Free To Be Totally Stupid

Friday, July 22, 2005 at 05:34 PM

"What were you thinking of?", asked the judge at the sentencing phase of a trial that just landed two former airline pilots into the pokey.

Unbelievable, eh?

Two pilots, fired. Why? Oh, it seems their behavior tipped off ground personnel that they stank of something other than aviation fuel. They allegedly became belligerent, but thankfully, before the engines could be lit, they were stopped, arrested and both blew a .08, which in most states is considered enough to be considered DUI.

"What were you thinking of?", the judge asked during sentencing, in which Thomas Cloyd was handed 5 years, his co-pilot, Christopher Hughes was handed 2 and 1/2 prison.

See, we pilots have a whole bunch of rules we're supposed to follow, among them? "Eight hours, bottle to throttle." Meaning, if I got to handle a bird at 0700, I cut off the booze eight hours prior.

Not these guys, according to witnesses: They kept on pouring down the sauce until about 6 hours before departure time, meaning, gee, that's a considerable less time than recommended, hmmm?

What were they thinking? Oh, just guessing, I'd say it had to be the old "I'm not that drunk!" bit, which is often said as someone sloshes out the door of a bar or honky-tonk. It's also called "An accident waiting for the right place to happen." It's also called fucking stupid.

The problem with DUI or, if you wish, FUI is pretty simple: If it was just the drunks, cool, if they want to wrap their vehicles around trees, etc...fine by me, I'm not attending their funeral.

But, come on! They were driving an Airbus 319 with 117 paying customers aboard. That means, yes, one mistake and 119 die. Or more, if they collide with someone else along the way, mmm?

Driving we know, requires skills and sharp reflexes, harder still for those who man the 18-wheelers, but Jesus! An Airbus 319? Both pilots feeling no pain?

For some lunatic reason, in this nation over the last X many years, something has given rise: "I don't have to give a shit." This is what liberty has come to mean, worries, none, just do whatever, fuck the consequences. Go ahead and drive that SUV and yak on the cell phone, sure, I'm quite sure the person you hit won't mind. Go ahead and drink and then fly, I'm quite sure nobody other the families of those you kill will mind, right? Right?

See, I blame the neo-cons and other freepers for this concept, as they don't seem to realize that I am my brother's keeper, whether I want the job or not. The Religious Right, too, could care less, they're sitting around awaiting a teleport beam from you-know-who, so why care? Blow it all up, use it all up, right? Right?

While we're on this notion, let's fire all the police and shut down all the courts. Go for it! Total anarchy, right? Isn't that what it's all about? Do whatever you want, with whatever you want and fuck the consequences? Even to the point of killing others, is that the idea?

Sorry, but I believe otherwise. So, next time you plan on driving or flying shit-faced, don't let me know: Six will drop the call on you and without hesitation.

Why? Because I am my brother's keeper. All of you included. So there.