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December 14, 2011  | by: Addie Stuber

Hello everyone. My name is Alec Baldwin. Most of you know me from my involvement with NBC’s 30 Rock, although lately any sort of character I have portrayed on the stage or screen has been pushed aside for the sake of a different sort of drama – an incident involving American Airlines. I am here today, not as a Tweeter, not as a fake American Airlines pilot, but as a man with a story. This story does not stem from silly airplane protocol or lofty views on celebrity. It is a genuine confession that I have kept hidden for far too long…I have OCBGD. Obsessive Compulsive Board Gaming Disorder.

I first noticed signs of the illness early on. When I was seven, I remember being at a neighbor’s house and pocketing the dice from a Yahtzee set. My initial vain attraction to the polished ivory cubes slowly turned into a coping mechanism by which to deal with the stress of playground bullying. A trio of thick-skulled inbreeds would corner me ten minutes before the recess bell rang, taunting me with cries of “Alex Bad-Hair-Win! Alex Bad-Hair-Win!” Who were they to judge that I preferred a classic flat top to their shaggy Buzz-Bee nightmare? There was little I could do to stay calm, other than slump against the brick and coolly pretend not to care, all the while shaking the dice in my ridged fist.

The tic always comes on strong when I am forced to be idle for an extended period of time. My brother was humiliated after I broke out Chinese Checkers in the middle of his son’s christening. The service was dragging! What was I to do? I was very quiet while arrange the marbles in the isle next to my pew. Furthermore, I asked in a whisper if my date wanted to play. An appropriate level of decorum was certainly observed. Besides, the box beneath my suit jacket had begun to poke me in the ribs.

Alec Baldwin

The same scenario presented itself during that fateful flight from LAX to JFK. The plane had been sitting on the tarmac for forty minutes. I had tried to stave off telltale signs of an episode (involuntary buzzing noises, fanning of hands, urge to graffiti tally marks) with a lukewarm glass of Scotch from the refreshment cart. Nevertheless, the desire to scream “Bingo!” was coming on strong.

I reached into my carry-on for my iPhone and logged onto Words With Friends – a competitive online Scrabble game I have become fond of. I was pleased with the letters I had been dealt and set to work arranging them. I was so absorbed in my vocabulary that I did not notice the ‘Fasten Your Seatbelts’ light click on, nor the request of the Stewardess to turn off my mobile device. It is therefore reasonable to see why I became enraged by the repeated request. I was in the middle of my turn! My pulse had begun to return to normal! To the Stewardess, I was being an unreasonable passenger. In reality, I was one tile away from a full-fledged meltdown. I tried escaping to the bathroom to finish my answer in peace but was confronted again and asked to leave the plane. Preserving my pride was more important than revealing my crippling handicap.

There you have it. Now that you understand the true depths of the incident, and I hope that you will not aid in the spreading of harmful rumors. I am generally a peaceable man and will apologize to American Airlines if necessary. However, I’d much rather challenge them to a round of Sorry.

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  • Dania McDermott