Tedward, known to all as “Ted,” was taken off life support yesterday, June 4, after a long illness. He is survived by his father, United. He was only 4 years old.
Ted’s life was a very common and familiar story. His father, United, had a long history of tawdry affairs with low cost carriers. United’s first child, Shuttle, came to be after sexy Southwest moved to town, but Shuttle passed away in 2001. (You can still see his remains scattered throughout the United 737 fleet.) Ted was his second child, born after pretty-young-thing Frontier caught United’s attention in Denver. The two children couldn’t have been more different. While Shuttle spent most of his time with businessmen and women, Ted was more of a man of leisure.
Growing up wasn’t easy for Ted. He was teased as a child with taunts like “Ted is the ass end of United.” Even his father’s employees snapped at him with chants like “Ted is United without ‘U-N-I’.” That chant subsided when it was decided to avoid any meaningful cost savings and have United’s employees work with Ted for the same pay, but Ted never forgot those times. Despite these troubles, Ted was modestly successful in his early years. He grew quickly and found himself traveling to places like Florida, Arizona, Vegas, and Mexico. Unfortunately, he became a tremendous distraction for United, who spent long hours and loads of money on his son while other, far greater problems brewed.
Ted tried to take it all in stride. He listened to his TedTunes, watched Tedevision, read TedTimes, and eschewed the First Class luxuries that his father embraced, but he was never able to fully escape his darker side. As he entered his awkward teens, he began drinking (lemonade, which his father did not support). Then Ted fell in with the wrong crowd. He started hanging out on the South Side of Chicago, over on Cicero Ave, with all those bald Irish guys (at left, incredibly from an actual ad that ran). His stay there was short, and he soon started to drift.
Eventually, Ted’s personality began to fade as his family belatedly began to focus on other more important problems. The music was gone, he started reading his father’s magazine, and he even stopped drinking his forbidden lemonade. If it weren’t for that big blue nametag and the lack of First Class seats, nobody would have even known who he was.
Ted continued to ply his trade even though his support system kept getting weaker and weaker. Finally, Ted succumbed to his long illness after months of speculation.
Ted has opted to donate his organs for a necessary aircraft transplant for his father, by whom he is survived. In lieu of flowers, please donate cold, hard cash at united.com.
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