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This Cracks Me Up
March 14, 2003 1:47 PM   Subscribe

Man accused of spiking child's juice This cracks me up. Apparently a child wouldn't stop crying on an international flight. So a flight attendant took it upon himself to drug the child to get it to be quite. I can certainly sympathize with him. Yes I know it's serious, but it still cracks me up.
posted by tljenson (85 comments total)

 
I think the "'cracks me up/makes me ill" line is going to lie pretty much exactly along the "I'm not/I am a parent" line on this one.
posted by luser at 1:52 PM on March 14, 2003


That "CNN" site is sure interesting, though.
posted by signal at 1:54 PM on March 14, 2003


Quite what?
posted by kozad at 1:54 PM on March 14, 2003


"Here kid, have a nice hot cup of shut-the-fuck-up."
posted by freakystyley at 1:55 PM on March 14, 2003


19 months? A bit too young for me to crack up. Now if this was a 6 year old monster of a child I would be laughing my ass off.
posted by lazy-ville at 1:56 PM on March 14, 2003


meanwhile, a father in colorado is being charged in the deaths of his two children.
posted by poopy at 1:56 PM on March 14, 2003


I was shocked at this man's chutzpah. Takes some nerve to dose a kid's apple juice with frickin alprazolam.

He had previously been busted for bringing hundreds of pharmaceuticals on a previous flight. How he was still employed by Northwestern, I don't know. You'd have to be under the influence of xanax to make such a shitty decision.

What a tool.
posted by shadow45 at 1:59 PM on March 14, 2003


Kozad I know "quiet" it was a typo have you ever done that?
posted by tljenson at 2:00 PM on March 14, 2003


Xanax (Alprazolam)

Normal dosage:
If under 18 years of age, DO NOT USE!
18 to 60 years of age, 0.25mg to 1.5mg daily.

Alprazolam is habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on the medication.

posted by gottabefunky at 2:05 PM on March 14, 2003


Nothing personal, tlj. Would have done it to my best fried.

Y'know, like... he spiked the child's drink to make him quite amusing, quite the quipper...quite quiet, even.
posted by kozad at 2:06 PM on March 14, 2003


No offense taken :-)
posted by tljenson at 2:08 PM on March 14, 2003


if it was blue, it was a 1mg pill.

(provided it wasn't generic)
posted by shadow45 at 2:24 PM on March 14, 2003


At first glance, I thought you were saying it was alcohol, in which case my response would be along the lines of, "Ach! A wee bit o' whisky never hurt ME as a laddie!" But throwing, like, real drugs into a bab's juice is just sick.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:29 PM on March 14, 2003


Turner later noticed the juice was bitter and foamy and had blue and white specks floating in it. Ten days after the flight, she took the juice to University Laboratories in Novi, which confirmed the presence of Xanax, a prescription medication used to treat panic attacks and anxiety, the FBI said.


ten days after? was it put into a bottle or was it carried home in a sippy cup? Ten Days After? WTF. I would have cried bloody murder before i had my luggage. Doesn't that sound suspicious?
posted by th3ph17 at 2:33 PM on March 14, 2003


I would just like to throw the term "Mickey Finn" into this discussion, as it is begging to be used, and I have no qualms about not contributing valuable information to a CNN thread.
posted by Hildago at 2:35 PM on March 14, 2003


Is there an address or web site where I can contribute to Mr. Cunningham's legal defense fund? I think drugging kids should be standard practice for long flights.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:38 PM on March 14, 2003


Hey, we've been shutting kids up with drugs for centuries - Godfrey's Cordial, anyone?
posted by nickmark at 2:39 PM on March 14, 2003


Other wacky news:

Mother-In-Law from Hell Justifies Divorce?
Three Die Retrieving Phone from Latrine
Viagra Once a Week Not Enough, Researchers Say
Media Stink Over Toilet-Paper 'Rasputin'
Man Cleared of Cruelty Over Snake Freezing
Passenger's Anti-War Sign Gets Snippy Response
College President Jailed on Marijuana Charge
German Teacher on Trial for Stealing 7,000 Eggs
Free tofu give-away not nearly as popular as free beef give-away
Advil may cure Alzheimer's if you can remember how to open the little bottle
U.S. to try out new citizenship tests. Must be able to name cast of "Friends"
Cameroon bans drinking urine. There needs to be a law for this?
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:44 PM on March 14, 2003


Last month while flying from Frankfurt to New York, I was praying for the annoying three-year-old directly behind my seat to be trussed up with duct tape and thrown in the overhead bin. That's the perfect place for toddlers -- and I'm not a monster ... we could fix it up all cozy-like with blankets and pillows and even some matchbox cars or a lego set or something.
posted by Vidiot at 2:46 PM on March 14, 2003


Maybe the kid was crying because she recognized the guy as a total fucking scumbag jagoff?

Kids can sense these things.

In other news, I like the new WackyNewsFilter!
posted by UncleFes at 2:47 PM on March 14, 2003


ten days after? was it put into a bottle or was it carried home in a sippy cup? Ten Days After? WTF. I would have cried bloody murder before i had my luggage. Doesn't that sound suspicious?

I sure thought so when I read the article. It's a bit like finding a mouse in your Pepsi.
posted by rotifer at 2:50 PM on March 14, 2003


I would be tempted to take the little tike and duct tape it's mouth shut and put it down in the baggage compartment LOL!
posted by tljenson at 3:03 PM on March 14, 2003


>Cameroon bans drinking urine. There needs to be a law for this?

*cough* water sports *cough* (XXL-NSFW. Actually, not safe for human eyes. Ok, not safe for any eyes. Links linked may lead to goatse like horridity.)

Why is it I always seem to be the one who knows about these things? Is that why I can't get anywhere with the opposite sex? Because I know to much? I hope thats it. Because I can always drink more.

BTW: Did he find a needle in his Coke as well?
posted by shepd at 3:12 PM on March 14, 2003


Three Die Retrieving Phone from Latrine

More detail from the BBC.
Perhaps too much detail from the BBC.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:19 PM on March 14, 2003


All's I'm saying is, he wouldn't have gotten caught if he'd been smart enough to use baby Tylenol (which comes in tasty liquid form) instead. That's what we do to our kid.

KIDDING!

sort of.
posted by padraigin at 3:38 PM on March 14, 2003


I think we should heavily sedate-- nay, render comatose all children under the age of 18 whenever they are in a public place.

I hope you all write your representatives in support of this policy.
posted by xmutex at 3:43 PM on March 14, 2003


There's something on airplanes that makes kids age 0-4 cry their lungs out in long trips. Out of the ten last long trips I took, in 9 there was a little kid crying like someone was skinning him alive. It takes nerves of steel to listen to a child crying desperately for hours. I think of the parents though, because believe me - if you're feeling bothered, they're thousands of times more bothered than you are.
posted by falameufilho at 3:50 PM on March 14, 2003


I think of the parents though, because believe me - if you're feeling bothered, they're thousands of times more bothered than you are.

Let's hope so.
posted by Dr. Boom at 4:04 PM on March 14, 2003


My bet would be it's the high pitched whine of the engines and the effects of pressure changes on their sensitive, todller-type ears. The fact that they tend to go off on takeoff/climb-out and descent/landing supports my theory, though I would like a grant to study the matter more....
It could be the loud rumbling on takeoff and landing for no reason they can understand might just scare them shitless, too.
Ear plugs and walkmen are wonderful investments for travelling.
posted by cardboard at 4:14 PM on March 14, 2003


He should have said that he thought he saw the kid trying to light his shoes. Then everyone on the flight would have tackled the infant and bound him for the duration of the flight. Problem solved.
posted by HTuttle at 4:16 PM on March 14, 2003


oh fuck. I didn't read the article. No putting drugs to a kids drink is not hilarious. Ever.
posted by lazy-ville at 4:24 PM on March 14, 2003


Okay, so this guy took it too far. But I don't understand the problem with giving kids a little kid sedative on flights. I can't STAND kids on flights. They jump around, cry, scream, whine, kick the seats, and generally suck all the way around. I rarely see the parents doing a damn thing about it, probably because they're so used to it and worn down by it. But to the rest of us, little Jimmy JUST ISN'T CUTE.
I'm flying to NY on a red eye tomorrow night. Dollars to doughnuts there will be a kid screaming the whole time and a parent not doing a damn thing about it. What is wrong with giving it something to help the kid sleep? I really don't see what's wrong with it. In fact, I plan on doing it when I have kids. It's nicer for everyone, all the way around.

Also, whats with bringing it in 10 days after? WTF? Where did she get the juice 10 days after? They're going to have a hard time proving THAT one...who says the mom didn't do it and think..."$KACHING$...I can sue the airline!"
posted by aacheson at 4:39 PM on March 14, 2003


To everybody whining about noisy kids in public places: you were once a child too, and most certainly pissed off all the grownups around you at times with your natural, child-like behavior. It's called karmic payback, everybody goes through it, so quit your bitching and take it like an adult. If your poor wittle ears really can't stand the noise, buy some earplugs or change flights; you have no more right to peace and quiet than that kid does to act like a kid.
posted by bizwank at 4:53 PM on March 14, 2003


Was it put into a bottle or was it carried home in a sippy cup?

WDIV (Detroit): "According to court papers, the mother put the juice in a sippy cup. She called her doctor who told her to take it to a laboratory for testing."

Ten Days After? WTF.

I guess the doctor referral and all that took time. Otherwise, talk about a potentially fuzzy chain of custody. I dunno, maybe she had a Novi vacation already planned?

All's I'm saying is, he wouldn't have gotten caught if he'd been smart enough to use baby Tylenol (which comes in tasty liquid form) instead.

Or Benadryl. Not that I'd know anything about that.

Perhaps too much detail from the BBC.

An interesting story, but a pretty misleading subhed ("Three men have died trying to retrieve a mobile phone from a pit latrine in the Kenyan town of Mombasa."). One person went in to get the phone. All those that followed (or would have followed) were trying to rescue the people that didn't come back.
posted by pzarquon at 5:05 PM on March 14, 2003


Re: kids on flights. While I agree that kids can't help being kids, why do parents feel the need to drag babies/toddlers along on long-haul international flights? It can't be a pleasant experience for either of them. Surely they can bear vactioning domestically for a few short years...
posted by chrismear at 5:11 PM on March 14, 2003


Can't all children just be made into lamps? Or fashionable armoires?
posted by xmutex at 5:28 PM on March 14, 2003


I think it's absolutely inexcusable, drugging a small child like that. He should have had the common decency to distribute the good stuff around to the adult passengers.
posted by majcher at 5:32 PM on March 14, 2003


Children's Benedryl does the trick safely. Or so I'm told.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 5:52 PM on March 14, 2003


Jesus. Welcome to YoungFreeAndSingleFilter. Unless you've got enough money to pony up for your own private jet, deal with the fact that airline travel is nothing more than a very expensive bus that takes longer to get places and makes fewer stops.

She's a fucking toddler, a little over a year and a half old. Let's jump all over the kid for not knowing how to talk yet while we're at it, and for daring to express the same discomfort many of us feel crammed into a tiny flying sardine can with hundreds of complete strangers.

Oh, yeah. I forgot. Fuck kids, especially the ones that really bother me, for, like, three hours out of my busy, busy life. Duct tape or potentially fatal doses of drugs is a much easier (and funny!) way to deal with the situation than, oh, I don't know, maybe a) talking to the parents, or b) turning up the volume on the free headphones.
posted by RKB at 5:59 PM on March 14, 2003


Well, this could have been much worse. Xanax and its sisters drugs Klonopin and Valium are actually pretty harmless. I believe Xanax and Klonopin were developed because Valium's half-life was so long. You can prescribe tons of this stuff and not worry about it being used to overdose with, at least without mixing it with an unsafe drug.

Doctors prescribe this stuff for flight anxiety all the time. The interesting question here is whether our attitude toward drugs should be more liberal or more conservative. Obviously no flight attendant should be slipping mickeys to anyone, but would a children's "Milk Plus" be such a bad idea on flights? Heck how about an adult "Milk Plus." Flying in generally is a painful activity, might as well medicate yourself. THC laced peanuts? The sky is the limit.
posted by skallas at 6:16 PM on March 14, 2003


the only way to get me up there: morphine. lots and lots of morphine.
posted by poopy at 6:54 PM on March 14, 2003


Milk Plus+ (C) opyright 2003 Skallas, Inc.
"When alcohol is not enough"

Seriously though I think we have become more conservative about drugs with time. Coke used to have cocain and opium was available over the counter. A roadside weed is illegal and they are talking about regulating vitamins pretty soon.
posted by stbalbach at 6:54 PM on March 14, 2003


RBK:
I was planning on writing a little piece on nascent sociopath tljenson's appalling attitude about this, and the revolting responses (note to Vidiot: you ARE a monster), but you seemed to have nailed the "me me me" crowd's collective ass to the wall quite nicely. Thank you.
posted by Scoo at 6:58 PM on March 14, 2003


What, you guys are still buying plane tickets after all that happened on September 11, 2001?!

/sarcasm
posted by titboy at 7:32 PM on March 14, 2003


I'm filing this one under ...

Male flight attendant poisons small noisy child into quietude. Obscure left leaning bulletin board of dubious sexual orientation applauds.
posted by paleocon at 7:37 PM on March 14, 2003


It's not that the flight attendant drugged a drink. It's not that the child was creating a commotion. It's not your (i.e., the reader's) sympathy towards the flight attendant. It's about trust. A parent with a cranky child doesn't want to accept the apple juice. Three times. Then accepts the apple juice and gives it to her child. Put aside your "shut the kid up" attitude. The parent thinks it's apple juice and nothing else. Is anybody thinking about a potential allergic reaction to the medication? The possibility that the child was already taking medication?

I've been on all sorts of public transportation, where screaming kids were other passengers (including a 19-hour train ride during which two parents were contending with their three toddlers). It's not fun. But unless you've booked passage on the good ship "Silence is Golden," then you are SOL.
posted by datawrangler at 7:38 PM on March 14, 2003


note to Vidiot: you ARE a monster

whoa there! Joke. Tongue was in cheek.

though iffin' I'd known that that flight attendants carried Xanax, I'd have requested some for myself.

(Note to Scoo -- the above was a joke. In no way do I advocate airline-operated pharmaceutical distribution of controlled substances.)

Besides, if Delta supplied drugs they'd probably take FOREVER to work (or wouldn't work at all 20% of the time), be WAY overpriced, and formulated in suppository form.

(Note to Scoo: That was a joke, too.)
posted by Vidiot at 7:42 PM on March 14, 2003


Unless you've got enough money to pony up for your own private jet, deal with the fact that airline travel is nothing more than a very expensive bus that takes longer to get places and makes fewer stops.

Oh, I deal with it alright - I don't have any choice about that. Doesn't mean I have to like it, and it doesn't mean I'm going to stop complaining about it. Some parents seem to think it's their right to take their kids everywhere they go. Maybe there's no law against it, but it certainly can make life unpleasant for the rest of us, and that counts as rude in my book.

Of course the flight attendant was completely out of line, and I hope he is convicted. But his problem is that he tricked the kid's mother into it; I'd have no problem with the mother (who is presumably familiar with the child's medical history) deciding to give her kid something to make the flight less stressful. Better for the kid, better for the rest of us...
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:42 PM on March 14, 2003


This is a no brainier. The flight attendant is scum! He could have caused serious harm to the child or maybe even death, but his own comfort was more important.

That being said, I agree that children are being given free reign to act out in airports, restaurants, malls, grocery stores etc... The parents seem oblivious to this. In the case of being on a flight, when my son was 6mos old I had to fly from California to Illinois. He cried upon take off and after about 20 minutes of screaming he finally went to sleep. After about 5 minutes of quiet the man sitting next to me needed to get up and use the bathroom. This woke my sleeping son and started the screaming again. I was mortified but was helpless to stop him. His ears hurt and he was not yet able to say "excuse me Mommy but I am experiencing some pain in my inner ear and it is making me very uncomfortable."

But in the cases were the child can be removed, like at the restaurants and movie theaters, the parents are being rude and need to be called on it.

/end rant.
posted by bas67 at 8:19 PM on March 14, 2003


Do you honestly think people WANT to have to take a toddler with them when they fly? I have flown with my three when they were all toddlers(yes, ALL THREE) and it was hell-and they WEREN'T screaming.

But if you are seated near a small child or baby, encourage the parents to give them a pacifier during takeoff/landing as this will prevent earache. Also be aware that because of the lower air pressure of the cabin, the child should actually become sleepy while the plane is in flight.
Mine generally did, and slept thru most flights.
posted by konolia at 8:25 PM on March 14, 2003


Babies belong under the seat.
posted by bargle at 8:40 PM on March 14, 2003


EarPlanes work well, too.
posted by Vidiot at 8:51 PM on March 14, 2003


"nascent sociopath tljenson's" It would take a sociopath to take it as anything but a joke. dam people need to get off their high horse and lighten up a bit. Take a deep breath take a xanax and relax.
posted by tljenson at 8:55 PM on March 14, 2003


Obscure left leaning bulletin board of dubious sexual orientation applauds.

I'm filing this one under obscure dittohead of dubious erectile function sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.
posted by y2karl at 10:08 PM on March 14, 2003


Methinks the DJ doth protest too much.
posted by UncleFes at 11:19 PM on March 14, 2003


Wow, this is almost as entertaining as the parenting forum at Craig's List.
posted by padraigin at 11:31 PM on March 14, 2003


It's a xanax, not a shot of smack.
posted by clevershark at 11:58 PM on March 14, 2003


Well it's not entirely accurate to say that children cannot be removed from airplanes, as I believe most if not all planes come equipped with doors.

So now you know... for next time.
posted by xmutex at 12:37 AM on March 15, 2003


Xanax is not recommended for children under 18.

Xanax is very addictive. Patients can become dependent during the first few days of therapy. Suddenly discontinuing Xanax could cause withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, nervousness, insomnia, agitation, tremors, convulsions, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and mental impairment. Dosage should be gradually tapered. Patients can develop tolerance to Xanax


Not not funny.
posted by dgaicun at 1:17 AM on March 15, 2003


Well it's not entirely accurate to say that children cannot be removed from airplanes, as I believe most if not all planes come equipped with doors.

Xmutex is not recommended for children under 18, either.
posted by dgaicun at 1:19 AM on March 15, 2003


It's a xanax, not a shot of smack.

You seem to be attempting to make some sort of distinction, care to elaborate? Here are some facts you can choose to ignore for the sake of humor. I especially like the one about the age limit for dosage being 18 for Xanax. Then there was the hilarious dead silence when Jimmy Kimmel tried to turn it into a joke tonight. Remember kids, if you can make fun of something you always should, right?
posted by yonderboy at 1:23 AM on March 15, 2003


If parents did a better job parenting, people might be willing to deal with the sometimes painful effects of air pressure change on a child's inner ear. The problem is, it's not just airlines where we SingleFilter people have to deal with screaming, uncontrolled monsters. It's also restaurants. And movie theaters. And libraries. The "me, me, me" crowd of singletons is at least quieter than the "me, me, me" bunch of parents who don't think there's any such thing as correct public behavior for their offspring that requires stifling little precious' natural instinct towards raw animalism.

I say drugging is too good for 'em. Throw 'em in the cargo hold with the other animals. (Kidding. Really.)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:31 AM on March 15, 2003


me me me
i've yet to meet a childless person who is self-absorbed to the same degree that parents are obsessed with their little darlings. we need an equivalent to "me me me" that means "my baby my baby my baby" (and how come having kids is seen as altruistic? please don't think you need to reproduce for my sake. if you want to do something for the good of us all, how's about using a damn contraceptive?).
posted by andrew cooke at 3:20 AM on March 15, 2003


planes come equipped with doors

and they're ready to use them: BA ejects toddler in mid-tantrum (though unfortunately not in mid-flight). Also vaguely relevant: Pensioner jailed for leaving boy, 8, on beach. Child wasn't ready on time for the trip home, so was left behind.
posted by raygirvan at 5:09 AM on March 15, 2003


The level of vitriol in this thread towards children and those with children is horrible. You folks who are bitching about the noise and destruction that children often cause during flight (and elsewhere) should be ashamed of yourselves. I don't give two shits if half of you are joking -

i've yet to meet a childless person who is self-absorbed to the same degree that parents are obsessed with their little darlings. -andrew cooke

Being self-absorbed often saves their little darlings from pain, sickness and/or death, not to mention kidnappings.

If parents did a better job parenting, people might be willing to deal with the sometimes painful effects of air pressure change on a child's inner ear. -civil disobedient

This can be read in two ways, so I apologize if I'm reading it wrong. WTF does parenting have to do with a toddler's inability to express themselves in an adult manner?

It's a xanax, not a shot of smack. -clevershark

Don't be an idiot.

Babies belong under the seat. -bargle

Bad joke. Your sense of empathy is overwhelming.

Some parents seem to think it's their right to take their kids everywhere they go. -mars saxman

It is, or did I not get the memo that says that parents aren't allowed to have a life too?

why do parents feel the need to drag babies/toddlers along on long-haul international flights? -chrismear

Maybe they have or want to?

Okay, so this guy took it too far. But I don't understand the problem with giving kids a little kid sedative on flights. -aacheson

Perhaps Westerners are too willing to medicate themselves (and apparently others) at the drop of a hat.

I would be tempted to take the little tike and duct tape it's mouth shut and put it down in the baggage compartment LOL! -tljenson

Kidding or not, it's a horrible visual. I wouldn't wish that on you, despite your flair for punishment.

I was praying for the annoying three-year-old directly behind my seat to be trussed up with duct tape and thrown in the overhead bin. -vidiot

I don't care if you're kidding, it's wrong, and another nasty visual.
posted by ashbury at 5:46 AM on March 15, 2003


While I have sympathy for the kids I don't have it for the adults who think ignoring their children is the answer.

To all the one who complain about kids...are you equally willing to confront the drunk, snoring, over-perfumed, seat kicking, loud talking, under and over medicated adults?

Finally, would you find it as funny if the stew had drugged you because he was sick of you asking him to quiet the kid?
posted by ?! at 6:03 AM on March 15, 2003


ashbury

you're really too excitable about this simple story (yes the flight attendant's behavior was inexcusable -- yes screaming kids are fucking annoying -- yes too many parents are usually too laissez faire and don't really try to do something about it)

if you're still uncomfortable, take a nice Xanax, ashbury
I hear it's good with apple juice
posted by matteo at 7:01 AM on March 15, 2003


Finally, would you find it as funny if the stew had drugged you because he was sick of you asking him to quiet the kid?

Of course not. But if he drugged someone else who complained, and they passed out, right on top of their little square dish of chicken stir fry... We're back to comedy gold, baby!
posted by cardboard at 7:14 AM on March 15, 2003


cardboard: You're right. I never developed that particular comedy eye. I don't find the Three Stooges funny either. Maybe I'm comedy blind.
posted by ?! at 8:34 AM on March 15, 2003


(and how come having kids is seen as altruistic? please don't think you need to reproduce for my sake. if you want to do something for the good of us all, how's about using a damn contraceptive?).

If only your parents had felt this way.
posted by jmignault at 9:00 AM on March 15, 2003


The level of vitriol in this thread towards children and those with children is horrible. You folks who are bitching about the noise and destruction that children often cause during flight (and elsewhere) should be ashamed of yourselves.

To the contrary; you're taking the 'bitching' at face value and thereby missing the point.

It is, or did I not get the memo that says that parents aren't allowed to have a life too?

You are, of course, "allowed" to do practically anything you please with your tot in tow, as long as it doesn't involve a bar, strip club, or casino. But there is such a thing as being courteous to one's neighbours. Bringing a misbehaving child out in public is rude; it says "my need for this outing is more important than all of your peace of mind, so you can just listen to the racket my kid is making and deal with it". Not polite, not friendly, doesn't prompt others to think good thoughts about you.

This is where the "bitching" comes from. It's the same bitching you'll see anytime people have to deal with some common piece of antisocial behaviour. But to add salt to our bleeding ears, many parents not only defend this brand of impoliteness, but actually accuse *us* - the people who have to put up with their kids - of having a problem for daring to complain about it. Nope, I'm not buying any of that.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:42 AM on March 15, 2003


matteo, laugh if you will, be snide with me if you will. I don't think any of this is a laughing matter, nor am I taking it too seriously. If anything, I think that you, amongst others, are not taking it seriously enough.

Why, for example, has nobody suggested that they would have helped the parents and child instead of complaining about the noise level? There's too much "not my problem" and NIMBY going on in this thread.

mars, socializing children does rest primarily on the shoulders of the parents. Showing tolerance and appreciation (when it's deserved, of course) towards those who are doing the hardest thing they have probably done in their lives rests on everybody, you included. Do you have any children of your own?
posted by ashbury at 10:33 AM on March 15, 2003


Full disclosure: I don't have any children myself, but I have seen them on TV.
posted by cardboard at 11:06 AM on March 15, 2003


Really, I think RKB's reminder that we have all been children and all been annoying bears repeating. I'm sorry, but do any of you honestly think that when you were little, you didn't spend a good 15% of your free time annoying perfect strangers? And however attentive and authoritative your parents may have been at the time, do you honestly believe they always managed to usher you discreetly out of the public sphere whenever you misbehaved? Through no fault of the parent (unless you suggest that not keeping the child at home 24 hours a day is a fault), a child is probably given at least 60-odd chances a month to act out in public, and it's going to capitalize on at least a few of those.

Besides, I live in the middle of a busy metro, and I see very few examples of these woefully inattentive, insensitive parents who seem to be crowding your universes, leaving their children to wail with no efforts to counteract the behavior. Does this phenomenon honestly encroach on your lives?
posted by grrarrgh00 at 11:18 AM on March 15, 2003


This can be read in two ways, so I apologize if I'm reading it wrong. WTF does parenting have to do with a toddler's inability to express themselves in an adult manner?

My point was that most of us can understand why a child would cry on an airplane, even us without children. Air pressure changes hurt, the space is confined, the air itself is rank. I think we'd all be able to better deal with the inevitable crying if we didn't also have to deal with temper tantrums in theaters, or flying food during a quiet restaurant meal... you get the idea. There are spaces that single people must drop all their rights to general peace and quiet; I don't hear anyone complaining about the crazy unleashed children in their local McDonalds, for instance. But in other areas, parents have to accept that until their child is civilized, it has little expectation of being well received in public. And the parents that tote along these children can expect the full rancor of not just those who are single, but those who have already raised their children and were looking forward to a nice, quiet evening.

We were all unwieldy beasts at one point, certainly. But at least with my parents, when I acted up I was removed from the location. Tantrum in a mall? That's it, we're out of here, no toys for you. Throw around my food in a restaurant? Get a public admonishing and a threat of punishment when we get home. I think some parents are too afraid to discipline their children, to the sufferance of the rest of us.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:46 AM on March 15, 2003


you were once a child too, and most certainly pissed off all the grownups around you at times with your natural, child-like behavior

Well, yeah. Once. Then my mom smacked me and I never did it again. The vast majority of children are capable of behaving themselves in public, if parents would only bother to make them.
posted by kindall at 12:22 PM on March 15, 2003


civil, kindall, I do agree with you that there are parents out there who don't discipline their children anywhere near enough. I see people who let their kids to get away with things that would have my son instantly in his room in for a very long time out.
posted by ashbury at 12:30 PM on March 15, 2003


Bad joke. Your sense of empathy is overwhelming.

I know! I have terrible news! The baby and the mother found this thread and after reading it the baby committed suicide.

Well, yeah. Once. Then my mom smacked me and I never did it again. The vast majority of children are capable of behaving themselves in public, if parents would only bother to make them.

Parents are often afraid to dicipline their children in public and rightly so. I was at a local mall recently when a child was spashing his fist into the fountain and being a general pain in the ass. The mother came over, grabbed him by the elbow, scolded him and dragged him over to the bench where she was sitting. A woman in the jewelry store right next to this bench came wandering out and said something about how the mother should be ashamed of herself and how she was tempted to call the police after the abuse she had just witnessed.

Um, yeah. Using a poor child's elbow to pull him out of a fountain like that. If she had spanked him mall security proabably would have shot her dead on the spot. Amusingly, these days it is more acceptable to keep your kids drugged up than to do anything remotely diciplinary to them when they misbehave.

A timeout would not have worked for me, I would have simply got up and left. A spanking worked though. And after watching an r-rated movie that I was not supposed to see and telling a woman walking her dog that it was a "furry motherfucker" although I wasn't quite sure what it meant....got my mouth washed out with soap. Did not say anything like that for quite some time afterwards. I guess today's kids are just more sensitive. heh.
posted by bargle at 1:00 PM on March 15, 2003


Some parents seem to think it's their right to take their kids everywhere they go.

There are words trying to escape my mouth, rendered mute, just sitting there flapping, as I work to pick my jaw up from the floor. For all the "lighten up comments," I get the sense that sentiment is shared by many people, and it is meant seriously, absolutely no tongue in cheek.

Believe it or not, some people might suggest that all people -- remember, we're not talking pets, or luggage here, we're talking about a fucking person -- are born with certain unalienable rights, even though, for the most part, children are denied these constantly.

So let's all be good and judgemental. Who knows if that family avoids flying not only because you have to buy an extra seat for your child who will fell more comfortable in your lap, but because they know how difficult it is to pack all the extra games and snacks and changes of clothes for the kids, get to the airport two hours early, tell little Billy to just be patient, get on the plane half an hour early, try to keep them occupied -- not so much for the sake of the passengers around them, but for their own sanity, their own peace and quiet -- and then realize that you maybe forgot to change a diaper, or can't find a pacifier, and you really wish you could help your child feel better about the pain in his ears and the teeth that just happen to be poking through his gums (try living with that for months on end and not bitching about it), and then you've got some complete stranger giving your one year old some apple juice with an adult strength sedative (and for all the yokels suggesting it's only xanax, how do you know that the fuckhead didn't double or triple the dose, just to make sure the damn kid shut up).

I can certainly understand and appreciate the sentiment about kids out of control, and that it's frustrating to be out for a quiet dinner only to have kids running rampant through the restaurant. But that's not at all what happened here. Reminder: one year old child. Sedative (not to be used by anyone under eighteen) administered on the sly by a complete stranger.

And this is funny how? Would it have been as much a laugh riot if the child had died? Or maybe if he'd just shaken the child a few times it would have shut up, too, and been equally funny. Of course, nobody would ever do that.
posted by RKB at 1:21 PM on March 15, 2003


I think I've figured out a way of offending everybody (surely, pleasing everybody - ed.); put the babies with the overweight. The overweight people will not have the worry of having a full sized person on the seats next to them, the babies will enjoy the womb like security of being wedged between two warm, soft bodies, assuaging their aural discomfort and lulling them into a peaceful state.
Or, should valium be available on long flights, for those that are old enough?
Facetiousness apart, the problem with these kinds of public places is the blurring of the ordinary boundries that people enjoy. Being forced into a group of people who have no other commonality, say, than all wanting to use the elevator puts us in a strange mental space, but it is common in the highly populated areas that most of us live in. Being stuck anywhere with people making noise and being obnoxious (whether intentionally or not) can be very trying.
Something about car-adverts, perceptions of personal freedom, nuclear society, the physical realities of over-population, behaviour of chimpanzees in captivity/the wild, Desmond Morris, human social history, change. Possibly.
Still, I would hate to be the one who had to introduce some the the posters in this thread to a long bus journey in Thailand, Indonesia, South America, etc.
posted by asok at 1:34 PM on March 15, 2003


And this is funny how?

The stupidity of the guy who gave it to the child, the absurdity of the act itself, the fact that it was posted to begin with. The oh-so-serious replies that are completely missing the point here - why the fuck is the matter of importance that it was a child? The issue is the spiking of the drink with a drug and the general irresponsiblity shown by the guy. But it quickly turned into I hate noisy kids/we must think of the precious children.
posted by bargle at 2:40 PM on March 15, 2003


On the flip side, just wondering if anybody notices or says anything about well-behaved children in public places.
posted by RKB at 2:57 PM on March 15, 2003


Valid point, bargle. I suppose it's the nature of Humor At The Expense of Others. Invariably funny as shit unless the situation hits closer to home.

Also see why having a young hotty stepmom named Missy would be funny to everybody except Bill. Shut up, Ted.
posted by RKB at 3:29 PM on March 15, 2003


why the fuck is the matter of importance that it was a child?

Bargle, you are right that the guy who did this is a moron. Nobody thinks the guy was a saint for doing it. It matters that he did it to a child because it's a prescription drug that, no matter how unlikely, could have killed the kid. The odds are much slimmer that an adult would have any problems with xanax. Giving xanax to anybody is grossly negligent, but giving it to a child puts him in a completely different category.

The fact that the thread degenerated so quickly into "yeah, the guy's dumb, but the parent and the kid had it coming" really concerns me. That's why I cited your, altho you are by no means the only one, apparent lack of empathy for the situation. Try, just for a few minutes, to put yourself in the shoes of any caring parent who might be in a similar situation, ie on a plane with a very unhappy child who is driving people, yourself included, nuts and knowing that instead of sympathy, those people are wishing that you and your child were anywhere but in that plane. How would you feel?
posted by ashbury at 6:52 PM on March 15, 2003


Xanax might indeed be more dangerous for a child but I still think people are upset because something was done to a child rather than the drugging itself. I am more bothered that someone who is allowed to work on a plane would slip something, anything foreign, into any person's drink. Maybe I am reading too much into the responses though.

As for babies annoying me....never happens, actually. I never fly either, so maybe they would on an airplane but smokers and noisy drunks bother me much worse at a steak house than a crying infant.
posted by bargle at 8:14 PM on March 15, 2003


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