Why Elan Gale Made Up an Epic 'Note War' on a Thanksgiving Flight

At what point did you decide to reveal the truth?
When a rumor came out that this fictional character I had created had cancer, and people started writing about how I had bullied a fictitious person with cancer, it was so absurd to me that I didn't know what to do. That's when I felt like this has taken on a life of its own.

I'm not a liar -- I'm a storyteller

Some have said you lied to the Internet. What's your reaction to that?
I never made any statement at any point that this was real. I made a concrete decision not to lie. My story was my story. I'm not a liar -- I'm a storyteller.

Do you regret using the crass language in the notes?
In retrospect I should have said "gobble, gobble." It was Thanksgiving.

What is your reaction to those who have called you "sexist" or "heartless"?
I understand people have sensitivities. I am a big fan of comedy and I think comedy is supposed to push the boundaries of what's acceptable. At the end of the day I was trying to be humorous. I don't see it as sexist or misogynistic or heartless because I was arguing with myself.

Speaking of, who wrote Diane's letter? The handwriting was very different. Was anyone in on this with you?
I didn't plan this out in advance. I saw this person and just started to make up a story as it went. I had a friend back in LA who was on iMessage, who wasn't aware of what I was doing yet. I sent her some text messages and asked her to write them down on a piece of paper for me. She texted me photographs of the letter and I cropped them and posted them.

Did you have a message here?
When I realized people were paying attention, I tried to think, "Wow, I can really say something here." And everyone wins when you say be nice to service people.

If you want people to listen, you have to make them laugh.

It something that drives me crazy, to see people being rude to waiters, flight attendants, baristas. It's so easy to not do it. It's so easy to be polite. By no means was I trying to say everyone should write crazy notes to someone -- I was making a hyperbolic point. You should say something; you can choose your own method. I would not choose the method of my own character in the story. But if you want people to listen, you have to make them laugh.

Last question, did it hurt when Diane slapped you?
I probably deserved it.

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