AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. RODNEY SLATER
Mr. Rodney Slater
Secretary of Transportation
US Department of Transportation
Washington DC 20034
Dear Mr. Slater:
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for aggressively protecting
America's flying public from the evil of peanuts. I am referring, of
course, to the recent FAA directive requiring domestic airlines to set
aside a three row, peanut-free zone upon request of a passenger with
a peanut problem.
I hear you are taking quite a shelling from those who think the whole
thing is nuts. And, you are reconsidering the dictate. I'm here to
tell you: stick to your guns!
I know there has not been a single documented case of allergic reaction
to second-hand peanut breath on any of the several kazillion
post-Wright brothers manned flights. But, that doesn't mean it couldn't
happen. Sometime. Somewhere. Right?
Besides, let's face it. Those peanut by-products the airlines serve up
are one sorry excuse for the salt-laden, fat-saturated snacks we have
come to know and love. I say if that's as close as the airlines can
come to a real peanut, they might just as well forget them. Can you
make them put the salt and fat back in for the rest of the rows?
It seems to me you're going to need to follow up, requiring an extra
light up there above the seats. And, an announcement "Please be
advised the captain has turned on the no peanut-light." And also, don't
forget we're gonna need peanut detectors in the bathrooms for those
insidious "sneaky snackers" who will try to circumvent anything you do
to protect the flying public from...well...ummm...the flying public.
Have you given any thought to what the airlines are gonna substitute for
the peanuts? Certainly not real food, which we all know has no place on
an airline. I just hope they don't revert to those tiny bags of
cheezy dried-out, fake pretzels. I say, if they try to pull that one
on us, retaliate with a pretzel-free zone directive. This is America!
We can't let them airlines pick their own snacks all willy-nilly! Don't
let them mess with you, man. Just remind them who's in charge of airline
As for me? Well, I've always been a shrimp cocktail kind of
guy. Could you gimme a little help on this?
Russell W. Thibeault
A concerned flyer
An avowed peanut fan, Russ Thibeault is the president of Applied
Economic Research, an economic and real estate consulting firm in
Laconia, New Hampshire.