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Dwain Walden is editor and publisher of The Moultrie Observer.

A recent news story said that more and more airline passengers are getting involved in quelling unruly travelers aloft. I would drink to that!

In one instance a passenger was causing a ruckus that was upsetting to many others on the flight. So several of them ducked taped his mouth shut and duct taped him to his seat. Who would ever thought that duct tape would be so functional on a commercial airliner?

In another instance someone was trying to open the door while in flight. I think we’ve all seen enough air tragedy movies to know that such rapid decompression would suck many of the passengers right out into the sky, ultimately making them hood ornaments somewhere near Omaha. Several husky guys on the flight subdued this man and sat on him until the plane could land where this idiot could be removed and prepped for the Jerry Springer Show.

I’m all in favor of vigilantism when it comes to events such as these at 30,000 feet. If I’m on that flight and they need volunteers to sit on some knucklehead, I would offer my 220 pounds.

I have never understood how someone completely at the mercy of another’s skills (such as that of a trained pilot) would show his behind in this venue.

Now I’m a firm believer in democracy, except when I’m flying. At that point I consider the pilot to be a benevolent dictator and the flight attendants are his sheriffs. I would not violate his rule about not hunting in his forest under any circumstances.

Fortunately I’ve never been on a flight where someone caused a disturbance. I have seen some passengers who were rude and obnoxious.

One airline is even training its attendants in a form of martial arts. And for those who think Bigfoot is real, martial arts has nothing to do with a couple of deputies learning to crochet.

I think it’s rather poetic that a pretty little flight attendant can slam some kung fu on a terrorist. And when I say “terrorist,” I don’t limit that avocation to international thugs who want to destroy America. At 30,000 feet, anyone who would cause my seat cushion to become permanently fixed to my behind is a terrorist. I don’t care if he’s wearing a turban, a cowboy hat or a Florida Gators cap.

There was a time when I always tried to get a window seat because I wanted to keep an eye on the wings and the engines. Now I typically go for an  aisle seat. For one, it’s easier to get to the bathroom. And two, if the flight attendant needs another volunteer to sit on someone, I’m right there ready to go.

Some folks recently cheered when federal authorities said they would compromise and allow passengers to carry very small pin knives on flights. Not me! I don’t even want passengers to have a picture of a knife. Paper cuts can be really nasty. And besides, I don’t plan to do any whittling while flying.

A few years back, some pilots were fired because they landed at the wrong airports. Again, this is not a big problem with me. If my flight lands safely in the general vicinity of my destination, I consider successful. I have no problem with the airline calling me a cab. I wouldn’t want to experience this very often, but I’m very humbled when I’m that high off the ground. When I was a kid, I jumped off the first rung of the windmill. Even though I hit in plowed ground, it jarred me good. And that towel I had around my neck was to no avail. To save face, I told my cousin I flew down. But that perspective is good only at 12 feet.

So if you’re on a flight with me, just behave and there won’t be any problem. I don’t know any kung fu, but I can kick you in the knee and sit on you. And I have a Phd in duct tape.

(Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. Email: dwain.walden@gaflnews.com)

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