, Jan 2003
A.D.D. As a Life Style

Thiking in a Straight Line Doesn't Always Work

The other day a student who had the advantage of observing me not only at the airport but also in my office made the comment that it appeared as if I had raised Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) to a higher art form and made it a life-style. I think he was referring to my seemingly random style of working/thinking which consists of short bursts of activity aimed in one direction only to abruptly, and not necessarily logically, change direction.

I’ll admit that it appears as if I zigzag through life jumping from one thought to another with water-bug ferocity, but I’m not certain that’s truly A.D.D.. I know many folks who have found that the ability, and necessity, to shift gears rapidly and often is nothing more than a part of life and survival. Often, however, the net result is that when your kids are asked what their father does for a living, they can’t answer in less than three paragraphs.

Then I got to thinking about A.D.D. itself. Ignoring the truly damaging advanced cases of it, I’d have to say that a lot of the more interesting people that I know and respect have some form of it and it drives their lives in always-diverse ways. In looking at them I have decided that, to a certain extent, A.D.D. is open to definition.

As with so many other conditions, from color blindness to insanity, A.D.D. is defined by the majority. If the majority doesn’t have something, but the minority does, this means that the majority judges that condition as abnormal and, therefore, not right. If, for instance, most people saw red grass, as I do, that would be the standard. “The Majority Rules” is a cliché because it’s usually true.

I personally don’t think that a touch of A.D.D. is a disadvantage, but because it is so open to definition I began to think of other ways to apply, if not the specific condition, at least the abbreviation.

A.D.D.—Aviation Deficiency Disorder
This again is open to definition by the majority. In the greater scheme of things, Aviation Deficiency Disorder is a general deficiency of aviation interest throughout the rest of the population that has caused a weakening of aviation as a whole: if more people were into aviation, it would be stronger.

A.D.D.—Aerial Deprivation Disorder
When a person is seriously infected with the aviation virus it isn’t unusual for them to suffer Aerial Deprivation symptoms when they spend too much time out of the cockpit. The cure is rapid transportation to an airport and immediate insertion in a flying machine.

A.D.D.—Airplane Decision Disorder
This is an extremely common malady brought about by the arrival of a new copy of Trade-a-Plane. It is most likely to manifest itself in the spring just as it appears as if winter is actually going to end, rather than dragging on forever. An intense attack of Airplane Decision Disorder is also one of the stronger side effects of winning the lottery.

A.D.D.—Aerobatic Despondency Disorder
Commonly known as “Lakka-akro”, this condition is most often seen in the northern states where certain types of pilots have to endure hellishly long winters where they can’t get their little airplanes into the air for long periods of time. Aerobatic Despondency Disorder is the direct result of spending entirely too much time right side up.

A.D.D.—Aileron Deflection Disorder
A noticeable symptom of Aileron Deflection Disorder is a slight sheen to the bottom of the pants from sliding back and forth across the seat while making turns. The cure is a periodic application of short-duration amounts of rudder in the direction of the aileron. The condition is also known as Coordinatius Suckus.

A.D.D.—Always Dodging Debt disorder
Okay so it has one too many D’s, this is still a condition that seems endemic within certain segments of the population who feel as if owing money on something that flies is NOT the same as owing money on something that DOESN’T fly. For that reason, they are perfectly willing to bias their income/debt ratio in favor of debt assuming that it means they can up-grade into a much faster, sexier, more illogical airplane. This condition is characterized by an un-willingness to shoulder major debt for anything that is seen as illogical expense, like a house, for instance.

My heart goes out to those who actually have A.D.D. that has had a strong negative impact on their lives. I guess I’ve been lucky because, even though I’m obvious affected by most of those forms listed in addition to the traditional variety, the condition has always worked to my advantage….

I’d love to continue this discussion, but I just lost interest in it and wanna do something else. ‘Bye.