The Steven Slater story has become a modern folk tale of rebellion, of frustration, of defiance, and of quitting that damned job where you’re not treated with the level of respect you deserve. Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” wrote a catchy tune about the incident and played it for his audience on Tuesday night. He tells the story of Steven Slater, a Jet Blue flight attendant who has become famous in the last few days for his rather extravagant exit from his job. He told off a passenger that had reportedly called him a “mother f***er,” grabbed two beers, engaged the emergency escape chute, and slid down to the tarmac below.
He was later arrested for endangering the lives of others during his folktale-creating departure.
What seems to have led to the Jet Blue veteran flight attendant’s meltdown was a rude passenger’s move to pull down some overhead luggage before the plane had come to a complete stop. Steven Slater, a self-described “bag Nazi” on his Facebook page, confronted the passenger. The passenger continued retrieving their luggage, hitting Slater in the head. When he demanded the passenger apologize, they instead called him a “mother f***er” and added, “F*** you!”
For Steven Slater, who reportedly was already having a bad flight (an altercation at the beginning of the flight from Pittsburgh to New York), the rudeness of the passenger was the last straw. He found a microphone and said, “To the passenger who called me a ‘m***** f*****,’ f*** you!” He then added, “I’ve been in the business 28 years. That’s it. I’m done.”
He then grabbed two beers from the galley, grabbed not one but two beers, and made his escape via the emergency chute.
Jimmy Fallon, in his acoustic folk song (that became a somewhat inspirational tune with a full band by the time it ended), used the beer-taking as his homage to Steven Slater in a repetitive singalong chorus that progressed into a repetitive refrain. Like the old doctoral routine of taking two aspirin and calling in the morning, Fallon sang, “Take two beers and jump!”
No matter what kind of adverse situation life has dealt you, Jimmy Fallon sings, the Steven Slater solution works: “Take two beers and jump!” And he may have given Americans the remedy to their ills. Just remember that jumping with beer in hand may cause overflow and loss of beer. Regardless, his frustration over his job has led to a diversion for everyone else.
But if you’re sick of reading about it, take two beers and jump into this video of Jimmy Fallon singing “The Jet Blue Song: The Ballad of Steven Slater.”