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The Knee Defender and the Coming War In the Sky

The Knee Defender and the Coming War In the Sky:

War is coming. Well, that’s not completely factual. It’s more like war is here. Shots have been fired. The future holds nothing but destruction and chaos.

We’re speaking, of course, of the events that unfolded on a flight from Newark to Denver a few days ago. It was there that the world at large first became acquainted with the Knee Defender.

If you’re new to this particular party, the Knee Defender is a $22 gadget that attaches to the seat of the passenger in front of you. When in place, it completely hinders that person’s ability to recline in their seat.

This advance in travel technology proved it’s capability to incite riots when a fight erupted between a man and woman traveling on that aforementioned flight out of Newark. The man put a Knee Defender on the seat occupied by the woman in front of him. The woman complained. The man refused to remove it. Drinks were thrown. The flight was diverted Chicago. That wacky Taiwanese website that makes Sims-like animations out of quirky news picked up the story. It was a big deal.

Honestly, it’s tough to pick a side in this fight. On the one hand, keep your gadgets off our goddamn seats, nerd. On the other, holy shit, how obnoxious is it when the person in front of you goes full recline?

The proper thing to do is ask, or, at the very least, confirm that the person behind you isn’t a seven-foot freak of nature who will be completely crippled by your actions. No one asks, though. Never. As a result, we now have the Knee Defender, and travel as we know it is gone forever.

Here’s the problem. The initial story that made the Knee Defender famous really made the Knee Defender famous. Sales skyrocketed. Traffic to the Knee Defender was so heavy it was actually taken offline for a while.

The implications are clear. When traveling, one person infringing upon another person’s right to free space is tantamount to a declaration of war. For years. both sides have had to fight that war using nothing but the assets and abilities given to them by nature (and the airline industry). This is no longer the case. All around the world, weary, long-legged travelers read that story and immediately armored up. Yes, they see the destructive capabilities this device holds and, no, they don’t give one single shit. War is hell. If you have access to weaponry the enemy does not, you utilize it.

So that’s where we are, now. The Knee Defender is the atomic bomb of travel. We’ve seen what kind of havoc it’s capable of wreaking, and a good portion of the world doesn’t care. Nuclear is an option people like having at their disposal, and as it pertains to legroom on an airplane, the Knee Defender is that nuclear option. Even when faced with the harsh realities of how detrimental to the tranquility of a long flight this device may be, we still bought them in record numbers.

What happened on that flight from Newark was just the beginning, ladies and gentlemen. The Knee Defender is soon to be in the hands of untold numbers of travelers who could not care less about how badly you need to lay back an extra three inches in order to fall asleep.

Things will never be the same. Travel safe, America, provided that’s even possible anymore.

Adam is an editor and columnist at Cracked who would love to be your friend on Twitter.

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