You can take the man out of South Florida, but you can't take the South Florida out of the man.
The country learned that lesson the hard way this week, when former Fort Lauderdale resident, Kevin Theodore Simon, allegedly went berserk on a JetBlue flight from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale. Monday's transcontinental flight had to make an emergency stop in Salt Lake City so that FBI agents could take Simon into custody after JetBlue's "no cash for headphones" policy supposedly threw him into a belligerent rage (That is slightly annoying.).
"I will take this plane down!" Simon shouted over and over, according to the FBI. JetBlue employees refused to serve him alcohol because he seemed drunk, but he loudly insisted that was not the case, according to a federal complaint.
So, why is Simon, who moved to Venice Beach, California two years ago, making national headlines in a not-so-flattering light, after Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who freaked out and slid out the emergency slide of an aircraft, enjoyed more than fifteen minutes of fame for his "heroic" deed? Here's why, off the top of our heads...
5. Simon Didn't Freak out at Work
To be the savior of the working everyman, a person must do something huge at work -- something everyone has always wanted to do, sticking it to the man in the most epic way possible. Unlike Slater, Simon allegedly ruined the working everyman's day as flight attendants had to manage the situation, which was nothing less than absolutely miserable.
4. He Didn't Muster Public Support -- at all
Simon had a planeful of comrades who potentially could have been on his side if he had good reason to go bat-shit. But since he was the only passenger scorned by a minor in-flight annoyance, he ruined his chance at hero-dom from his first alleged utterance of "I will take this plane down!"
3. Too Much Booze, Presumably, or Some Other Equivalent
Slater grabbed a couple beers on his way out the emergency exit in a gesture that said, "Peace bitches!" more effectively than words are capable. Simon, on the other hand, reportedly had too much to drink (or too little) or something else to set his inner balance off-kilter in a manner too extreme for optimal execution of his tirade.
2. No Exit Strategy
While Slater's entire scene was an elaborate exit stragedy, Simon didn't have one. He was more than 10,000 feet in the air pissing off everyone around him. Where was he to go?! No wonder the situation escalated, he was probably claustrophobic when he realized he couldn't storm off.
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SHOW ME HOW
1. No Flair
Slater grabbed two Blue Moons and booked it straight down the emergency slide -- the object of ever passenger's fascination. Just like that, he walked out of his job after a nasty day; has that thought not passed through every hard-working American's mind? In Simon's case, the emergency landing quickly followed by the FBI taking him into custody was epic, yes, but it lacked the finesse of a true hero.
**As you're reading this (if you caught it in a timely manner), hundreds of planes are delayed and cancelled due to storms in the Northeast. We can share a laugh about non-threatening plane disturbances, but seriously, people, don't mess with flights. Why do people do this stuff? Even Steven Slater needed counseling. The Juice hopes that both he and Simon are doing well, but that they never repeat their famous (infamous?) moments...especially if we're on the plane...ever.
Follow The Juice on Twitter: @TheJuiceBPB.