Pee-brained idiots in flight
Human knowledge is a wonderful thing. Our entire civilization is built on information; with every generation, people collectively know more and more about everything by adding on to the wealth of knowledge gathered by our ancestors.
At some point in human history, I imagine Oog the caveman decided that the wealth of information he had painstakingly collected was far too vast to hog all to himself. He had to pass on his immense wisdom to the next generation, who – by the way – were spoilt brats with no respect for their elders. He spent days thinking about how best to educate the masses. In a sudden jolt of inspiration, he finally decided on the best course. He collected a bunch of leaves from the ground, and started using short pointy twigs to jot down the wisdom of the ages. He was feeling mighty proud of himself, until suddenly, he remembered what the people of the day used those leaves for, and threw them all away in disgust.
Oog was not a smart man.
But eventually, someone smarter came along and discovered the art of cave paintings. From then on, humanity as a collective unit, has spent centuries passing knowledge on to the next generation. And today, with the power of the internet, we have the strongest means of transferring information, even if that’s mostly about cats mangling the English language.
But not all information requires teaching. Some things are basic enough you just assume everybody knows it; not everybody may know the height of the Eiffel tower (1609 meters, give or take a mile), but you can bet everyone knows the very basics – like eating and drinking, or … well, what to do with what you ate or drank. But apparently, no. The internet thinks you are too stupid to know how to pee right. There are pages and pages online that teach people about how to take care of your business. Gross, indelicate, sometimes scary pages for both men and women that make you go “oh, no, you don’t!”.
Do people really need such manuals? Are there people dumb enough in today’s day and age?
Let’s ask Jeff Rubin, a 26 year old Oregon man who recently boarded a JetBlue flight from Anchorage to Portland with an unfortunate case of shitfacedness.
There are many ways that a drunk guy could be a menace to other passengers on a flight. But Jeff was considerate enough to be asleep through most of the trip. But then, sometime towards the end of the brief, but momentous journey, he got the call of nature. Thankfully, modern aircrafts are equipped with specially built lavatories made for exactly this type of situation, and I’m sure that, in normal conditions, Jeff would have used these units quietly, said a silent thanks to the inventors of the flying commodes, and gotten back to his seat without commotion.
Not-so-thankfully, Jeff was not in a normal condition at the time, and Drunk Jeff was a maverick rebel who played by no rules. Drunk Jeff scoffed at the very idea of a lavatory, and chalked it up to an effort by ‘the man’ to make him move away from his seat. Instead, he stood up, spotted the space between the seats in front of him, and thought – “I could hit that.”
He started emptying his bladder right between the seats in front. Unfortunately, the passengers sitting in front were collateral damage, caught in the splash zone. Drunk Jeff then lost his balance and sprayed his… err… ‘processed H2O’ all over the place, including other passengers and their belongings, before finally passing out in his seat.
The passengers and crew, along with the cops who entered the scene after the plane landed, were all too sober to appreciate his creative can-do-attitude. Authorities at Portland charged him with second-degree criminal mischief and ‘offensive littering’, thereby raising the bar for comedians trying to describe the incident. But fear not, Jeff fans – he was detained only for five hours before being released on his own recognizance. He’s probably out there looking for new, creative and challenging ways to take care of his ‘offensive litter’.
Now, I know some of you are rooting for creativity, and I’m not usually opposed to that. But I have to take a slightly controversial stand here and rebuke Jeff. No, Jeff. It’s NOT acceptable behavior, drunk or not. We are a civilized society, and you just HAVE to learn the basics. Airline lavatory usage is not rocket science. It’s so basic that I dare say I can pick just about ANYBODY at random and ask them to demonstrate the… the way to go.
Let me see… How about you, James? Yes, you. Why not? Everybody – a round of applause for James Gray, who will be showing the right way to do this. Pay attention, Jeff.
First, you get up from your seat. Very good, James, and incidentally, that’s the only step you got right, Jeff. Ok, so you get up from your seat, walk across the aisle without disturbing anybody. Very good. You head towards the door, and then yo… wait. James, no. That’s the wrong… Not that doo.. NOT THAT DOOR!
What lousy luck. Of all the thousands of passengers worldwide, I had to pick James Gray, passenger on KLM flight from Edinburgh to Amsterdam, who, on his way to relieve his call of nature, tried to open the jet’s door at 30,000 feet, mistaking it for a toilet. He was fined 600 Euros, spent the night in an Amsterdam detention center, and was banned from KLM flights for 5 years. Considering he didn’t actually open the door, and claims to have just touched the handle by mistake, I kinda feel some of his punishments would have better suited the incorrigible Jeff.
But I’m concerned now. Is this a common thing? Can it be that people actually don’t understand in-flight peeing etiquette? The story of French actor and work-in-progress ‘living caricature of himself’, Gerard Depardieu is not encouraging. In 2011, he went full Jeff mode and let it go in the aisle of an Air France flight. Before you chalk it up to the antics of spoiled celebrities, note that not all celebs are perpetrators of such acts. Some are vicitims, such as when Expendables star Dolph Lundgren got his feet washed by the extremely expendable liquid from professional idiot, Mathew Pritchard in another airline-based idiocy.
I… I give up. There’s no educating this lot. The best we can hope is that this idiocy doesn’t get carried forward to the next generation. But I wouldn’t bet on it. In between the stories of Vietnamese celebrity Le Quen who allowed her son to pee into an air sickness bag aboard a Vietnamese Airline flight, the Chinese family who spread out newspapers on their Delta flight seats for their young one to… poop on, and the lousy parents who let their kid poop in the aisle despite the lavatory being empty at the time – I have to wonder if any hope exists at all.
None of these actions are acceptable – in any way or form, unless you’re traveling by Ryan Air, of course.