Daily Archives: May 22, 2019

The Irish airline that lets you pay extra not to sit next to someone. The St. Louis Blues, powered by Laura Branigan, make an improbable Cup Final. And the 15-year anniversary of the first legal, gay marriage shows how far we’ve come

You know, I acknowledge I’m not the smartest guy in the world. And I don’t sit in boardrooms all day for corporations, brain-storming ways to make our company or product better.

But sometimes, sometimes I really think I NEED to be in these corporate meetings, to stand up and shout “Really? You really think this is a good idea???”

Today I wish I had shouted that to an Ireland-based airline called Aer Lingus. They’ve just announced a brand-new fare option that will guarantee you that you won’t have to sit next to anyone on your flight.

It’s called “AerSpace,” and it means you’ll be guaranteed an aisle or a window seat in the first row of the aircraft and the middle seat will be left unoccupied. The fare also includes guaranteed cabin space directly overhead.

OK, OK, so far it’s not a terrible idea, lots of people hate to be crowded on flights, they’d like the extra room, they don’t like strangers, etc.

But here’s the truly “genius” part. The AerFare will be four times the price of a regular seat ticket.

FOUR Times! Now check my math here: Let’s say you just buy TWO tickets, for your seat and the one next to you, and then you don’t have to worry about anyone sitting next to you, and it only costs half as much as this AerFare thing.

Wouldn’t that work just as well??? And be a LOT cheaper??


** Next up today, an incredible sports story has developed in the Stanley Cup playoffs the last few weeks, but since hockey doesn’t get nearly the attention as the other three major sports in America, you might not have heard of it.

But the St. Louis Blues, perennial playoff disappointments and for the last few years, not even getting that far, are going to the Stanley Cup Finals. This is the same team that on Jan. 1, 2019, just a few months ago, was the WORST team in the NHL. They had as much chance of getting to the Cup finals as I have of becoming the starting center for the Knicks, but here they are, beating San Jose in Game 6 Tuesday night and ready to take on the Boston Bruins in the Finals.

And how did they get there, you might ask? Give Laura Branigan all the credit.

That’s right, Laura Branigan, boys and girls! The long-deceased 1980s songstress enjoyed a huge hit in 1982 with “Gloria,” and that has, improbably, become the Blues’ rallying cry, their victory song, through the last five months. They play it in the arena after every win at home, and in the locker room, too.

Why? Well, here’s the whole story, but the short version is this: Some Blues players were watching the NFL playoffs at a bar in January and the DJ kept playing “Gloria,” and the players liked it, decided they needed a new victory song in the locker room, and then the Blues won 10 straight games and “Gloria” caught on like wildfire.

What’s even more awesome is that Branigan’s longtime friend and manager, Kathy Golik, has totally gotten in the spirit of it (even as hundreds of people on Twitter have asked her if Branigan could sing the song at a Blues game, unaware she passed in 2004).

It’s a wonderfully organic, weird story, but so many sports stories are. The Blues are an improbable, fabulous story, and oh yeah, “Gloria” is still a kick-ass song. Enjoy.

**And finally today, sometimes it takes an anniversary to remind you of how far we’ve come as a country, when it comes to something so simple that was fought for, so, so hard.

This week brought a reminder that 15 years ago, on May 17, 2004, two women in Massachusetts named Tanya McCloskey and Marcia Kadish got married.

They were the first same-sex couple to be legally married in the United States. Now of course it’s legal in all 50 states, as mandated by the Supreme Court ruling in 2015.

“We felt we were married already,” Kadish told NPR Morning Edition host Rachel Martin. “This was just making it legal.”

The Boston-area couple picked up their marriage license minutes after midnight in Cambridge, Mass., and received a waiver that allowed them to bypass a three-day waiting period to perform the ceremony.

It’s only been 15 years since this happened, but it sure does feel like a lifetime ago. Same-sex marriage is so ingrained in so many of our lives, and seems so normal now, that it’s easy to forget sometimes how incredibly hard the fight for equality was, and how it’s only been a decade and a half that everyone has had the right to marry (and gay people were allowed to be as miserable as the rest of us; I kid, I kid!)

Tragically, McClaskey developed cancer and died in 2016, but she’ll go down in history.

A wonderful, historic anniversary.