Monsters on the plane

Free vodka in coach class—that’s what the flight attendant offered me this morning between LA and NYC.

I’ve never had such hospitality in coach before. I hope that I never do again. She did not make the offer to get to know me. She did not make it to apologize for bad service. She made the offer because of extraordinary circumstances.

There were monsters on the plane.

The monsters shook and pounded on my seat. They shouted and howled. Mostly they whined and bossed their mother. They were small. The combined weight of the two of them was less than 60 pounds. One could say that they were uneducated monsters because at 2 and 4 years old, they were illiterate. I would argue that they were both highly educated in a specific competency—mother manipulation.

CHILD: Mama, I want to have that. Mama, I want to have that. Mama, I want to have that! Mama, I want to have that! MAMA, I WANT TO HAVE THAT!
MOTHER: Ok.

A few minutes later…
CHILD: NO! NO! NO!
MOTHER: Ok.

All Mama knew to say was “Ok” and “What do you want?” The dad was a picture of pure passivity.

Then…
CHILD: I want to watch it now. I want to WATCH IT NOW! I—WANT—TO—WATCH—IT—NOW!
MOTHER: Just wait a second, please. Pretty please with sugar on top?

Because the young tyrants did not want to use headphones with their movie, Mama treated me to free audio. The flight attendant came over and said that magic two-letter word—“No.” The volume went off! This did not satisfy the Rulers of Row 31. When the flight attendant walked away, the volume returned . . . halfway. Then I had all the sound effects and only snatches of dialogue.

I hope that this was an off morning for two young cherubim. I’m not eager to find out. Who knows? If I have a second flight with them, I might accept the vodka.

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About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
This entry was posted in culture, values and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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