"Taking off is simple aerodynamics," Wise Guy blathers, as the scene cuts to the boys plus the Wise Guy aboard the Cessna, "flying" through a blanket of dry ice vapors. "It's landing that's a problem," the aphorism predictably concludes. Kellerman's anxiously riding shotgun; Wee Willie and the cooler bounce around in the back as the Cessna wobbles on a gimbal deep within a soundstage somewhere in Los Angeles. I'll let you in on a little secret: This entire airborne jaunt? Is an asinine contrivance of monumentally irritating proportions whose sole purpose is to strand Our Intrepid Heroes in the middle of the Nevada badlands with a melting heart. I'll keep this short, if you don't mind. Did you ever see It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World? You did? Good. You remember the intermission-bridging sequence with the daffy private plane? Even better. Kellerman's the Rooney; Willie's the Hackett; Wise Guy's the Backus; this bitty plane with the wacko pilot will not get them to Vegas; United Artists and Stanley Kramer's heirs are suing Marc Platt and ABC for copyright violation; Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Terry-Thomas, and Jimmy Durante are spinning in their graves; no one will find $350,000 under the giant W in the Santa Rosita State Recreational Area; and Demian wants a cocktail.
Meanwhile, back at the Mish, the free-floating miasma of raging testosterone that's already sucked the grey matter from Snickers and Hot Levi's skulls enfeebles yet another hapless male as Posner ambles on over to Maggie, who's innocently examining chest films at the nurse's station. Posner The Almighty Dweeb employs as his opening gambit, "I heard Mr. Lin's being moved out of ICU. Amazing." Maggie, clueless, starts blithering on and on about how her research into the case indicated Lin likely suffered from "massive clotlysis, possibly related to protein C, antithrombin, or platelet-activating factor." "Protein C," Posner nods. "Platelet-activating factor," Posner croons. "Yaaaaang," Posner drools. Every square inch of skin on the front of Maggie's body migrates towards her back. "Call me Matt," Posner nerds. "Or Skip! My friends, you know, call me Skip. Or Matthew's good!" "Friends"? Pull the other one, twerp. Maggie's all, "I'll just be taking these X-rays to the lab now, loser," and edges away from him down the hall. Skippy The Wonder Dweeb twitchily extracts both feet from his mouth while scheduling himself for castration.
Somewhere east of the Sierra Nevadas, Jim Backus has had one martooni tee many, and plants the Cessna in the sand. Okay, there's more to it than that. Wise Guy banks the plane into the sun once they've crossed the mountain range, about an hour outside of Las Vegas. Kellerman flips down the visor, unleashing a cascade of rat droppings into his lap. Seems the rodents are fond of nesting in Wise Guy's Cessna. And chewing on the Cessna's electrical system. On cue, every last dial and gadget on the instrument panel smokes up and dies, including the radio. Wise Guy hastily lands the plane in the middle of nowhere. At least they didn't fly through a roadside billboard, leaving behind the precise outline of their bitty plane in the advertisement. Though to be honest, at this point I wish they'd Patsy Clined into a cliff. And on that note, we Buddy Holly our way into the commercials.