"I had a great time antagonizing her," wrote Bachelor and Bachelorette producer Elan Gale on Thursday, referring to his live-tweeting of an interaction with a woman who was none too pleased that their Thanksgiving flight was delayed.
I don't follow Gale on Twitter so I missed his flurry of real-time tweets, but on Friday, I kept seeing headlines and Facebook posts about the "hilarious" and "awesome" smackdown he delivered to Diane in 7A, who apparently was the Most Self-Centered Traveler on Earth. Gale said he never been "unkind to a person in a service position," and he didn't "care what's going on with you: Don't be rude to people who are doing their job." Gale said the whole point of telling off Diane was that:
"...it's OUR job to tell every Diane to shut up.
It's OUR duty to put the Diane's of the world in their place.
We need to REMIND them about the way of things.
We outnumber them."
Whenever someone readily admits that they were trying to antagonize someone else, and then anoints themselves as the one to put that person "in their place" and "remind them" of "the way of things," I give an automatic side-eye. But I was intrigued, so I clicked on this Storify to read the entirety of what, according to Gale's tweets, happened.
According to Gale, after Diane complained, a "male flight attendant said 'I understand ma'am. I'm looking forward to seeing my family too.'" And then Diane replied: "This isn't about you."
I guess I was supposed to laugh at Gale's description of Diane, but most folks don't wear medical masks for the fun of it. What immediately came to mind is that maybe Diane is sick in some way. Maybe she is anxious to go home on Thanksgiving because it's her last Thanksgiving with her family.
After some more back and forth, Gale tweeted this note he passed to Diane:
Hilarious and way heroic way to stand up for working people. Don't eat an arm, or a finger. Don't munch on a spleen. Diane has to eat Gale's dick.
I can't help but wonder: If Diane had been built like the Rock and named Dimitry, would Gale have passed his "eat my dick" note up to seat 7A? I have a feeling Gale would've just kept his indignation about rude behavior confined to Twitter.
I also wondered what would've happened, and whether the general public would've found it hilarious and awesome, if a black man were tweeting about telling a white woman to eat his dick. Yeah, I really wish a black man — or a man who looked Middle Eastern — would pass a note to a white woman on an airplane saying "eat my dick." I doubt the flight attendants would've given a wink and nod, as they appear to have done to Gale. Security would most definitely have been waiting when they deplaned.
As I shared with my friends on Facebook, the entire situation also made me think "...about how after my brother's suicide the TSA people at LAX were going thru my bag and when they asked me if I had any money on me, I'd say no, and then the metal detector would go off and I was all, 'I have no idea WHY that is going off...oh wait, is that money in my pocket?' And so they pulled me aside and were grilling me and I was finally like, look, my brother just died so I have no fucking clue what you're saying."
Elan Gale probably would've tweeted, "This black lady has no idea she has money in her pocket. She looks crazy and disheveled."
I also don't know if all this dick eating that Gale encouraged really makes a difference for service workers. Maybe he could stand up and support the service workers who spent Black Friday protesting outside of Walmarts about their low wages and abysmal working conditions instead.
Maybe one of those Walmart Strikers can be cast as the next Bachelor or Bachelorette. I can see it now, The Bachelor: Walmart Edition.
And finally, I'd love to hear Diane's side of the story. Maybe she's totally fine and just super eccentric and likes wearing face masks. Maybe she'll say, "Yep, I was having a moment. Mea culpa." Regardless, we could all stand to have more empathy for one other, and it never hurts to step inside someone else's shoes. C'mon, Elan Gale, let's have less dick eating and more actual love and caring in the world. This Thanksgiving, we could all certainly use it.
This post originally appeared in slightly different form on Los Angelista. Edited and reprinted with permission.