Some of us have written before about the Passenger Shaming Instagram account. It is mesmerizing. A rabbit hole into the madness of modern travel. And once you get lost plumbing its depths, you will not come back the same person you were when you went in. Passengers putting their bare feet up on the arm rests of the seat in front of them. Shaving their heads with an electric razor. Heating up pizza slices with the overhead light. Hair extensions hanging down across the screen on the back of their seat. Clipping their toenails. People of every size and gender in various stages of undress. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
And yet this guy wins the entire site. Compared to a guy with a massive leg wound dripping pus all over the carpet, the person with their filthy, gnarly feet all over the tray table might as well be the Holy Spirit descended from heaven to bless your bag of peanuts and Diet Coke. If you need any more proof that civilization has reached its peak and we are all de-evolving back to the Dark Ages, here it is. Only this is worse. Those poor wretches might have gone through their miserable existence plague-ridden, covered in their own filth and living among rats. But they knew how to dress a wound so they weren’t oozing bodily fluids over the floor of the ox carts they traveled by.
I’m long since past the notion that air travel is ever going to go back to the way it was. Like when you watch an old “Twilight Zone” or something and a young William Shatner is wearing a suit and tie and the stewardi are all impeccably elegant and treat each passenger like royalty. Those days are gone and never coming back. Lost to generations of Super Savers and Rewards Points that have turned passenger jets into city buses with wings. As I heard Dennis Miller say in a stand up special not long ago, air travel is so bad now we don’t even have hijackings any more. The terrorists are all like “I’m still willing to die for the cause, but there’s no way I’m getting on a plane.” A GREAT line that I wish I’d thought of.
I’m just proposing that we institute some kind of a policy that will give the rest of the passengers a vote. Bring a little democracy to the airlines. A kind of “Survivor” tribal council where in extreme cases like with Runny McPustule here, we get to vote him off the plane. One per trip. Everyone gets a vote except anyone from his traveling party. And if it’s unanimous, then we get to throw Massive Leg Wound Harry here into a pod and jettison him into the stratosphere and let Issac Newton decide if he ever makes his connecting flight in Raleigh-Durham. It won’t bring civilization back, but it will slow the decline a little bit. Make it so, FAA.