One thing that will baffle me to the end of my dying days is the airline industry.
The entire industry confuses me, but nothing confuses me more than how much it seems ingrained in peoples’ lives and how little it probably should. I’m not going to say that flying is an uncommon occurrence, but most people I know that aren’t big-shot businessmen or international terrorists don’t fly very often, and even if they do it might be maybe twice a year. It is hardly the core of anyone’s life that I know. And yet for some reason if one small tiny detail about a flight turns out to be anything more inconvenient than cashing a check at the bank without the proper ID people will go absolutely insane with fury.
Specifically, it appears that people are extraordinarily upset when they dress like tramps or idiots and are peacefully confronted with their choice of attire.
A few months ago, a young lady of questionable modesty boarded a Southwest Airlines flight wearing what appeared to be three quarters of a washrag not quite wrapped around the general areas surrounding her naughty bits. It was one of those outfits that would seem fine so long as she never stood up, sat down, bent over, or inhaled, because if she did, there would be a show most people in America would have to pay to see. There was no mistaking where her erogenous zones were. Of course, immediately upon asking her if she would be so kind as to not flash her vajayjay all over creation with the rather unremarkable suggestion that she change or at least cover herself with a blanket, she suddenly found time to put her career as a Hooters waitress on hold to clutch gallantly at the First Amendment, crying real tears of freedom because a private corporation transporting men, women, and children didn’t think our forefathers fought and spilled blood at Lexington and beyond so young innocent girls like her can dress like street walkers on their way to such glamorous activities as a doctor’s appointment.
Thank goodness her mother came to the rescue, explaining that her daughter “dresses provocatively, as do 99 percent of 23-year-old girls who can.” “Everyone else is doing it” has worked wonders for every person whose precious, precious freedoms have been trampled underfoot by such moral crusaders as the Board of Directors of the various aeronautics companies.
Of course, this would be little more than an offer from Maxim magazine for a photo spread to demonstrate exactly what particular parts of her body were having their free speech rights violated if it weren’t for the fact that things like this seem to happen more often than they should. Another incident occurred only a few days ago, when a young man wearing a novelty T-shirt with a mildly amusing yet rather vulgar slogan (involving the description of a fictional fishing shop known for its skill at baiting hooks, arranged with rather unfortunate phrasing) was asked to change into something else or turn it inside out or something, least of all find some form of whatever self-respect is left of a 30-something year old guy who still advertises the fact that he still finds sexual innuendo funny on his apparel. He did end up changing his shirt, realizing that standing up for your rights is important, but not as important as missing your connection at O’Hare, and it’s best to bitch about it afterwards on the Today Show with Matt Lauer anyway.
Now, I’m a little bit less sympathetic to this second guy. The poor girl getting the ole once-over earns a small amount of compassion from me, since I have a soft spot in my heart for the more alluring parts of women, which just barely outweighs my complete frustration of listening to a crybaby whore complain about not being allowed to do whatever she wants whenever she wants. The guy with the T-shirt, though, just seems like another sausage trying to relive his frat-boy years by sticking it to the man, which, in this case, is a bankrupt industry trying to please every old woman from suing them because they were offended by a stupid juvenile shirt.
And, seriously, who wears shirts like that anymore? The “Co-ed Naked” and “Johnson’s” T-shirts weren’t even all that funny when I was in high school, and those were the days when every sentence that had the words “head” or “hard” or synonyms thereof had me pissing myself in uncontrollable laughter.
Still, one has to give both sides of this unfortunate story credit. The airline has to try to please everyone, from easily offended grandmothers to those who somehow think civil liberties supercede private property rights in any and all cases unless you happen to be rich. And the passengers have to stand up so young people can dress like sluts and morons. Because if they’re not going to fight for the previous few sluts and morons in this country, who will?