Steven Slater is an Internet Phenomenon

the Internet: for when you just can't find an enormous inflatable slide

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    NEWSLETTERS

    CafePress

    Let's be honest: you cheered a little bit when you heard that about flight attendant Steven Slater's dramatic 'I quit!' moment, even if you couldn't express your admiration out loud.  Then you probably fantasized about escaping your own office via inflatable slide.

    But unfortunately, the closest most of us can come to replicating Slater's inimical feat is taking a beer to the neighborhood playground and hopping down the slide -- but you'll probably get some nasty glares from young parents, particularly if you quote Slater's eloquent loudspeaker announcement.

    At least we have tributes like Jimmy Fallon's "The Ballad of Steven Slater," whose refrain "get two beers and jump" is probably being hummed at their desks today.

    Or, there's this tee shirt which immortalizes Slater's bid for freedom.  But these sorts of salutes are quickly becoming as common as Slater's slide was extraordinary.

    Searching "Steven Slater" on Facebook yielded 95 page results during this article's first draft and 98 by the time it was published, including "Steven Slater Is My Hero," "I Support Steven Slater," and "I hate the [expletive] that called Steven Slater a [expletive]."   A "Public Figure" page devoted to Steven Slater has 135,350 fans as of 3 pm today, and the number continues to grow.

    There's also the "Steven Slater Legal Defense Fund," which claims that dozens of people have already contacted it seeking to donate money.  "We are not condoning what Steven did.  HOWEVER one can understand why he did what he did...We all know that crew members are underpaid and JetBlue is non union so he will not have very good legal representation on his own," reads the site's info page.

    It seems clear that Steven Slater has touched a nerve; he's become an icon for frustrated employees everywhere.  But while thousands have 'liked' him on Facebook, it's unlikely that many more people will follow Slater's example and, in the words of Jimmy Fallon, "grab two beers and jump."

    If you have your own dramatic "I quit!" stories, we want to hear them.  Leave them in the comment section below.