Airplane shorts

Stephen Stucker

A bit of movie trivia for you: last weekend I bought a pair of shorts at J. C. Penney, and they were on sale price. I now refer to them as my Airplane shorts. Why?

(Well, one reason is that I clearly have a rather weird sense of humour, but apart from that I mean.)

This is my first post for a month, I’ve just realised. This was going to be a serious, deep ‘n’ meaningful opinion piece about Amazon, specifically in light of their current dispute with Hachette. I still intend to write that, but I’ve been putting it off because I’ve struggled to find the time. Hence the short shorts thing.

There is another angle to this though. If you’ve been paying attention, and you know a bit about me, you might be thinking, ‘hang on, this guy lives in the UK, so what was he doing in J. C. Penney?’. Which is a good question. The reason is that I work in a UK office of a US-based company, and my day job recently took me to the HQ in New York. (Actually, New Jersey, but only just over the Hudson from Manhattan, and New York sounds better – sorry, NJ’ers.) Hence I found myself in Penney’s in a Jersey City mall one Saturday afternoon.

All of which made me reflect on the fact that, in common with hordes of part-time writers, I long to write full-time and hence can tend to regard my day job as a necessary evil at best and a damned pain in the proverbial at worst .. and yet that day job has compensations. Like the occasional week in NJ/NY, including a Sunday in Manhattan, which on this occasion I spent at the fabulous Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of my favourite places on earth. Plus my job is actually quite interesting – and has become a little more so recently – and I do work with some seriously nice people too. So the lesson is – I should count my blessings.

I’d still rather be writing though …



  1. Hmm, why are they your “airplane” shorts?

    I have a set of “airplane” clothes: super baggy jeans, old but supportive running shoes. I pretty much only wear these clothes on airplanes because, though they are hideous to look at, they are comfortable enough to sleep in while also functional enough to run around in at the airport.

  2. They’re my ‘airplane’ shorts because of a line in the classic movie Airplane, where the wonderful Johnny (Stephen Stucker) exclaims, ‘There’s a sale at Penney’s!’. You really have to see the clip ( ) or better still (if you haven’t already) the whole film. One of the greatest comedies of all time, and one that gets better with every viewing. Also one of those rare films where the minor characters – like Johnny – get some of the best lines.

    Anyway, I bought the shorts in a sale at Penney’s so …

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