The funny papers

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Conventional wisdom suggests that no matter how terrible a job you're doing, you can sustain a certain amount of bad press without going down for the count. Negative news stories, editorials of a critical nature, these can be spun away by any decent public relations department.

But once you hit the funny papers, you've got real trouble. Such could be the case with the airline industry. For the past two weeks, Roger Fox, the hapless patriarch of Bill Amend's comic strip, Foxtrot, has found himself caught up in most of the merry mishaps that airline passengers suffer through every day.

Ordered by his boss to fly to Boonhurst to "wrap up that Gernandco deal," Fox attempts to cope with sprawling airports, unannounced schedule changes, gate changes, route changes, the consequences of ticking off a flight attendant ("I knew I shouldn't have called him a stewardess"), cramped seating, lousy food...the guy is having one bad trip.

If I ran the airlines I'd be paying close attention. A fed-up public's demand for passenger rights legislation appears to have been neatly handled, but that was before Roger Fox. Before we, the people, had a spokesman we could relate to: A goofy, working stiff who's just trying to get someplace. Fly, Roger. Fly.

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