Sunday, August 29, 2004

I have one general rule when flying that I expect all other passengers to follow. I shouldn’t know that they exist.

Like Spiderman and Haley Joel Osment, I too have a sixth sense. By witnessing a person’s smallest perceptible behavior – a poker player would call it a tell – I can immediately discern whether he or she will be a pain in the ass. In my head, I catalog these tells. Included in this list are people who make substitutions at restaurants and those that require more than three qualifiers to describe their coffee order. After my flight to France, I have added two more: women who take small dogs with them as they would a cell phone, and hippy parents accompanied by their kids.

If you choose to bring your tiny yap-yap dog on the plane, I shouldn’t hear it yap-yapping. I’ll tolerate a couple of minutes for you to get settled, but I would consider two hours of yap-yapping on an international flight to be excessive, and by all means violates my general rule of “not existing.” Out of the four legs of my trip, two of them contained yapping dogs.

I saw her carry the dog down the aisle and instantly knew what to expect the rest of the flight. She would be a pain in the ass. It didn’t necessarily involve the incessant barking of the dog either. During the entire flight she had the flight attendant scurrying around the cabin to bring her various items.

I’ve transported kids on planes. I know how difficult it can be, but parents must show a little decency. The entire plane is not a playground. The hippy parent sitting across the aisle from me, attired in tie-dye, governed her child with a free spirit laissez-faire style. She let him run continuously in the aisles, scream, jump, swing around seats, and disrupt other passengers within a couple aisle radius.

If it wasn’t for turbulence, I would have had a vasectomy on the plane.

I have a couple of solutions for parents traveling with kids you are unable or unwilling to control. The first is to add a little Kahlúa to their milk. Not only will it make them sleep during their flight, but it will also build their tolerance to alcohol so that they can more easily become raging alcoholics once they reach college (if they aren’t incarcerated before then). The other method of subduing your child on long flights? Tranquilizer gun.

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