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Is an airline responsible for serving passenger too much alcohol? Or being stuck on toilet seat?

I can't resist sharing two airline stories with you this morning, one serious and one hilarious (unless it happens to you).

First, this may sound like a frivolous lawsuit, but it's being taken seriously at United Airlines. A couple alleges that the airline is responsible for him beating his wife while waiting to clear Customs by giving him too much free booze on a long trans-Pacific flight. The issue: Is an airline just as responsible as a bar owner is when it serves a customer who's clearly drunk and he has an accident? Read more about the case in a Chicago Tribune story.

I saw the second article, a column by humorist Garrison Keillor, because it's linked on the Tribune Web site to the United story above. It's his take on an incident that occurred when an airline passenger didn't heed the warning "Do not flush while seated on toilet."