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Pack Less, Weigh Less... Pay Less!

Wish We'd Thought About This Around April 1st!

It's a real Cinderella story, folks! In this day and age of airlines falling on hard times, along comes the story of Salamander, MO native Dick Derrie... and his latest revolutionary venture into the air carrier industry.

"Rising up" from childhood poverty as the son of a fisherman, Derrie only ate Omega-3 soaked line-caught trout -- perhaps the reason for his ingenuity in business leading to his present-day venture into the people carrying business.

In 1994, while operating Missouri’s largest generic cola bottling plant, Derrie sent his first express package and was struck with an idea. "Heck," he reasoned to himself. "These sons-of-a-gun are making me pay by the pound! Now what if we ran an airline the same way..."

The idea laid around in his fishy brain until 2005 when Dick saw a movie on the results of global warming. If something wasn’t done now, he might have grandchildren that wouldn’t know the joys of gator hunting from the back of a truck! It was then he decided it was time to launch Derrie-Air, the worlds first carbon-neutral airline.

Forget the lures of special fares, 21-day advance purchases, and holiday specials -- Derrie-Air rewards dainty and dieting passengers with delicious deals on airfare to their destination. Penny-pinching passengers pay by the pound to perch on the plane.

In addition, the Earth-friendly airline will plant a tree to offset every pound of carbon the planes release into the atmosphere... so even the most diehard environ-nuts have reason to cheer for the upstart carrier.

Is Derrie a modern-day combination of Fred Smith and Johnny Appleseed? We think so! We also think those of you who read this far without thinking this was a joke may need to brush-up on your blue collar comedy.

The jokesters over at Philadelphia Media Holdings pulled together the parody airline -- complete with promotional site, and advertising in several Philly-area newspapers -- to see what kind of response they could get in a "discussion on a timely environmental topic of interest to all citizens."

You have to admit, in this age of airlines charging for every little item, the basic concept of a "pay-by-weigh" airline has some merit -- even ANN's 250-lb. Managing Editor thinks so -- though it would undoubtably fail to get off the ground over personal rights issues. Remember the hub-bub when Southwest started asking its more zaftig flyers to pay for two seats?

Still... we get the impression that even with air fares tied to personal poundage, Derrie Air passengers would still be treated with more respect than on a typical American, Northwest or United flight.

After all, consider these amenities: "gorgeous air hosts and hostesses, golden-age Rat Pack films, top-shelf vodka Martinis, on-demand video blackjack, spacious private washrooms outfitted with porcelain fixtures and gilded faucets, gourmet snacks, on-board masseuses, loofah scrubs and, of course, digital cable!" (Yes, that would be one looooong cable.)

Oh well, enough dreaming -- back to looking for a good fare to Dubuque for next week.

FMI: www.flyderrie-air.com

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