WHO: Steven Slater
LIFE SPAN AS A FOLK HERO: 4 days
Earlier this year, former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater got into a tiff with a passenger before a flight from Pittsburgh to New York. He’d been knocked on the head trying to help a woman shove luggage into the overhead bin, and the bag was eventually checked. When the plane landed, the woman pestered him about the bag. That’s when Slater snapped.
He hopped on the PA system, cursed her out, and let JetBlue know how he really felt about his job. (Hint: He didn’t care for it.) Then he deployed the evacuation slide and slid down it with beers in hand. When the news hit the press, Slater was hailed as a hero for sticking it to Da Man.
Slater was charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, and trespassing. And then the police uncovered that parts of his story were made up — like being struck in the head (although Slater maintains that’s true). And then he admitted to drinking before the flight. And then he was found to have a clinical disorder after a mental-health evaluation.
Still, the guy got tons of TV time, a probable book deal, and, no doubt, totally laid. So maybe he still is kind of a folk hero…