One of my favourite stories in recent years was the case of Heather Cho, the Korean Air “executive” (and also, quite coincidentally, the daughter of the chairman). She has been sent to prison for a year for demanding that a flight be turned back because she was served nuts in a bag and not in a bowl.
Ms Cho supposedly “lost it” and started whacking stewards with a copy of the service manual. This was clearly a case of a spoilt little rich girl thinking she was on some private jet service. Air travel however, does seem to bring out the worst in people. Hardly a week goes by without hearing of some celeb tipping over a drinks trolley, urinating in the galley or threatening to fight every passenger on the plane.
Personally, I’ve always found air travel incredibly relaxing – apart from the occasion when I had to sit next to Piers Morgan and he insisted on discussing who would make the front page, he or I, should the plane crash.
At the time I felt confident that I would win and might just have made a reasonably sized fifth-page story – “HELLO… I’M ON THE PLANE… NO, IT’S CRASHING… CIAO!”
Nowadays, since I’ve retired to the countryside to take up a quiet life of rambling and tractor baiting, I’d have to cede defeat. You’d think that at least my ramblings in the Cotswolds would be hassle free. You’d be very wrong. Just as in air travel, walking has its fair share of nuts eager to vent their anger.
Only last week, I was wandering over the beautiful Cleeve Common with my three dogs while listening to an audio version of Antony Beevor’s majestic The Second World War.
Up ahead, one of my dogs had wandered over to another dog and they were sniffing each other’s bottoms, as dogs are wont to do. My dog returned and I carried on. Five minutes later, and he went for a second bottom sniff with the same dog. Again he returned with no incident. At the top of the next hill, there was the other dogs’ owner. I took a headphone out and greeted her. She replied with a volley of colourful invective. What was the problem I asked her? “Your dog is harassing mine and I shouted at you to call him back but you ignored me.”
I apologised and pointed out that I was wearing headphones and, thus, had not heard her. She exploded.
“Headphones! You’re wearing headphones while in charge of a dog. That’s totally irresponsible. I bet you wear them when you’re driving as well? You shouldn’t be allowed to keep dogs. People like you make me sick….”
I checked to see if something terrible had happened that I hadn’t noticed. “No, but something could have happened. That’s the point you moron.”
I couldn’t help laughing which only infuriated the volcano lady more. She stormed off shouting: “You are an irresponsible moron.” I couldn’t resist shouting back that she should mind she wasn’t hit by lightning.
I guess Rambler Rage is not as sexy an issue for news outlets, but it exists.