Fed-up flight attendant Steven Slater wan't just living out the fantasies of working folks everywhere when he walked out on his job in most dramatic fashion. His beer-laden slide down the emergency chute was a fantasy that he harbored for two decades.
"We thought about it for 20 years," Slater told two New York Times reporters who cornered him an elevator Wednesday morning. "We thought about it. But you never think you're gonna do it."
The JetBlue steward seemed taken aback by the folk hero status he earned after he cursed out the plan, grabbed two beers, deployed an emergency chute and skipped out as the plane was deboarding at JFK Airport.
"I didn't have access to much information so to come out to all this is a little bit overwhelming," a smiling Slater told the Times, a day after he was released from a short stint in the slammer.
Meanwhile, his employer had a little fun with the incident, released a humorous take on the JetBlue blog as Slater's Internet fame showed no signs of slowing. The now legendary exploit has even been immortalized in a CGI video by the same Taiwanese company that make the Tiger Woods and Al Gore animations.
JetBlue passengers who witnessed the meltdown say they laughed when they were getting off a plane and heard a curse-filled announcement.
Instead of being told where to go to find their luggage or catch their connecting flights they heard someone offering an expletive-laden suggestion. Passenger Kati Doebler said travelers gasped and giggled after flight attendant Steven Slater's comments Monday.
Slater has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing. He's also been suspended by JetBlue Airways Corp.
A defense attorney says Slater didn't put anyone in danger.
Slater has become a cult hero to many who admire the dramatic way he left his job.
On Tuesday, Slater's mother, Diane, even went so far as to seem proud of her son for his outburst.
"I can understand why he snapped. I would have snapped too," Diane Slater said Tuesday after Steven pleaded not guilty to the various charges against him. "I think he just had a very small meltdown, and I think he deserve to be able to have that meltdown."