Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

As a frequent flier, I was a bit taken aback by the following headline, “Man Relieves Himself in Air-Sickness Bag.” As if being crammed in to impossibly small seats, having to watch bad movies on a screen the size of postage stamp and getting stuck next to overly chatty seatmates who feel the need to unload the sordid yet still boring details of their past even though you are clearly reading a book weren’t enough to deal with.

The man in question was one Mr. James Whipple who, after having had “two really big beers” at the Boise Airport, was told he couldn’t use the cabin restroom because a light wasn’t working. Finding his bladder wouldn’t wait, Mr. Whipple used an air-sickness bag to take care of business. None of his fellow passengers noticed but one eagle-eyed flight attendant did see him and promptly reported the infraction to the captain who then alerted the Airport Police. Upon arrival in Salt Lake City, Mr. Whipple was detained for questioning before being let go and sent home in a taxi.

After I got over my initial shock at the pure silliness of it all, his name is Mr. Whipple, as in “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin,” I had to applaud the man for his ingenuity. Given the circumstances, I’m not sure I’d have come up with such an innovative solution. He’s the MacGyver of the skies. I’ll bet he could make a garment bag out of an airline blanket and some dental floss if he was in a tight spot. Since most people aren’t quite as crafty, the Excel Utility Kit makes a great gift for anyone who clocks serious travel miles. Place your corporate logo on this travel organizer and be seen everywhere. This good-looking survival kit can be used for storing all of those last minute necessities and toiletries in the gusseted elastic pockets. It features a front zippered mesh pocket; a nice top handle for easy carrying and a rear handle for hanging in the closet. And if you’re in a pinch, the travel bottles can double as—never mind.

Well, I’m off to the races, literally. The racetrack is giving away promotional horseshoes and I need two more to complete my collection. By the way, Mr. Whipple’s story had a happy ending; the airline sent him a letter of apology and a travel voucher.