Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stupid Congress Tricks

Well, at last, Democrats and Republicans have buried the hatchet and are making real bipartisan efforts to fix America's problems. At last they've put aside their bickering to work on the things real Americans are concerned about. Rep Heath Shuler, D-NC and Rep Walter Jones, R-NC are pushing the Family Friendly Flights Act. You know it's a good law, when it's got a catchy title.

"The airlines have chosen to put our children in a situation that I don't feel comfortable with," said Shuler.

They are, of course, talking about movies on airplanes. Oh God, the horror, the horror! The crux of the FFFA being that these two dipshits want the airlines to create "Kid Friendly" areas on each commercial plane.

ATTENTION NORTH CAROLINA IDIOTS: here's a better idea, let's pass an act that creates passenger friendly areas on airplanes.

Between the endless Gordian knot of asinine government regulations we already have, and the out and out incompetence and stupidity of the air carriers, air travel is one of the most irritating, aggravating, and miserable trials of modern life. Rep. Shuler isn't comfortable with the situation? I'd be willing to bet my next airline "snackbox" that he's a hell of a lot more comfortable up there in first class than I am back in the livestock section. Hey, Shuler, when was the last time you tried shoehorning your giant pro-football playing ass into one of those coach class seats? When was the last time you bought tickets a month in advance, reserving an isle seat because you've got knee and shoulder problems from defending your country and not your million dollar NFL career - only to check in and find out you've been moved into a middle seat because some fucking amateur sports team decided to change flights at the last minute and the plane is full of juiced-up teenagers and we're so sorry? I'm curious, Representative Jones, when was the last time you checked in for the redeye home with your children, only to be told by some check-in counter robot refugee from the DMV that, oopsy, we oversold the flight. But, hey, we'll put you on standby for the next flight. That next flight being 6 hours later. I'm curious, you two vote-pandering Congressional jackasses (yes, I know that's redundant), when was the last time you booked seats in advance for a family trip, checked in online, printed the adjoining tickets - and got to the airport only to find that the airline has reassigned your family to three widely separated seats (all of them middle seats) for some unknown reason? I have to wonder when these two privileged jerkoffs have had to stand for an hour with their kid in the TSA security line, so some former mall-cop Gestapo wannabe can check their shoes and make sure they don't have any of that dangerously explosive bottled water on them. These two morons should try sitting in an overloaded, poorly maintained piece of Boeing crap with over-flowing toilets and screaming kids on the tarmac at O'Hare for fours hours because the plane can't take off and the pilots aren't allowed to return to the terminal.

You want to make air travel better for children? Let's pass a law that allows passengers delayed by airline incompetence to camp out overnight at the airline CEO's house, and Mrs CEO has to fix them breakfast the next morning. I guaren-goddamm-tee you she'd make sure those people got where they were going on time. Let's pass a law that sends the airline board of directors to one of those secret CIA prisons in Bulgaria every time their reservation department "overbooks" a flight. I mean seriously, how hard is it? You've got 150 seats, you sell no more than a 150 tickets. This isn't rocket science, my 6th grader can figure this out. They can sure as hell do enough math to calculate their million dollar annual bonuses, they can do the seat math. The average American's ass gets wider by at least an inch a year, yet airline seat width is retreating faster than the Greenland ice sheet. Let's pass a law that mandates that the ergonomics of airline executives' office chairs must match those of their airline coach seats exactly, inch for inch. Make the seats better, you get a better office chair, otherwise you can suffer, bitch. Let's make a law that says every single time an airline imprisons it's paying customers in an airplane stuck on the runway for more than two hours because of "weather" or some other such bullshit, the children of every FAA employee are rounded up, put in a small room with one overflowing port-O-potty and no air conditioning until the situation is resolved.

Seriously, this is the top priority in North Carolina? Here's a real idea: let's let the free market sort it out. People who don't want their kids exposed to online movies should get together and petition the airlines. Don't take your kids on airlines that show gay snuff porn (seriously though, what the hell airlines are these people flying on? The last three flights I've been on have shown Shrek III, Night in the Museum, and The Astronaut Farmer.) Eventually major carriers will take a lesson from Alaskan Airlines, they don't show movies, they rent "Digi-players" at four bucks a pop. It's basically a portable DVD player with a variety of programming, you put on the ear phones and watch whatever the hell you want, when you want. Simple, easy, popular, no laws required - unfortunately, it's low profile so there's not enough controversy for Representatives to grandstand their way into the "Outraged Parent" voting demographic.

Listen Shuler and Jones, please, go back to doing nothing about the war and leave the rest of us alone. Oh, and somebody get me another bag of peanuts.


  1. I needed a good chuckle, thanks.

    What a couple of tools. And not the kind that turn wood.

    "Family Friendly?" Every movie I've "seen" (and I use that term loosely) on a flight was cut all to shit because they won't show anything that wouldn't pass the FCC's decency muster.

    I've never flown Alaskan, but I've flown Frontier, and each seat has it's own TV, complete with multiple channels and movies. You swipe your card, and watch the tube.

    I wonder when the two Representatives will be found joining the Mile High Club - with each other. There's a family friendly flight.

  2. Can I lobby for no friggin' screens, but a power adapter at each seat. So if I want to read, I can read and not be distracted by flickering screens. If I want to recharge my laptop or iPod, I can do that as well.

    Just another move to make government small enough to fit in our brains.

  3. How about Play Places like they have at McDonalds on flights? That ought to keep the little buggers happy.

  4. How about a shotglass of cough syrup and the kids can sleep on the plane?

  5. I guess your hands are feeling better already. :)

    The last flight I was on, each seat had its own TV that you could either watch for free or pay to play games. Also I agree with the power adapter idea. So many people have laptops and such nowadays, it makes too much sense not to do that instead.

    Best flight I've been on in recent years was EVA Airlines going to Taiwan. The livestock section got treated like a first class section would be on a domestic airline, and who knows what luxury the first class people got. I do know they had real slippers instead of the disposable paper ones the rest of us got...

  6. I guess your hands are feeling better already.

    Well, for you, MWT, I just work through the pain, in a manly sort of way.

    Paper slippers? Sounds more like a medivac flight...

  7. Asian hospitality. ;) It's customary to remove one's shoes upon entering someone's house. I guess they extended the concept to planes.

    We also got fed a lot. On real plates with real silverware. In fact, they would wake everyone up every 4-6 hours or so with food, I guess out of concern that we should adapt to the time zone we were entering.

  8. Every flight I have ever been on that has a movie going has been kid friendly to the point of being annoying. I personally think that these two should be thinking more about why Nancy Palosi needs to fly around on a 100 million dollar C-17 that is designed for medical evacuation and supplying much needed supplies to our GI’s over in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sorry getting a little off the subject. Here is what you do for a long flight with the kids, keep them up all night the night before the flight, and just before you board give them a shot of children Benadryl, no movie needed. By the way I am with every one on the power outlets at each seat, put it in the spot that the nasty gum filled ashtray occupies.


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