Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
One day, airlines will charge you for the air you consume on the flight.
They'll calculate how much is pumped through those little vents above your seat.
If you turn your vent all the way to the left, so that cool air can blow onto your face, you'll be charged the maximum.
If you shut it off entirely, you'll be charged just the basic Vent Rental Fee.
The amounts will simply be slapped to your credit card.
I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened yet. After all, charging you extra for sitting next to your family is de rigueur for some.
Still, airlines will surely not be so mean as to make you pay for the absolute basics, will they?
You know, like water?
Please allow me to shiver your timbers. For here's an airline that does, indeed, charge you for water.
Wow, I hear you say. And you'd be right.
Wow Air is one of the so-called Ultra Low Cost Carriers. These are carriers that provide you with apparently cheap fares, shaking hands with their right while reaching into your pocket with their left.
As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, a customer was so incensed at being charged $3 for water on a Wow flight that they refused to pay.
After all, this wasn't some quick flight between European cities. This was San Francisco to Paris via Keflavik.
The customer said that they expected at least a meal and drinks to be free.
They weren't. But still, water?
"When I asked if I could refill my water bottle," said the customer, "the flight attendant came back with a water bottle and a portable credit card machine. She told me that it cost three dollars to buy the water bottle."
The affrontery. The gall. The 21st century airlines world, in fact.
"What if there was an emergency and a passenger needed to drink water ASAP?" the customer added. "Would they charge him/her, too?"
Why, of course.
The whole point of these low-cost airlines -- and, indeed, the supposedly fancier ones too -- is to make as much money as humanly possible out of a captive, desperate, uncomfortable audience.
Recently, British Airways decided to replace one of its meals on long-haul flights with a little chocolate bar.
American Airlines is one of many to now charge an extra baggage fee if you have a connecting flight.
It's the same airline that then had the bare-faced blindness to release an ad campaign encouraging passengers to behave better.
Wow Air is Icelandic. It replied to the customer in tones that some might find chilly.
"We are firm believers in the business model 'you pay for what you use.' We are a low-budget airline so all extra services are not included in the ticket price and come for an additional charge," it began.
The airline continued: "We believe it's unfair for our guests to pay for something they have no intention of using. That is why you are allowed to choose what you pay for, you do not pay for anything you do not use."
It's such a charming, alluring logic.
What if I don't ask a member of the cabin crew for anything? What if I never speak to a cabin crew member? Can I get my portion of their salary that's charged to my flight back? I suspect not.
What if I don't use an overhead locker? Surely it's unfair that other passengers who do use it pay the same as me.
And what if I never go to the toilet? It has to be unfair for me to pay the same as those people who sometimes go three or four times on a long-haul flight.
Surely Wow Air could set up a rebate system that corresponds more fully with its guiding principles.
Or maybe these cheap airlines are there to just suck you in with the price and then have you suck it up even more than you already suck it up when you fly with their competitors.