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Oct 24, 2008

... and where the hell is that stewardess with my bamboo?!

"As soon as we land, check on my takeover offer for Panda Express, then move the board meeting to 2 PM and move my Tai Chi class to noon.  And get me two tickets for the Bears game tonight."

Now close the shade; 'Kung-Fu Panda' is on.

At least somebody's making deals in this bear market, Elizabeth L.

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How come I never end up on these flights?

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 09:55 AM

I have got to know what the story is behind this picture. And....

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 09:55 AM

I wanna watch Kung Fu Panda on the in-flight movie.

(the original) Mel
 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 09:56 AM

Ok, maybe not bleen. Foot.

Yeah, Corinne, me too. Howcome?

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 09:56 AM

Wha? Where is he/she going? I wanna be on that flight!

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 09:56 AM

Oh. I just saw the hovertext.

(the original) Mel
 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 09:56 AM

Tell me that's a cuddly toy + not the real thing.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:03 AM

I can't think of anything..guess I will watch Kung Fu Panda with everyone else.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Totally cute, but I'm not sure the panda can fulfill the duties of being in the exit row in the event of an emergency.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:09 AM

If he was flying Qantas, I wonder if he'd get into a fight with the koala.

"You're not really a bear, you Aussie marsupial!"

"Yeah, well, you're not a bear either because you're about as scary as a black-and-white."*

"Yeah, well at least I get animated movies made about me and not some fruity airline commercials!"**

"Hey, buddy, at least the world doesn't have to stop and take a picture every time I mount my girlfriend!"

"That's a low blow, eucalyptus breath!"

* -- it's a cookie http://www.bagelboss.com/store/images/black-white-lg.jpg

** -- for those too young to remember http://www.tvacres.com/adanimals_qantasbear.htm

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:09 AM

Does anyone ever stare at the screen with their jaws hanging open from certain posts? I certainly just did.

I would SO love to be on this flight! Add one more to Awesome Jobs of Qteness.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:10 AM

@biscuithead: I don't have any backstory for this photo, but it did occur to me that this might be a stuffed animal. But then I considered that a toy would more likely have been stowed in the overhead bin, under the seat, or checked as baggage. So your guess is as good as mine.

Not That Mike The Other Mike
 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:10 AM

Yeah, what on earth is going on? That is too cute to be true!

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:11 AM

UnBearably Cute!
(even tho Pandas are technically members of the Racoon family)

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:12 AM

People...er...pandas seated in exit rows should be prepared to assist the flight attendants and other passengers should the aircraft need to be evacuated in an emergency.
Obvy this panda is ready to do his duty should the need arise.

The Gabster
 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:14 AM

Wait a dang minute, here!He gets the EXIT ROW? I'll bet his feet don't even touch the floor.

Mrs Grackle
 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:15 AM

It's stuffed. But I love the photo!

(No real panda would be allowed loose, and a stuffed panda wouldn't fit in the overhead.)

warrior rabbit
 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:16 AM

And while you're at it, bring me one of those furry bagels I've heard so much about.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Love it! Maybe panda is just too precious to put in the cargo area of the plane so he gets to ride in the cabin. :) Would be nice to lean head on panda while napping on plane; they look so comfy. Prolly a stuffed animal though. The bottom half of him is covered in a plastic bag, and I can't believe a real panda would put up with that for too long.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Looks like they had a little extra room in the business-class section. Can you imagine getting a ticket for yourself AND one for your stuffed panda?

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:19 AM

photogirl, I think science has changed its mind about pandas...they're now officially bears:


 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Shenanigans (maybe?), but so cute.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:22 AM

I think he just had an empty seat next to him and figured that was easier than trying to stuff the toy into an overhead bin.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Did the guy buy an extra seat? When does anyone see a flight with extra seats for animal compnaions, stuffed or not, anymore? The PEOPLE are too stuffed in there... :-(

Boomer's Babysitter
 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:24 AM

biscuithead and warrior rabbit- giggle*snort- you two are too much!
I have been on MANY a flight where there were wild endangered species running loose about the plane!(and they ALWAYS get to sit in the EXIT row, Duh)
Havent you?
(how come i always have to sit by some chatty old woman with bad breath and 17 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren and a 14 year old poodle.... and....and....)

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:35 AM

My other favorite part of this photo, besides the obvious fact there is a GIANT STUFFED(?) PANDA SITTING NEXT TO A GROWN MAN ON AN AIRPLANE, is the discreetness of this photo. You can tell someone was giggling as they took the picture from somewhere in the airplane kitchen.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:39 AM

It also appears that the panda has a plastic bag wrapped around his lower half. I'm leaning more towards stuffed animal....or they were doing the horse parade bag thing to keep the bad stuff off of the nice air plane chairs.

I've heard of people buying an extra seat for cello's or guitars but a stuffed panda O_o?

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:45 AM

I've been on plenty of flights with extra seats and empty seats.

The text on the door is Chinese, so it's definitely an international flight. Domestic flights generally only have english, spanish maybe french, but international flights make different language more prominent.

That doesn't look like coach either, so that might explain it... if there are sections of business class, first class or the new premium economy class on some airlines (better than econ, but not quite as cushy as business) there are bound to be more empty seats as most people would fly coach.

On international flights (or any flight, actually) you'd be insane not to have carry on so I think he probably took a chance and checked his (one allowed) carry on and took panda as the carry on instead. And it was probably too cramped to stuff it in there, and you wouldn't want to give some poor flight attendant a scare when he/she opens the compartment and there's a panda staring back at you. And also there's something that seems almost inhumane about stuffing a stuffed panda in a bulkhead.

And of course it's not a real panda. Really, people. Logic!

I think if there was an emergency, this guy could use the panda as a flotation device.

I have a panda almost that big. I want that panda!

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:50 AM

Even if he did buy an extra ticket I'm surprised that they're sitting in the emergency row.

Heck with Air Marshalls packing heat next to you, you don't tangle with the FAA regulations. I honestly don't think this kid's the required 15 yrs old or can perform the emergency duties without assistance.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:53 AM

Of course it's stuffed, sillies! They wouldn't let a live bear on like that, they can take peoples' arms off what tries ta pet 'em!

BEARS! (Stephen Colbert!)

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Kar, I think non-U.S. airlines have different rules. I don't think everyone is governed by the FAA, so the exit row rules might not be the same. Also, I don't think air marshals are on non-U.S. airline flights.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Who got a picture of me on my last flight?!

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:17 AM

Ok, clearly we are reaching a nuff/no nuff event horizon here, so it's time for clear thinking and an explanation.
Recognizing the colour scheme as China Airlines Airbus 787, I called their Public Relations department for an explanation. Unsurprisingly this picture is not unknown to them, and the sent me the press release that they had prepared:

China Airlines is a proud corporate sponsor of the panda snactuary at Cheng Du and was happy to help out recently with the transfer of a young panda cub to a zoo in the United States of America. After extensive consultation with the Sanctury's veterinary staff it was concluded that the importance of the panda cub precluded it from traveling in the hold of the aircraft, where attending to its needs would be difficult. Thus China Airlines agreed to donate seats in its Business Traveler First cabin for the panda cub named Squee Squee and his carer, Fu Jiang Lang, seen here sitting in the window seat. In the interests of hygiene Squee Squee wore a plastic nappy to take care of pandapoop during the flight.
We are happy to report that Squee Squee arrived rested and relaxed after his 14-hour flight, and is settling into his new home well.
During the flight we can report that he didn't watch any of the flight movies as we couldn't find a headset big enough for him. He did order the bamboo from catering menu, with a side of bamboo, and bamboo mousse for desert.

If you don't believe me, I'll send you the release so you can check it out for yourselves. Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction, folks.

Tony James
 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:20 AM

@Tony - that is an intense amount of research but.. thanks! That's awesome!

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Squee Squee? LOL! Tony... you are too much.

warrior rabbit
 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:25 AM

...his name is SQUEE SQUEE? Are you kidding?

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Thank you, Tony James.
I feel so much better knowing the truthiness of what happened.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:29 AM

Oh - and, Berthaservant-person?
Loved your koala/panda showdown.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Oh, where to begin. How am I supposed to get through a meeting today while the In-Flight Panda™ floating through my head?

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:32 AM

Anyone remember the Snickers commercial about Panda Lunch?

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:34 AM

SQUEE SQUEE !? I'm not buying it, Tony James!


 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:41 AM

a haiku:

The panda in flight
merits the exit row seat.
His thumbs are opposable.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:42 AM

Yes, he's kidding. Squee Squee should be the first clue. Great creative effort! Tony, you remind me of my dad. (Are you a dad?) Goofy dads are the best!

warrior rabbit
 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:43 AM

I started feeling bad that I'm such a skeptic, but I'll hold to my original line of thought that there's no way a live panda would be allowed out of a cargo area.

Nuts, I tell ya. Nuts.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:46 AM

His name is Squee-Squee?

OH SQUEEEEE!!!!!!! that rocks. How adorable IS THAT? How cute that he's REAL? He's so perfectly clean and anerable that he DOES look like a pretend pandie.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:48 AM

tony james you're my hero!!!! thats a wonderful story!!!

i would have just believed it to be a stuffed animal and thought it pretty cute. but this way its just brilliant :) thank you!

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 11:59 AM

'shaking head with face in hands'
I give up. There is no place here for being realistic.
YOU PEOPLE KNOW that they would put a puppeh-pee pad on the seat under the Panda.
They would NOT (laughing hysterically) put a plastic bag in his lap.
GAH! You people are silly.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 12:03 PM

completely redonk. love it! *bleen!*

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 12:04 PM

People are nuts, and they prefer the cute story. lol

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 12:06 PM

And clearly the person who took the photo didn't use a flash, cuz that would have started Squee-Squee, and created a pandemonium.

 |  Oct 24, 2008 at 12:06 PM

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