Final Word

By Jeff Girod

Posted January 6, 2011 in News

Apple has an app for that! And, as it turns out, it’s a knuckle sandwich. An Idaho man on a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas punched a teenage passenger who refused to turn off his iPhone as the plane approached the Boise airport.

Now usually I lose my cool on a 747 after discovering that the in-flight movie is Beverly Hills Chihuahua. But 68-year-old Russell E. Miller of Boise got pissed after a 15-year-old ignored a flight attendant’s instructions to turn off all electronic devices to prepare for landing. When the teenager continued listening to music and playing games on his iPhone, Miller broke out the kung fu action grip, punching the snot-nosed little punk—sorry, I mean “victim”—in the arm hard enough to leave a bruise.

For his heroic actions—sorry, I mean, “assault”—Miller was arrested on misdemeanor battery charges when the plane landed. There’s no update on the teen, but lets hope the common sense Miller knocked into him lasts longer than the “bruise.”

The fact that Russell Miller was arrested at all is unfortunate. Now I’m not saying you should be allowed to go around smacking pissant little teenagers, but you should be allowed to go around smacking pissant little teenagers.

Russell Miller shouldn’t receive a court date. He should get a big red plastic bat and his own A&E show where he travels across the country swatting teenagers like Whac-A-Mole, telling them to pull up their jeans, pick up their gum and wipe the bangs out of their eyes before they try to sell me a cell phone koozie at a mall kiosk.

Russell Miller isn’t a criminal. He’s a Real American Hero. He’s wish fulfillment at its finest. I shoot death glares at loudmouth strangers all day long and imagine hurting them so hard they literally crap out their taco bar lunches. Russell Miller should be applauded for stopping after just one punch. The man is 68 years old. He’s probably spent his entire life repressing the urge to wail on some knucklehead like a dime store piñata.

I’m surprised Russell Miller didn’t unleash a fury of thunderous kidney punches, eye rakes and figure-four leg locks that would’ve made Hulk Hogan proud. That little cheese ball is lucky Russell Miller didn’t run up and down the aisle opening every overhead compartment searching for things to use as makeshift vise grips. I would’ve strangled that stupid kid with every life vest, every carry-on, flung every laminated safety card at his greasy little iPod lovin‘ head. I would’ve opened every suitcase, emptied every can of AquaNet into his face and found the biggest, saggiest, crustiest pair of granny panties on the entire 747 and sling-shotted his bony ass all the way from coach right into the cockpit.

And before you say, “But Jeff, he’s just a 15-year-old kid”—just a kid? That’s the problem with today’s youth. They’re all kids. My grandpa was smoking and driving a tractor by the time he was 12. And for all I know he whittled that tractor out of a piece of bark. These kids today, they bitch and moan about how they know everything, about how adults do everything wrong, about how they just to have an $80 sweatshirt from Pacific Sunwear or Hot Topic. But the minute you ask a 15-year-old a perfectly reasonably request, like “Hey, dumbass, turn off your damned iPod so the plane doesn’t crash into the side of a mountain,” suddenly they’re “just kids.”

Let me tell you something, 15 is plenty old enough to be getting into all sorts of trouble and a Russell Miller-sized smack to the shoulder is exactly what a teen needs sometimes. And it’s not just teenagers. It’s adults, too. If you can’t put down your iPod or hang up your smart phone long enough for a plane to land or, hell, even to responsibly drive your car or to politely eat at a restaurant or to quietly watch a movie in a theater, then by all means, anybody within arm’s length should be allowed to smack the ever livin‘ beejesus out of you. California enacted nearly 750 laws on January 1st and that should’ve been one of them.

Call it “Russell’s Law.”

Contact Jeff Girod at


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