Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid |

Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid

Todd HartleyThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

Are you scared of flying? Does the sight of a mouse send you climbing onto a table shrieking in terror? Would you consider the possibility of a mouse dropping on your head during a flight a cause for alarm? If you answered no to all three of those questions, then you might love flying Nepal Airlines, which had a very interesting week courtesy of our little rodent friends.Tuesday, a Nepal Airlines flight was grounded in Hong Kong after a mouse was seen in the cockpit. A spokesperson for the airline said the plane would have to remain in Hong Kong until the mouse was trapped and removed. As of this writing, the furry culprit was still at large despite four traps laid out for him, and the passengers were facing a second night in a hotel.Mice are dangerous on airplanes because they can supposedly chew through cables and send passengers into a hysterical panic that might upset the flight. While the latter is certainly true, and the former sounds reasonable enough, I think I have to question the extent of the threat mice really pose to airplanes. You see, one day earlier, the very same plane was grounded in Kathmandu for more than 11 hours when a mouse was spotted in a box of drinks. That mouse was trapped and disposed of, allowing the plane to make its flight to Bangkok, from where it must have flown to Hong Kong, possibly stopping in other cities as well.Let’s see: there was a mouse in the cockpit and another in a box of drinks. They’re mice. There’s pretty much zero chance they were the only two specimens on the plane. That would mean the airplane made at least two flights with mice aboard and didn’t suddenly drop from the sky.I’m not saying we should be letting mice run wild on every flight, mind you. I’m just saying that seeing a mouse on an airplane belonging to the official airline of the world’s 23rd poorest country really shouldn’t be that big a deal. Keep in mind that Nepal Airlines once sacrificed two goats to fix a technical glitch with one of their planes. And before you start thinking this happened 80 years ago or something, you should know that the sacrifice was made in 2007. What I’m saying is we shouldn’t go right ahead and add mice on planes to the ever-growing list of things we’re supposed to be scared of. Or, at least, I would be saying that if not for a similar incident that took place just last month. On that occasion, a mouse grounded a massive Airbus 330 in Stockholm, Sweden, stranding 250 people until the rodent could be removed. And lest you think this happened to an Air Congo flight headed back to Kinshasa, I’ll have you know it was a Scandinavian Airlines flight bound for Chicago. Scandinavian Airlines, or SAS, is the largest airline in very rich and very fastidious Scandinavia, so if there was a mouse on one of their flights, they could be anywhere. It’s time to panic, people! I’m sure it’s only a matter of time now before airplanes will routinely be subject to incidents like the one that happened on a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight in 2006.On that occasion, a plane was cruising through the sky at 28,000 feet when roughly 80 mice escaped from one of the passenger’s bags (no word on why the guy had 80 mice or how he got them aboard) and ran amok in the cabin. Witnesses reported a mass panic that included dozens of startled cries of “Eek!” and, yes, mice actually falling onto people’s heads. Now, I admit that sounds horrible and all. I mean, I’m not scared of mice, but I imagine I’d probably freak if one fell on my head. However, I would like to point out that that plane, too, managed not to fall out of the sky with mice aboard.As far as I can see, there’s only one solution to the terrifying new reality of mice on planes, and I think you probably know what it is: Every flight, international or domestic, will be required to carry Samuel L. Jackson on board, so if a mouse infestation breaks out on a flight, he can eradicate the little bastards. That is, just as soon as he tells everyone, “I have had it with these muthaf*&#ing mice on this muthaf*&#ing plane.” That would be way cool.

Todd Hartley has cut the cheese on airplanes, but no mice seemed interested. To read more or leave a comment, please visit

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