I rarely return to the exact topic of a previously written column, but the reaction on both sides of the issue to my "tank top, flip flop" airline piece last week is just too fun not to revisit.
First, to the half of those readers who commented or e-mailed suggesting the luggage that hit me on the head during a recent flight had obviously caused serious brain damage, let me be the first to say: "Probably so!" And to the one reader who suggested my unusually cranky comments indicated I obviously needed a vacation -- in a tank top and flip flops -- my answer is: "You're dead right!"
As for the other side, including some in the industry, their comments were equally noted. Several said that, since deregulation, their profession had been reduced to a shadow of what it had once been. And business travelers, big surprise, commented on their frustration with a system that seemed to make doing business increasingly difficult and which forced them to purchase last-minute tickets at jacked-up prices.
So my thanks to both those who deemed my comments "snotty" (probably so, given the head injury) and those who wanted to put a armed guard at the first-class threshold to protect the restroom in the front of the plane (a little extreme). When you talk about flying, you get lots of responses.
But I do want to return to last week's column not only because as it runs this week millions of people will be, for better or worse, in happiness or misery, taking to the skies, but also because of one particular comment that I found more instructive, not only when it comes to flying, but with regard to public opinion on many issues.
On Monday, a reader took me to task and made some good points while she did so. She is a student and felt offended by my comments. Understand that, in the opinion business we are always told never to apologize for a strong stand or for being colorful. We have a list of "no-no" words, but tank tops and flip flops aren't on it. That being said, I don't want to offend anyone who will take the time to read anything I have to say -- so to her I offer a sincere, "Sorry." Wear what you want; fly where you wish. And keep reading and writing to your local paper. It restores my faith in youth and the future.
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