Man says he was detained over unflushed plane toilet

In the pantheon of human weakness, there are some things that I struggle with.

I can tolerate people making noise at the gym, unless they happen to sound like Woody Woodpecker at 105 decibels.

I can tolerate cyclists, as long as they’re not wearing an excessively tight yellow shirt advertising some Italian cheese.

However, every time I walk into a toilet and the bowl has been left unflushed, I find flashes of rage flushing my cheeks.

It takes but a small second to push the handle or the button to wash away your digestive iniquities.

Everyone who enters a toilet is surely infused with the notion that some other human will, shortly afterward, use that toilet.

How much effort, how much feat of memory does it take to remember to flush before you leave?

This source of deep discomfort comes to mind because of the story of a man who claims he was held by police after not holding down the flush on an airplane.

As the Smoking Gun fleshes and flushes out the story, Salvatore Bevivino was flying from Philadelphia to San Francisco.

Ergo, things were at least going in the right direction.

He is alleged to have first become embroiled in a spat with flight attendants over his drinks order.

Then, he allegedly wafted to the toilet, returned and began to say things that weren’t always nice.

Not pretty.

Not pretty.

One of the Virgin America crew then observed that Bevivino had allegedly failed to shut the toilet door and, worse, failed to flush.

Some part of me can understand that the latter may have been no laughing matter. An unflushed toilet reeks of disregard.

It is a way saying that you don’t give a hoot. Or something even more onomatopoeic.

The original argument allegedly involved Bevivino’s refusal to use the personal screens to order soft drinks. Rather, he wanted to avail himself of the human approach.

One surely can have sympathy for this notion.

Bevivino is now suing Virgin America because on landing he says he was detained by police who were less interested in his drinks order and more interested in what else might have occurred on the plane and what might have remained there.

He claims, indeed, that there were six policemen waiting for him when he arrived in San Francisco.

Yes, they let him go, allegedly deciding that this was merely a customer service issue.

But it’s unclear just how closely they examined whether he had, indeed, pressed the handle to pull the flush.

It seems that he is concerned that one of the reasons for this excessive consternation might have been that he is dark-skinned and could be mistaken for a person of Arab origin.

Which is why, despite allegedly having left an airplane toilet unflushed, the Genentech executive is claiming $500,000 damages for having experienced “apprehension, embarrassment, humiliation, mortification, fright, shock, mental anguish and emotional distress.”

I find these words very moving.

For they are precisely the words that describe my own feelings every time I see a toilet that hasn’t been flushed.


Image: Rowlph/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk


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