Aeroplane recliners shouldn't have a seat to sit on, argues Jarrod Gilbert.
Twitter is a bastion of intelligence and honesty, and therefore I reserve all of my serious considerations for it. The other day I wrote this:
"Just FYI, if you recline your seat on a plane, you are an ass. If you recline your seat on a plane and don't think you're an ass, read this tweet again."
Funnily enough, I'd just got off a plane. And an ass occupied the seat ahead of me.
One Twitter genius replied, "This is a stupid take".
Which of course is precisely the witless response of an ass who would recline his seat on an aeroplane.
Now, I understand that there will be differing perspectives on my view on reclining seats, but I feel we should be able to find the truth. So here's my attempt.
If you're on a 12-hour flight and it's overnight, for example, and everyone is asleep, of course feel free to recline. Fair play. All rules have immunities. If your partner is giving birth, you'll be forgiven for speeding though a school zone. Let's not be idiots about this.
But I suspect the genius from Twitter would scream at me, "You can't race through schools, you'll kill somebody!"
Because, of course, the number of kids killed by cars heavy with pregnant women racing though school zones number in the thousands.
In other words, he's an ass.
Another Twitter genius argued that I was "victim-blaming" because aeroplane seats aren't big enough for him and so he had to recline to get enough space. Seriously. He did!
As if by creating more space for his body he wasn't removing the same amount from someone else. The giant ass.
The last person on Twitter who argued against my extremely well-considered seat-reclining decree went with a very simple argument, almost certainly because he wasn't capable of a more complicated one.
It went like this: because the seat can recline, then one should be free to do so. Fair play to his logic: I can call him an ass, and thus I'm free to call him one.
But then imagine getting into the passenger seat of a car and an adult getting into the backseat behind you. Do we suddenly recline the seat (it has a lever, therefore you can!) or do we pull it as far forward as possible because we want to be cool?
Let's be cool at 35,000 feet.
Clearly, I've put this argument to bed, and really all that's left is some clever way of rounding off this column. At least that's what I thought. The phone just rang. It was Beck Eleven, writer, crazy cat lady, and my best friend.
Me: "I was just writing a column about arseholes who recline their seats on aeroplanes."
Beck: "I do that."
Me: "You don't."
Beck: "I do."
Me: "On short-haul flights?"
Beck: "Yip. Anytime. I like to recline."
Now here's the thing. Beck Eleven is as good a person in this world as you're likely to meet. A person of incredible kindness. Not a bad bone in her body. A woman of humour and empathy. I had to suddenly do some rethinking about things.
"You're an ass, Beck," I said.
There can be no exceptions.