Why I wouldn’t sit next to Sharon Osbourne on a plane

I heard something trivial about Sharon Osbourne the other day, and it sparked a memory of something she once said on her talk show. The topic of discussion was people you wouldn’t want to sit next to on a plane. I might have picked someone with terrible body odour, or someone drunk & obnoxious. But Sharon casually revealed that she wouldn’t sit beside anyone with a colostomy bag!

I’ve been thinking about that since the memory surfaced. So I did a little snooping around online and found a blog by a woman with Crohn’s disease. One of her posts was written the day that episode aired. She’d even written to the network to tell them how offensive she’d found the remark. Damn. I guess it wasn’t just a bad dream.

So I did a little more investigating. Maybe Sharon later apologized for the ridiculous remark. But no, at least not that I could find. In fact, what I did learn from various newspaper reports ticked me off even more.

In 2002, Sharon was diagnosed with colon cancer. One article quoted her as saying that when she learned she might have to wear a colostomy bag “It was a f***ing nightmare. You can imagine how I felt. I refused. I said that was the last resort – we’ll do whatever we have to before we do that.” Fortunately, she didn’t have to face her “nightmare.” Her cancer was successfully treated with surgery and chemotherapy.

Other quotes attributed to Sharon Osbourne:

“The cancer has definitely changed me – I have become a much nicer person, I appreciate my life and I’m more tolerant of people.”  (Right. As long as she doesn’t have to sit beside them.)

“I am passionate and I am making this my personal mission to make sure that people with colon cancer can get the same kind of treatment that I received.” (And maybe a free cow bell to wear around their necks, to warn others of their approach?)

OK, so bottom line:  This woman, who’s survived colon cancer … who’s positioned herself as a passionate advocate for colon cancer awareness … and who married a man who reportedly bit the heads off some live doves in a business meeting and spit out their bloody heads onto the table … is disgusted by the idea of sitting next to a person with a colostomy bag.

Good to know. If I ever find myself about to plop down beside her on a plane, I’ll be sure to ask the flight attendant if there’s another seat available. What about next to that slobbering drunk over there, drooling down his shirt and stinking to high heaven? Is that space free? ‘Cause when push comes to shove, turns out I’m way more offended by ignorance than by hygiene.