Love (usually) begins with feelings of bliss, (sometimes) settles into a warm glow, which it (occasionally) sustains as the attraction matures, becoming (fingers crossed) a lifelong bond. That's how it's supposed to go. There are permutations of this pattern. Sometimes, but not often, the bliss persists. More often it pierces the warm glow with occasional bursts of light. Most often the warm glow degenerates into something approaching contempt or, for the truly unlucky, Springerian hatred. These phases can all pass very quickly, so keep your eyes peeled - you don't want to miss anything.
Jerry! - If I've learned anything from my long interlude without work it's that Jerry Springer is the salve for love's wounds. People go on that show without a hint of their lovers' misdeeds and, when confronted with the villainy in the flesh, through tantrums that would earn them a month in a London quod. The confrontation is refreshingly physical and clearly designed to give the combatants a chance to expunge their animal instincts. Put down your phones and text Springer!
Uber - Why waste hundreds of dollars on an international airline ticket? If you want to break up on the cheap and avoid the sort of reaction described above, just get with your mate and order an Uber. Hop in the car, open with a few pleasantries, and drop the bomb. Uber drivers have experienced worse than some brawling in the back seat and as long as the couple leaves their weapons at the door, there shouldn't be any mess to clean up.
Sometimes love ends in a train wreck. This often happens when we are young and entirely unprepared for love's emotional whiplash. The train engineer steers into the disaster with premeditation and usually avoids serious injury. But the clueless victim is left to count stars and collect his wits. Being on the receiving end of a break-up sucks, and it can lead to strange reactions, reactions that can be aggravated depending on the manner in which the break-up is conveyed.
People magazine gives us a recent case study. Some guy from Texas - naturally 21 years old and new to the ways of love and love lost - got a text from his girlfriend advising him that their days as a couple were over.
According to Metropolitan Police of ambiguous jurisdiction, the guy, about an hour into the flight, “became highly intoxicated from drinking Bacardi rum, which he had brought on to the plane himself, and was then aggressive and abusive towards members of the cabin crew and other passengers on board.”a
Then he started snarling at other passengers, which ultimately got him restrained. The guy was headed for Texas but the pilot couldn't wait that long. Clearly experienced in the ways of the blokes in our own "down under" he turned the plane around and headed right back to the UK, dropping twenty tons of jet fuel in the Atlantic for good measure.
I wondered about the fuel drop. British Air says it's unsafe to land with a lot of fuel on board. That could be true. But I'm thinking they didn't want to fly that jet around fully laden with an extremely flammable cargo considering the open flame they had tied up in the cabin.
At his hearing in London, the guy's attorney made all kinds of excuses, which caused the judge to exclaim:
“Whether you were drunk when you boarded the plane or you became drunk doesn’t matter,” the judge said. “You assaulted a woman for no reason at all.”
Two things wrong here. The kids attorney clearly left the juiciest part of his defense out: 1) England doesn't have a drunkenness analogy to the insanity defense, so you can't get out of jail free simply by admitting to being to drunk to know better and 2) Tell me, what reason makes it OK to assault a woman? Or a man, for that matter? Maybe the kid's attorney should have asked that question before his day in court.
What can be done to avoid tragedies like this in the future? Well, nothing. But here are some ideas:
Just Don't Barf Back There
Cut-Rate Cell Service - No need to get worked up if you don't know that your mate has dumped you. So get rid of that fancy cell service plan and go with a cheaper plan that has sketchy coverage. If you get an unpleasant message, just ignore it and hope your lover changes their mind! It's been known to happen.