Monday, December 01, 2008

Flight of the Navigator was a great movie.

This is the kid's hand and Star Wars action figures. I did not show his face because he is a minor.

The experience of flying can be hit or miss and the pleasantness of the flight depends on many factors. Some factors include carrier choice, number of connecting flights, size of leg room, food served, wireless access, etc. An unpleasant flight can come about because of rude or unruly customers, rude flight attendants, medical emergencies, a disproportionately high number of smelly people, lack of proper air circulation, poor climate control, terrible food, lack of food, lack of beverages, or mechanical failure.

One of the most important aspects however is the people that are one your flight. One demographic that can make or break your flight is kids.

This flight was a terrible flight. Half the plane was full of children. I am not opposed to children flying and I don't' hate kids. Shit, I almost became a pediatrician. However, when you have 50 kids crying and running around the flight for 6 hours, it can be an extremely taxing adventure to say the least.

The other thing that made the situation worse is that the children were evenly distributed throughout the entire length of the plane. I have a theory of what happened on this flight.

Majority of adults traveling alone or with another adult purchased tickets early. Therefore, most of them occupied either the aisle or window seats as expected. Then all of the families with children purchased tickets but realized they didn't have many seats next to one another. So, they placed all of their children in the middle seats all throughout plane. They planted these kids across the entire plane to cry and annoy.

Now, the child planted next to me was a boy 6.5 years old. (I know this because he told me many times while I was trying to sleep. He also told me that his birthday is March 11th and his favorite food is spaghetti. Good thing I'm not some child abductor or molester).

He was visiting his cousins during his vacation and was really excited about going to a major amusement park and meet all of his favorite characters. He was also a big fan of Star Wars.
Normally, this would be great because I always enjoy talking about the galaxy far far away. However, I had just finished a long shift and had 2 hours of sleep. I really wanted to get a few hours of rest in before I had to start the day again after the flight. However, this kid had other plans for me. He started asking me about Clone wars. I told him I saw the movie and I saw a few of the tv epsidoes. That, of course, was a mistake because he would talk nonstop about the history and legend of jedi masters. I wanted to tell him, "I already know all of that! In fact, I know more! ". But because I thought that testing my Star Wars prowess against a 6 year old would be childish, I kept my food hole closed.

He was a rambunctious child, as he continued to occupy more and more of the space left and right of him. On the left was me, a patient, kind and gentle gentleman who have come to tolerate all kinds of uncouth behavior and on the right was a harpy woman who was dead in side. You can probably guess what happened next.

After 2 hours of the kid's shenanigans, I guess the woman had enough. She grabbed the child's shoulder and said to his face while drawing an invisible line between him and her, "This is my space. This is a line. You do not come over this line. You can do whatever you want on your side but leave this area alone or else I will get mad. Okay? Do you understand?"

This scenario played out like the scene from Kindergarten Cop when Arnold's character breaks a pencil in front of the annoying kid's face on the plane showing that he meant business.

The child calmed down for about 30 seconds until he started back up again.

Anway, the next 4 hours continued with him ripping up all of the napkin on the floor and spilling all of the crackers everywhere including onto my jacket. He also ate so many of those Dorritos Snack Mix that I thought he was going to puke all over me. He then asked me about my job and I told him I work at Sax Fifth Avenue and that I usually work 14 hours a day.

* Sent via BlackBerry *


Anonymous said...

David and I had a child sit between us on Korean Airlines. I forgot which direction. The boy started shy and then he became social. I wanted him asleep. I don't know how to talk children. I talk to adults. So for the most part, I speak to kids in much the same way, dry sarcasm. They don't get it. I don't care.

I wonder. The key is annoying them first. Talk over them and go "Rain Man." Or....what if YOU had vomited on the kid?

Jeff said...

To her credit, the woman knew how to get some sleep on the airplane.

Ghonie said...

very true