I’ve had it with these mother%*&#ing jokes on these mothermother%*&#ing planes.

As a proud father, I’ve settled into my societal role as a teller of bad jokes. I don’t think enough research has been done on the topic, but something about making kids roll their eyes in disappointment seems to trigger a dopamine release at this stage in life. Because of this, it’s important to be lame in moderation lest the habit get out of hand and cause trouble for others.

For example, on the morning of 19 May, a 75-year-old man was boarding a flight from Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture to Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture. A flight attendant asked if the man needed help putting his carry-on bag in the overhead compartment, and he said yes, but as he handed over the bag he said “there’s a bomb inside.”

While that’s a classic bad joke that I’ll be sure to unleash on my own kid’s next birthday, it’s important to know that there’s a time and a place for everything.

“Happy Birthday! There’s a bomb inside.”

A commercial flight, of course, was not one such place and the crew immediately suspended all activities to conduct a safety inspection which delayed takeoff by 50 minutes. According to the Miyagi Prefectural Police, an officer went to the plane when the airport reported the disturbance. However, the officer was stopped by the crew from boarding the plane.

After the captain deemed the aircraft safe to fly, it finally took off with all the roughly 100 passengers aboard, including the comedy stylings of the elderly man. The airline never pressed charges against him either, but the police were less lenient and on 19 July charged him with a violation of the Minor Crimes Act for mischievously interfering with the work of others.

He is said to have admitted to the criminal mischief, asserting that he was just a normal tourist who “made a joke.”

“He’s 75, so he must have seen a news report of the many other times this happened around the world.”
“Imagine if they actually did find a bomb though…”
“It’s like when someone says ‘I have COVID.'”

“I wonder how awkward that flight was afterward.”
“That’s not even really a joke, technically.”

“They should have just handed him and his bag over to that cop and taken off right away.”
“Lol, everyone on the plane must have hated that guy.”
“They can keep the police out like that?!”

The wording in Japanese reports does make it sound like the crew of the plane were actively keeping the police out, but more likely they were just refusing an offer for assistance. The delay caused by following procedure and properly investigating the perceived bomb threat was long enough, and adding a police investigation would have only bogged things down even further.

Of course, that doesn’t stop the police from investigating it after the fact, which they dutifully did. However, since he wasn’t intentionally acting maliciously they charged him with the Minor Crimes Act violation which carries much lighter penalties than the more common obstruction of business charges.

It’s probably important that he face his actions and be made an example of to some degree, since as one commenter pointed out, this seems to be a widespread problem around the globe. It serves as a reminder that we should all keep our bad jokes solely directed at little kids, who have no work to interfere with.

Source: Kahoku Shimpo, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso

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