Every once in a while, something comes to my attention on the Internet, and I think, “this is ridiculous. Do people really believe this?” Some stories are just too contrived — way too made-up to be taken seriously. And the final outcome of the story presented is just too self-contained and, well, just neat. Events in real life just don’t end up like that.
But sometimes a tale gets forwarded to me by e-mail or I see it on social media and the story is just so over-the-top contrived that I can’t help but to make a few changes and pass it along and see what happens.
That is what happened with the “rudeness on an airplane” story. The story I got had to do with a racist white woman who felt put upon when her assigned seat on an airplane was next to an African-American. I made a few changes to this, like changing the victim to an unidentified handicapped person, added to the whininess a little, and then enhanced the “comeuppance” part of it when the complaining woman has to sit next to an obese passenger, and – voila! – an Internet urban myth is born! Then I added a random photo of an airplane stewardess that I stole from the Internet, and I have now seen this modified story of “rudeness on an airplane” come back across my own computer screen, with some minor changes, two times since I made my changes and sent it out! This is really fun!
Below is my version of the “rudeness on an airplane” story that I sent out. Feel free to pass it on, and include an expression of outrage and hearty approval of the karmic justice on display here. According to the website Snopes, variations of this story have been making the rounds in e-mail and on the Internet since 1998. Let’s breathe some more life into it!
Rudeness On An Airplane
A 50-something year old woman arrived at her seat on a crowded flight and immediately didn’t want the seat. The seat was next to a handicapped man. Disgusted, the woman immediately summoned the flight attendant and demanded a new seat.
The woman said “I cannot sit here next to this, uh, person,” gesturing to the handicapped guy.
The flight attendant said, “let me see if I can find another seat.” After checking, the flight attendant returned and stated, “ma’am, there are no more seats in economy, but I will check with the captain and see if there is something in first class.”
About 10 minutes went by and the flight attendant returned and stated “the captain has confirmed that there are no more seats in economy, but there is one in first class. It is our company policy to never move a person from economy to first class, but being that it would be some sort of scandal to force a person to sit next to an UNPLEASANT person, the captain agreed to make the switch to first class.”
Before the woman could say anything, the pilot arrived and gestured to the handicapped man and said, “sir, if you would so kindly retrieve your personal items, we would like to move you to the comfort of first class, as we don’t want you to sit next to an unpleasant person.” Scattered applause could be heard among the other passengers nearby.
“Well, I never…” growled the lady. “At least I get a vacant seat next to me. These middle seats can get pretty cramped.”
“Excuse me Mr. Pilot,” said a nearby fellow passenger, looking like he weighed about 550 pounds. “If you don’t mind, I would like to move to the seat next to that lady.”
The pilot gestured to the open seat, “sure – be my guest.”
“But…” whimpered the lady. The heavy guy settled in to the seat next to the lady, the love handles from his right side settling onto the arm-rest between the two seats and spilling over into her lap.
“Oh gross,” said the lady, her face turning red.
This was too much for the surrounding crowd, which leapt to its feet with a thundering applause. The pilot had a big grin as he turned to go back to the cockpit.
If you are against discrimination against the handicapped, share this.