April 03, 2007

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

GOD-FEARING PEOPLE across America ought take a moment to reflect on the glory of life's majesties. For in a wonderful decision issued earlier today, the Federal Communications Commission said it would continue to ban the use of mobile phones during airline flights. Oh, joy and rapture.

Apparently, some technical considerations prompted the agency to maintain the ban, but I don't care about those. The important thing here is that today, the Government struck a powerful blow for silence, order and common decency.

I mean, my God. Could you imagine how horrible airline travel would be with people talking on cell phones? It's bad enough now as is, with the wretched service, cramped quarters and the poor manners of some fellow travelers. Why, a man is lucky if he manages to get just one segment of his journey free from the distractions of cretin seatmates, boorish imbeciles or obnoxious, sugar-crazed (or sugar-deprived) minors. And don't get me started on those people who reportedly bring their pets on board in those little pet hamper things and suddenly decide, without so much as a by-your-leave, to let their little furballs roam loose around the cabin. Keep the pet in its cage like the rules say.

Of course, even these indignities notwithstanding, air travel remains a tolerable experience provided one primes the pump beforehand with a bit of gin. But allowing people to use their cell phones would clearly be intolerable.

I mean, you know how you're in a restaurant and you start overhearing other people's conversations and then, no matter how much you try, you can't help but listen, even though the conversation is entirely idiotic and it makes you want to gouge your eyes out with the butter knife? Yes, of course you do. Now, imagine that feeling when you're trapped in a middle seat heading from Detroit to Newark. I submit, dear readers, that any airline passenger subjected to this would end up like Bill Shatner in that one episode of The Twilight Zone.

As such, airline passengers must remain vigilant to ensure that air travel remains a mobile phone-free zone. That's because the moment mobile-phone service becomes available, air travel will be ruined forever for all decent, right-thinking people. Not even re-regulating the air travel industry would fix things. That's because the people who could still afford to fly in such an environment would almost certainly have mobile phones, as well as offices which they had to call immediately and speak to in an obnoxiously loud voice.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at April 3, 2007 09:56 PM | TrackBack
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