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ryan hawaii love letter

Man Packs by Wearing All of His Clothes on a Flight, and Now I’m in Love

An open love letter to my soulmate and 2018’s first daredevil, Ryan Hawaii.

It’s too late to cancel 2018. (I wrote to the government but I think they’re busy saving cows instead.) But at least now we have our first hero.

A man with the delightful sobriquet of Ryan Hawaii (as per his Twitter profile) has tried to defy the tyranny of airplane baggage fees — and set a shining example to us all.

How? By wearing all of his clothing in order to ‘sneak’ them onboard a flight instead of paying airline baggage fees.

Ryan. I salute you. Nay, I am a little bit in love with your spirit. Not only does your name contain my favourite word, ‘Hawaii,’ but you’ve also, in one stroke, hit at two of my pet peeves at one time – baggage fees and discriminatory air conditioning.

Ryan wore eight pairs of pants and 10 shirts – in itself a feat that inspires the more hardcore of amour. I mean, the rest of us are giving up after one, or, in the case of men in Mumbai, half a pair of pants. And this man said no, ‘Imma let you finish, Taylor, but Imma keep going after one.’ Huzzah!

Reports are conflicting – like airline policies and fees. One version of events says that Ryan was apparently sadly homeless in Iceland for a week prior and thus couldn’t afford the baggage fees. Another version says he first attempted to board with an oversized bag and was denied. I prefer to believe the second version – it seems more in line with what I imagine to be Ryan’s chutzpah and sheer derring-do.

Ultimately, all reports agree: Wearing what seemed to be all of his clothing, he strode (waddled?) up to the British Airways counter at Keflavik Airport, Iceland, and attempted to board the plane. And was denied. He tried to film the counter and was accosted by security.

Ryan himself contests the airline’s stance, saying that he had checked with them earlier and they’d said he could wear all of his clothes.

Airlines always do this. They promise you human-sized seats and deliver slim pickings. They promise you delicious food at 30,000 feet, and fail. They allege that they will let you take everything you need for your trip or vacation – but make you choose between unsatisfying tiny bottles of 100 ml each. And they practically beggar you for the privilege of flying in a tin can with someone’s elbow digging into that spot in your side that makes you jump six feet in the air.

Which is why Ryan is a symbol for all of us. Ryan looked at things, said ‘I’ve got to go from point A to point B without leaving my clothes behind,’ and Bingo! I’m struck by awe and Cupid’s arrow. For me, there is nothing sexier than when a man takes a doggy bag home. The hairs on my hands stand on end. “Look,” the wind seems to whisper, “someone who will appreciate your careful reusing of plastic bags and wrapping paper. Someone who will not laugh when you consider a long rant against the airline industry to be adequate Saturday night entertainment. And someone who will support you every time you raise arms against companies on social media.”

Of course, a man who is not just capable of wearing all his clothes to a flight but also able to try it again the next day, is someone whose love I can only aspire to. Ryan attempted to fly the next day in an easyJet flight, and was denied again. By then, social media had brought this de-planed Viking to the attention of Philistines like me, and Ryan had started talking up his talents as a designer, as well as advertising the fact that he was wearing his own designs, that were worth at least two to three thousand points.

He fought the good fight with easyJet, and was refunded for his trouble. And he sold some of his clothing, bringing the total down to an unspecified number, and managed to fly home, richer, less rotund with cloth, and now a sex symbol to miserly people like me across the globe.

My mind is aflame with possibilities of trips to Hawaii, where I will sit by proudly while my man goes to war with the overlords of evil commerce over our return. When we’re denied our first attempt, I will join him in hawking his wondrous clothing as well as bead necklaces (my humble contribution) while simultaneously fighting the Plundering Hordes for our rightful refunds. Having made back our money, we shall fly home, offering our remaining clothes in lieu of blankets to our fellow passengers (many shoulders make light baggage). Then, on to our next trip.

It will be glorious. Beware, winged wimps. The Hawaiis are coming for you.

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