Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm gonna take your wheels off

The biggest difference between flying to Los Angeles and flying to, say, Las Vegas, New York or San Francisco -- our last three trips -- is all the damn kids. Especially flying on a weekend. There must be some kind of Disneyland special going or something.

When we were standing in line to board at Sea-Tac yesterday morning, some little menace ran into me from behind, nearly knocking me down. The dumbass parents didn't apologize exactly, but the mom did say his name semi-sternly -- Austin! -- and the dad issued a threat:

"I'm gonna take your wheels off!"

I turned around, and little Austin, all of about 6, was riding around on those sneakers with mini-skates built into the bottom of the shoes. He wasn't buying the dad's line. You can't, he said. How can you do that?

To which the dad replied, "I have the tool right in my pocket."

That struck me as a pretty good comeback, but I figured it for a further bluff, since any tool that could disassemble shoe skates would probably be classified a security risk. And security seemed particularly tight yesterday. I got pulled over and wanded down several times, busted for a pack of Orbit gum in my pocket with its freedom-threatening foil wrapping.

Anyway, even the modest level of parenting being attempted by Austin's folks was nowhere evident on the plane. Kids, toddlers and babies were screaming and chatting away all around us, in quardrophonic sound, with an especially annoying precocious brat right behind me:

"We're flying! We're up! We're in the air!"

The plane hadn't even pulled back from the gate yet. As soon as we were airborne I put on my noise-canceling headphones, cranked up the tunes and fell asleep. Finally, when we began our descent, the flight attendant told us to shut down the electronics, and I was met immediately with more play-by-play.

"We're in Los Angeles! We're landing! This is Los Angeles! We're down!"

God.

Being a parent is great and all, and my own daughters I love. And I recognize that children are important to the future of mankind. But as a species, kids are a bit overrated. At least that's what I was thinking yesterday.

When we got off the plane Michelle marveled that not one stupid parent asked a child to use an inside voice. Man, they were loud. I wanted to explain nicely to the little Austins of the flight that if they can use their inside-the-plane voice I won't need to use my I'm-about-to-throw-you-in-the-Pacific-Ocean voice.

Where have all the seen-and-not-heard disciplinarians gone?

1 comment:

Rita said...

Amen.

Kinda like telling a kid, 'you're grounded'.