Jackass on a plane.

Happy Saturday.  Here’s a recent true story about a fun travel experience.  You can listen to it via the player below or just read it.  The choice is yours.  If you want to hear more stories (some of which aren’t on this blog) subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, or by using this feed in your favorite podcatcher.  Enjoy!

Jackass on a plane
By Grant Baciocco

It had been a long weekend. I had travelled to Atlantic City to film the second season of The Ultimate Nerd-ament. Traveling with me were fellow puppeteer Russ and our director Dave. There had been a lot of headaches leading up to the trip, just in the planning of the trip and making sure we would have everything we needed for the production once we went got to Atlantic City. It had been a bumpy road.

The filming had gone well. We got the footage we needed, and we even got to do a cool guest puppet appearance with director Kevin Smith. As good as it went, however, the travel plan mess ups were kind of outweighing the good of the trip, no matter how hard we tried to remain positive. So, at the end of three long days, we were sitting in the Philadelphia Airport waiting for our flight home to Los Angeles.

The first warning that things were not going to go well, came when we were told that the inbound plane was going to be late. About an hour late. We weren’t too worried because out path was taking us from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. then on to LA. We were scheduled to have a one hour and thirty minute layover in D.C., so we’d just be having the layover in Philadelphia instead. But then they announced even further delays that would make our connection in D.C. pretty tight. Finally, the inbound plane arrived and everyone worked together to board quickly and be ready to go.

The plane we were flying to D.C. on was a small plane. Each row only had three seats and you had to gate check any bags bigger than a backpack. Everyone complied with this rule. Except for The Jackass. The Jackass was this guy, probably in his early fifties, loud, brash, everything going wrong in his life was everybody else’s fault. When we were boarding, he couldn’t call his boarding pass up on his phone. This was, somehow, United’s fault. When he finally got on the plane, he was determined to bring his carry on suitcase on, even after being told repeatedly that it would not fit in the overhead bins.

“Sir, that bag is not going to fit in the overhead. You’ll have to gate check it.” The flight attendant said politely.

“I have a 5 minute turnaround in D.C.!” The Jackass said loudly. “You have to let me bring it on.”

“Sir, it’s not going to fit.” She replied.

“At least let me try!” he shouted and pushed past her.

“Fine.” The flight attended said, resigned. “You can try. It’s not going to fit.”

Well, The Jackass marched to his seat and those who had already boarded watched as he tried to cram his roller bag into the overhead bin that was, plainly, far too small for the bag. He pushed and shoved and, to his credit, got most of it in. Enough of it, that he tried to close the bin. The moment he started to try and close it, the bin started going off the tracks because the bag was not letting it close right. I leaned over to Russ, who was sitting across the aisle from me and said, “He’s going to break the door.”

Russ, whose wife worked for Jet Blue, loudly said, “If he breaks it, this flight is going nowhere because it’ll be a service issue.”

The Jackass heard him, but was determined to get the bin closed.

The Flight attendant, seeing the bin warping, came down the aisle, “Sir, if you break the bin we’ll be stuck here because we’ll have to call maintenance.”

The Jackass, determined, continued to pull, as hard as he could, on the door. There was a pop and the door came off the track and wedged tight. At this moment, The Jackas says, angrily, “Fine, I’ll gate check my bag!”

He sat in his seat as the flight attendant took his bag off the plane to gate check it. Then she calmly walked down the aisle to the bin and tried to close it. Of course, it wouldn’t budge. She walked to the cockpit and, a moment later, the captain came down to try and close it. The Gate Agent boarded the plane and tried to help as well. Finally, The Jackass got up and tried to assist. The captain walked back to the cockpit and the PA system clicked on.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a small maintenance issue and will be unable to take off until it is fixed. We will be delayed here in Philadelphia a little longer until it is fixed.”

Russ was furious, “You broke the door, now we’re all going to miss our flights!”

The entire plane hated The Jackass. So, what did he do? He just got up and left the plane. No apology to the rest of us, he just got up and walked out. About 15 minutes later we saw the Gate Agent retrieving The Jackass’ bag from the plane’s cargo hold and return it to the terminal. The coward was running away, leaving us to deal with the delay.

We got to Washington D.C. to watch as our flight to Los Angeles pulled away from the gate. We were now in Washington D.C. for the night. No luggage. No change of clothes or toiletries. Just our carryons. United did give us hotel and meal vouchers. But we are left to wonder what The Jackass got.

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media

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