Snakes on a Plane: We’re all allowed one Stupid Mistake

"Look what was under my seat! I'm never flying economy again"

It looks like the DJ Neil Prenderville will get his old job back on 96 FM. You might remember Neil. He supposedly masturbated underneath an in-flight magazine on a flight from London to Cork last November. Someone forgot to tell Neil that joining the mile-high club was a team sport.

Neil claimed he was taking painkillers along with some alcohol. Most people believe he was completely pissed, out of his head, or both. Think about it; how drunk would you need to be? My guess is that he was feeling no pain on that flight.

Turbulent Flight: Normally, turbulence on flights is caused by inclement weather. Now, I’m not trying to make light of the distress caused to other passengers. But let’s grow up here. Did he commit a murder? Savagely assault another passenger? None of the above. It was a moment of madness for which he has paid a hefty price. He should now be allowed to get on with his life while the rest of us place the incident in context. Perhaps remind ourselves of the Egyptian proverb: ‘Because we focused on the snake, we missed the scorpion’.

The bizarre nature of the offense has been a terrible burden for Neil. He will carry the scar for years as will his family. I doubt that he will ever forget the incident. But we are all allowed one stupid mistake. The reality is that many of us already own that t-shirt, but wear it secretly.

So Neil, welcome back to the airwaves. Your error of judgment exposes human frailty in all of its richness. We know that clever people sometimes do stupid things. And, in a way, there’s a comfort in that for all of us.

Paul Mooney

PS Clean Joke of the Week: Have a look at It’s a site for sore eyes!


About Tandem Consulting

Paul Mooney holds a Ph.D. and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Industrial Sociology from Trinity College, along with a National Diploma in Industrial Relations (NCI). He has a post-Graduate Diploma and a Masters in Coaching from UCD. Paul, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is widely recognised as an expert on organisation and individual change. He began his working life as a butcher in Dublin before moving into production management. He subsequently held a number of human resource positions in Ireland and Asia - with General Electric and Sterling Drug. Between 2007 and 2010, Paul held the position of President, National College of Ireland. Paul is currently Managing Partner of Tandem Consulting, a team of senior OD and change specialists. He has run consulting assignments in 20+ countries and is the author of 12 books. Areas of expertise include: • Organisational Development/Change & conflict resolution • Leadership Development/Executive Coaching • Human Resource Management/employee engagement
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