Princess Bride T-Shirt Sparks Fear Aboard Airliner

Almost everyone has seen the 1987 fairytale comedy Princess Bride.  Some of the scenes and lines from the movie have filtered into the vernacular if millions of people.  How many of you have ever said, ‘inconceivable’, referencing probably the most popular quote from the movie.

Another popular concept used in the movie is the Dread Pirate Roberts.  It turns out that the name is passed on from one person to another, kind of like a family franchise.  The idea was used in an NCIS episode on TV about someone known as Kamual in the 2007 episode titled The Identity Crisis.  Kamaul was able to create new identities for people that stood up to the best scrutiny.  Kamaul, like the Dread Pirate Roberts, was a business name more than an individual.

Yet the line that was used frequently throughout the movie was that spoken by the character Inigo Montoya, played by Mandy Patinkin:

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

Wynand Mullins, a New Zealander who had been transplanted to Australia also like the movie and Montoya’s character.  He bought a t-shirt with a graphic in front with Montoya’s quote and he wore it as he boarded a Qantas airline flight from Australia to New Zealand.


After boarding the plane, one of the flight attendants approached Mullins who told him that his shirt was making some passengers uneasy and asked if he could remove it and wear a different shirt.  He had no other shirt, so the flight attendant went off to hunt for another shirt for him to wear, but Mullins refused, claiming the shirt was a movie quote and they had nothing fear.  He described the event saying:

“The flight attendant said to me: ‘Are you able to remove it because some of the passengers are quite intimidated by it.’ I thought it was all a bit silly. The person next to me was laughing, because they knew the movie.”

Instead of responding ‘as you wish,’ another famous line from the movie, Mullins refused and then told reporters:

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they had someone watching me the whole time.  The whole experience was a bit over the top, but also a bit comical.”

When the plane landed in Auckland, Qantas officials said they had no report of the incident and could not comment other than to say:

“Qantas does have dress standards for passengers traveling on our aircraft … particularly for slogans which other passengers may find offensive or threatening.”

If that is the case, then perhaps Christians should complain about someone’s shirt that depicts evolution or degrades Christ or promotes Islam.  After all, they are offensive to us, aren’t they?  No, we wouldn’t do that because we know it’s ridiculous and we value the freedom of speech.

The bottom line is that everyone seems to be getting paranoid and making a big deal over everything.  Remember the 6 year old boy that was expelled from school for pointing his finger like a gun to shoot at another kid?  And there was the 5 year old kindergarten girl who told another girl that she would shoot her with a Hello Kitty Bubble Gun and then point it at herself.  She was also suspended for making terrorist threats.

My response to the whiny passengers would have been to tell them to get a life, go see the movie and stop being so paranoid.