If I had to say one thing about myself, it’s that I’m a big fan of flying. I absolutely love strapping my hulking frame into a tiny seat and zooming off to another part of the globe. It’s great, and I love it. I love airports too, would you believe. The hustle, the bustle, the crippling time anxiety, the overpriced everything, the people standing in line, it’s great. Up, up and away, baby! Here we go!

What I don’t love, though, is having my soul dragged out of my asshole by the terrifying De Rucci Sleep Man every time I visit an airport.

At Melbourne Airport the face of your worst, worst dreams has hung large over the arrival and departure lanes for many years thanks to a pair of monolithic billboards for the bafflingly omnipresent Chinese bedding manufacturer.

Now, let’s not get it twisted here: I legitimately love flying. Spending hours jammed into a sardine tube of farts with nowhere to escape the worst habits of humans is a giddy thrill, to me.

What I don’t love, though, is Doctor Insomnia gawking at me through his Night Night Goggles while I’m trying to scan my Frequent Flyer card.

The history of the De Rucci man is a little muddy, but anecdotal evidence asserts that man in the photos is not Mr De Rucci nor anyone actually involved with the company at all, rather one of a fleet of models utilised in an old advertising campaign that unwittingly became the face of the brand in Australia because officials thought his surgical gaze would aid the company’s success.

And, look. I don’t want to mince any words here: I absolutely adore air travel, be it domestic or international. You’re telling me I get to share the cold some snotty dirtbag in 14B brought on board while eating a soggy grey sausage that’s so full of salt it gums my colon up for a week? Sign me up!

What I don’t love, though, is being hit with Rip Van Wanker’s ballsack-like scone smacking me in the chin two seconds after I step foot off the bloody SkyBus.

It’s hard to pin down just what in the name of $15 pints at the airport bar is so off-putting about the De Rucci Sleep Man. His is a face of many mysteries.

He looks like you’ll just wake up one night and he’ll be there, in the corner, concealed by the dark, illuminated only by the glow of a pipe, watching you.

He looks like he has several ornamental syringes on display at all times and will constantly offer you a shoulder massage, which you won’t accept, because you’re too scared of him ever being behind you.

He looks like he collects skins.

Do not misinterpret anything I am saying here: I love flying. I love it when the landing gear makes five loud bangs instead of four when it retracts and no one in the cabin bothers to address it so I just sit there sweating like a jackass for five hours straight.

What I don’t love, though, is the unholy De Rucci Sleep Man greeting me with his sleep forever stare every time I front up to the airport.

This is my dilemma.

Image: Twitter