Two cases of mistaken identity, one (much) funnier than the next.

A lot of you have doubtless already seen this first one, a Net classic . . .

An employee for Anset Australia Airlines, who happened to have the last name of Gay, got on a plane recently using the company’s ‘Free Flight’ offer for staff. However, when Mr. Gay tried to take his seat, he found it being occupied by a fare paying passenger. So, not to make a fuss, he simply chose another seat.

Unknown to Mr. Gay, another Ansett flight at the airport experienced mechanical problems. The passengers of this flight were being re-routed to various other airplanes. A few were put on Mr. Gay’s flight and anyone who was holding a ‘free’ ticket was being ‘bumped.’ Anset officials, armed with a list of these ‘freebee’ ticket holders boarded the plane, as is the practice, to remove them in favour of fare paying passengers. Of course, our Mr. Gay was not sitting in his assigned seat as you may remember.

So when the Ticket Agent approached the seat where Mr. Gay was supposed to be sitting, she asked a startled customer “Are you gay?”

The man shyly nodded that he was, at which point she demanded, “Then you have to get off the plane.”

Mr. Gay, overhearing what the Agent had said, tried to clear up the situation, “You’ve got the wrong man, I’m Gay!”

This caused an angry third passenger to yell, “Hell! I’m gay too! They can’t kick us all off!” Confusion reined as more and more passengers began yelling that Ansett had no right to remove gays from their flights.

It is reported that Ansett have refused to comment on the incident.

But did you see this Associated Press report last week, based on another farcical misunderstanding?

‘Willie Huston, 38, his girlfriend and another couple had just returned from a cruise on a showboat — which docks beside [Nashville’s] Grand Ole Opry – when [he was shot to death Sunday]. Huston’s girlfriend had apparently asked him to hold her purse while she and the other woman went to the restroom, police said. Shortly afterward, Huston’s other friend – who is blind – asked Huston to escort him to the restroom.

Police say the two men encountered the suspect, who began teasing them. He then followed them out of the restroom, grabbed a gun from his car and shot Huston at close range, authorities said.

Huston ‘was there to have a good time … with his girlfriend and his other friends,’ said police spokesman John Lash. ‘This guy jumped him because he came in holding a man’s arm – a blind man’s arm – and carrying a purse.’

Why are we so intolerant of difference? It must be hard-wired into us, from our caveman days. If you crack your soft-boiled egg from the top and I crack mine from the bottom, we have reason enough, as Jonathan Swift satirized, to go kill each other.

If you can find it, go see ‘The Closet,’ a recently-released French film starring Gérard Depardieu. Lots of mistaken identity. Fun!


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