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'Prepare to die' t-shirt causes stir on flight

MICHELLE COOKE
Last updated 05:00 23/01/2013
Wynand Mullins
FAMOUS LINE: Wynand Mullins wearing the T-shirt which caused a stir on a flight to Auckland. A flight attendant approached him saying some people felt intimidated by the words.

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For many people it is just a famous, comical quote, but some passengers on a New Zealand-bound flight did not see the funny side in Wynand Mullins' T-shirt, which read "Prepare to die".

In hindsight, Mr Mullins says his T-shirt, with a popular quote from the fantasy film The Princess Bride, may not have been the best clothing choice for a flight, but he believes the reaction of Qantas was over the top.

Mr Mullins, a Kiwi living in Sydney, was one of the first to board his Auckland-bound flight on Sunday evening. While other passengers took their seats, Mr Mullins was approached by a flight attendant who said some people on board were intimidated by the words on his shirt.

The shirt had a large name tag which read: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

The line is one of the most memorable from the 80s movie The Princess Bride.

Mr Mullins is used to getting questionable looks and received a few while in line waiting to board, but the reaction he received on the plane was "a bit over the top", he said.

"The flight attendant said to me: ‘Are you able to remove it because some of the passengers are quite intimidated by it'. I thought it was all a bit silly. The person next to me was laughing, because they knew the movie."

Mr Mullins said he didn't have another shirt to wear and hoped he would get to wear a pilot's shirt - but wondered how the other passengers would then react to that.

The flight attendant left in search of another T-shirt but never returned - and didn't make eye contact with Mr Mullins again.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they had someone watching me the whole time," he said.

"The whole experience was a bit over the top, but also a bit comical."

A Qantas spokesman said the airline had no record of the incident, so it appeared it had been handled by the crew on board.

"Qantas does have dress standards for passengers travelling on our aircraft . . . particularly for slogans which other passengers may find offensive or threatening."

* A 1987 movie, The Princess Bride is a classic fairy tale, which contains many often quoted lines. Directed by Rob Reiner, it has swordplay, giants, an evil prince, a beautiful princess, and a Mark Knopfler soundtrack.

In a 2012 interview in New York Magazine, actor Mandy Patinkin said his famous line ("Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die") gets quoted back to him by at least two or three strangers every day of his life. He said he loves it.

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This story has been edited. Rob Reiner, not Carl, directed the film.

- Stuff

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