The earliest version I can find is from San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen's column of January 30, 1992.
quote:"We're still trying to check this, but around USAir, staffers are circulating the story of an employee last-named Gay who boarded a USAir flight with a non-revenue ticket. Finding the seat assigned to him occupied by a paying passenger, he slipped into an empty one a couple of rows back. Then, due to a mechanical delay on another flight, the plane began filing up so the gate agent came aboard to get all non-paying passengers off. Stopping at the seat assigned to Mr. Gay, he said to the man, "Are you Gay?" Looking startled, the man nodded, at which the agent said, "Then you'll have to get off." Mr. Gay, hearing this, called out to the agent, "You've got the wrong man -- *I'm* Gay." Whereupon a young man seated across the aisle leaped to his feet and announced, "Hell, I'm gay, too--they can't kick us *all* off!"
It elicited this response on usenet
quote:This is a true story. A friend of mine is a flight attendant for USAir and when he was in training, one of the flight attendants who was leading the training session was this very same Mr. Gay mentioned in the above story.
Edit--the Ansett version seems to have become popular after it appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald July 1999.
Kathy "raising Caen" B.
-------------------- The plural of "anecdote" is not "data." Posts: 4255 | From: Sacramento, CA | Registered: Feb 2000
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Only sites that referenced this that I could find were joke sites. One of them gave the reference of "Sydney Morning Herald Monday, June 15, 1999". This won't show up on an SMH site search since they don't keep free archives online for more than one month. Fairfax Publications offers a pay search that encompasses the last 11 years, and will show you if such an article exists for free (though you would have to pay to get the entire test of the article). A search of "Mr.", "gay" "Ansett" and "free" shows no hits (I included "free" because there is actually a Mr. Gay who worked for Ansett Airlines). Talking to Ansett directly would be problematic, since they're in the process of folding even as I type. My guess is that yet another legitimate news source got taken in by a UL.
Ironically, Australia is quite tolerant of homosexuality (do a search on "Gay Mardi Gras" if you want an illustrated example).
buf 'then again, the ocher definition of a homosexual is a bloke who likes women more than beer' ungla
-------------------- "Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature."
George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra Posts: 4847 | From: Washington, DC | Registered: Jun 2001
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