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Fly the Toddler-Free Skies with AirTran!
January 24, 2007 1:59 PM   Subscribe

AirTran Airways Removes Family with Unruly Toddler From Plane : AirTran is defending their decision to remove a family of three from a plane after their three-year old daughter refused to take her seat during boarding. The plane, carrying 112 people, was already delayed 15 minutes and the airline felt that the further delay caused by the toddler's behavior was unacceptable.
posted by grapefruitmoon (227 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
This topic has also been discussed on Yahoo Answers.

(Interesting synchronicity - I was already going to post this today and when I logged on to MeFi, the top post on the page was Southwest's obesity policy nearly strands man with medical condition.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:59 PM on January 24, 2007


Although this may sound cruel, I'm glad the airline took action. If the parents couldn't get their daughter to sit down and it slowed down the process, it could have caused people to miss their connecting flights. I bet none of the otherpassengers were complaining about her getting the boot. Sounds like the parents haven't learned their lesson, trying to take the martyr route rather than owning their problem.
posted by boots77 at 2:04 PM on January 24, 2007


Silly. A case of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of a few. Also, Their original tickets were comped, they went home the next day, and they were also offered round trip vouchers the next day. Not too bad, really.

At any rate, flying is really hard on little kids who haven't developed all the various filters and blinders adults have to cope with the viscera of it all.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:07 PM on January 24, 2007


On the one hand it sounds like the airline handled this with the grace of an elephant stampede, on the other hand screaming children are a fucking nightmare to travel with... I'm going to have to award this one to the airline.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:08 PM on January 24, 2007


If the parents couldn't get their daughter to sit down and it slowed down the process, it could have caused people to miss their connecting flights.

Yep, and if they're flying AirTran (the greyhound bus of the skies) then they probably have to run to catch a connecting flight anyways.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:08 PM on January 24, 2007


According to the airline spokesperson the child was crawling under the seats and hitting the parents. It doesn't sound to me like there was any reason to believe the parents could or would have been able to get the child under control very soon.

Meanwhile the 115 other passengers were already 15 minutes late at that point and there were side effects to other schedules and airport operations. Sounds to me like the pilots made the right decision.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:08 PM on January 24, 2007


I would have clapped if I was on the airplane when they kicked the family off.
posted by dios at 2:09 PM on January 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


Of course they should have removed them--the flight had already been delayed 15 minutes because of an undisciplined toddler. The family has nothing to be indignant about: AirTran got them on another flight free of charge, refunded their full original purchase of all three tickets, and gave them three free round trip tickets to anywhere AirTran goes!

I'm thinking that I need to borrow my niece or nephew, coach them to do this, and reap the free flight rewards!
posted by LooseFilter at 2:10 PM on January 24, 2007


Uhhhh they had seat belts on this flight, correct?
posted by BaxterG4 at 2:11 PM on January 24, 2007


(Or: ditto everyone else and I should learn to use preview.)
posted by LooseFilter at 2:11 PM on January 24, 2007


Among the mental notes to myself that I have filed in case of accidental procreation, the most careworn is the one which demands that I never blame my inability to control my child on any other entity than myself.

In my family, this child would have been bodily elevated, delicately yet forcibly bent at a 45 degree angle, and inserted in its seat. It could also expect to have suggestions of utmost timeliness hissed into its ear at a low volume but with surprising intensity. Surrounding travelers would be willing to endure the resulting sharp cries in the short term knowing that there was someone in charge of the situation who was willing to administrate swift justice

But then, we never would have reached this point, because we'd have known that would be the only possible result. A three year old who has not registered the fact that resistance is futile will be everyone else's problem sooner or later.
posted by hermitosis at 2:13 PM on January 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


The story said they were already 15 minutes late but I got the impression that the delay was caused by something else. I have a kid but I have found myself annoyed by screaming babies and toddlers. I'm inclined to side with asking them to leave the plane but I also know that airline people had gotten truly obnoxious about controlling their passengers. Has anyone read anything about what the other passengers said?
posted by etaoin at 2:14 PM on January 24, 2007


I agree with hermitosis. Someone should have belted that kid.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:15 PM on January 24, 2007


Have the parents ever heard of Tylenol or NyQuil?

I have traveled with toddlers and it could be a nightmare. But, once the plane is ready to take off I do not care whether my kid is screaming his lungs out, he will be tightly stranded under the seatbelt.
posted by dov3 at 2:16 PM on January 24, 2007


I see nothing wrong with this - if the family can't control their children, they shouldn't be allowed to inconvenience or disrupt the traveling plans of 112 other people.

The airline made more-than-needed compensation as well. Next!
posted by mrbill at 2:18 PM on January 24, 2007


Not to mention the family had to sedate the kid with Children's Benadryl for the second attempt at flying.
posted by beta male at 2:18 PM on January 24, 2007


(Interesting synchronicity - I was already going to post this today and when I logged on to MeFi, the top post on the page was Southwest's obesity policy nearly strands man with medical condition.)

Clearly, between this and naming your blog after a song on my favorite REM album, we need to dump our spouses and embrace our destiny together.

Though we'll have to take your car, Washington being a community property state and all.
posted by dw at 2:18 PM on January 24, 2007


Don't they stow kids in cargo anymore?
posted by mazola at 2:19 PM on January 24, 2007


A funny little aside on the NyQuil subject: the first time my mother took me on a plane, I was nine months old and she feared that I would be unruly, so she doped me up with cold medicine before the flight. As it turns out, the flight didn't bother me at all, but the cold medicine gave me diarrhea. After having to change me several times in the tiny airplane bathroom (and nearly running out of diapers in the process), she didn't bother with the 'quil on the return trip and everything was just fine.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:19 PM on January 24, 2007


I also had a horrible time with Delta one time, flying cross country. I had booked roundtrip flights months ahead of time, but could only get seat assignments on the outbound flight. Everyone at Delta, at every step of the way, assured me that I could get seat assignments before I got to the airport. This, fo course, was false. On the day of the flight, I encountered the world's most obnoxious desk clerk who insisted that my daughter--then 4 and I would have to sit 13 rows apart. Unfuckingbelievable. Nothing I said would convince her that that was a horrible and unacceptable idea. She kept insisting I should have bought tickets together--which Delta wouldn't allow--or accept a cross country flight and the separation and claimed there weren't two unassigned seats side by side. It was outrageous. I had been attending a conference with some colleagues and one of them offered to swap to get us a little closer together, about seven rows apart, as I recall. Another desk clerk suggested boarding and asking people to swap. So that's what we were prepared to do. When we boarded, it turned out that there were several empty seats and we were able to sit together. The cruelty, the obnoxiousness of that one woman was enough to keep me from ever flying Delta again.
posted by etaoin at 2:21 PM on January 24, 2007


dw: I don't know if you want my car, it's a '99 Tiburon. It's a pretty decent car, as long as you never want anyone to sit in the backseat.

But who am I to allow a Hyundai to get in the way of destiny?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:21 PM on January 24, 2007


I have traveled with toddlers and it could be a nightmare. But, once the plane is ready to take off I do not care whether my kid is screaming his lungs out, he will be tightly stranded under the seatbelt.

Last time we flew with our toddler I was pretty much holding her down so she wouldn't slide under her belt.

Have the parents ever heard of Tylenol or NyQuil?

Not to mention the family had to sedate the kid with Children's Benadryl for the second attempt at flying.


Not every person has the drowsiness side-effect from these medicines. For some kids, it's the exact opposite.
posted by dw at 2:21 PM on January 24, 2007


If MacGyver had been on the plane, he'd have made a straightjacket out of a blanket and the safety-demo seatbelt, stuffed a pillow in her mouth, and stowed her in the overhead compartment.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:22 PM on January 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


I'm willing to go further than just giving it to the airline, I'm going to go ahead and formally propose a completely child-free airline.
posted by nevercalm at 2:24 PM on January 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


once the plane is ready to take off I do not care whether my kid is screaming his lungs out,

Yeah, that's the problem
posted by banshee at 2:24 PM on January 24, 2007


It's all in the details. While I have had a similar experience with my own 3 year old, ours was resolved in a matter of five minutes. As someone mentioned above, we put my son in his seat first and then worked to comfort him.
posted by eustacescrubb at 2:25 PM on January 24, 2007


"If MacGyver had been on the plane, he'd have made a straightjacket out of a blanket..."

Nah, he's wilier than that. He'd have made a straitjacket.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:26 PM on January 24, 2007


Uhhhh they had chloroform on this flight, correct?
posted by The Deej at 2:27 PM on January 24, 2007


I wish airlines would be more transparent about the situations in which they remove people or delay flights, so that people had a way of understanding when they were actually being jerked around.

On my sister's flight home, she saw as she was boarding that a mom in row 1 had two children under 6 with her, both of them retching and vomiting all over the seats and floor. The attendants continued to have people board the flight. Ultimately the mom got them under control, but the plane was still delayed for an hour and a half as their actual seats were removed from the plane, cleaned, and then returned to the plane. And of course one of the things we have all learned in life is that puke is one of those lingering offensive odors, no matter how you clean it. So their puke-smelling plane took off 2 hours late, with the children biliously remaining aboard and making frequent trips to the lavatory.

My dream in such a situation is to begin passing out the airline's 800 number to everyone sitting around me and get ten or twenty people to call customer service at once, just to have something to do while we sit on the damn tarmac.
posted by hermitosis at 2:28 PM on January 24, 2007


On both legs of a recent Southwest flight, the attendants made some announcement about lap children. I looked around, and sure enough, several parents had small children on their laps, throughout the flight.

How can this possibly be safe and legal?
posted by b1tr0t at 2:29 PM on January 24, 2007


Have the parents ever heard of Tylenol or NyQuil?

Not to mention the family had to sedate the kid with Children's Benadryl for the second attempt at flying.


Actually, sedating a kid can be a Bad Idea. In a nearby town there was recently a tragic death at a daycare due to such practices. (Article written by a friend.)
posted by The Deej at 2:32 PM on January 24, 2007


Two links to the same story (same exact text), one link to someone's blog about the story, and a link to digg. What was the point of all those links? One would've been just fine!
posted by knave at 2:37 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Worst non-death fear related flight I ever took was with a family who had a toddler that would not stop screaming. The kid wasn't in pain, instead was just screaming. That was four hours of hell that I don't wish on my greatest enemies.
posted by FlamingBore at 2:38 PM on January 24, 2007


No. They should have been hauled off and shot, tortured and coerced never to have offspring again. Publically humiliated on the tarmac for having the gaul to try and travel with their children as a lesson to all of us.

Of course, most in this thread were vying for messianic status the day they popped their pointy heads out at the world. God forbid if you ever have chilren.
posted by strawberryviagra at 2:40 PM on January 24, 2007


On both legs of a recent Southwest flight, the attendants made some announcement about lap children. I looked around, and sure enough, several parents had small children on their laps, throughout the flight.

How can this possibly be safe and legal?


They have special seatbelts that belt children into your own belt, so you can keep them on your lap and also belted in at the same time.
posted by antifuse at 2:44 PM on January 24, 2007


I see nothing wrong with this - if the family can't control their children, they shouldn't be allowed to inconvenience or disrupt the traveling plans of 112 other people.

I completely agree. And if the parents were unable or unwilling to even attempt to control their child on the ground, how can they be expected to do so in the air? It's dangerous for the other passengers and the flight attendants in the performance of their duties. The parents say they were given "no opportunity" to calm their child. I find that VERY hard to believe.
posted by agregoli at 2:44 PM on January 24, 2007


Of course, most in this thread were vying for messianic status the day they popped their pointy heads out at the world. God forbid if you ever have chilren [sic].

In case you missed it, many of the previous commentators DO have children, and were commenting on the comparative ineptitude of these particular parents. But don't let that get in the way of getting your panties in a twist.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:45 PM on January 24, 2007


Little children can actually get more hyper when given cold medicines.

I'm a bit confused as to how long the airline waited before deciding they wouldn't wait for the child to calm down. The flight was 15 minutes late already, but not because of the child. Did they only give the parents a couple minutes?

Also, if you'll read the article the mother claims she wasn't given any time to console the child or anything. That makes me think she wasn't given time to get the child restrained in the seat before the crew decided to boot the family off.

I know it's tempting to chalk this up to a victory against the screaming babies that annoy us all, but there's just not enough detail to determine what really happened, IMHO. Such is usually the case with these kinds of articles.
posted by smashingstars at 2:46 PM on January 24, 2007


They coulda just put the kid in the overhead locker.
posted by afx237vi at 2:47 PM on January 24, 2007


Of course they should have removed them--the flight had already been delayed 15 minutes because of an undisciplined toddler.

That's not at all clear from the linked articles. If the entire 15-minute delay to that point had been caused by the toddler, then I entirely support the airline's action. If the 15 minute delay had been caused by something else, and the airline had allowed all of 3 seconds for the parents to attempt to calm the child before kicking them off, my sympathies are entirely with the parents.

Without this crucial bit of information, I cannot make a judgment as to who is right and who is wrong, between the parents and the airlines. I can, however, make the judgment that the journalist was sloppy in not investigating this and including it in the story.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:47 PM on January 24, 2007


Dopping the kid up may or may not have been an option here. From what I can understand is that they had no problem on the way down, so they were caught off gaurd when the outburst happened. Personally, we've not had a problem when traveling with our little ones, but that doesn't stop us from being prepared with some children's tylenol in case earache's do develop. That and make sure you have a favorite toy and I don't see how it's a problem.

Yea the parents probably could have been a bit more take-charge and whatnot, but from all of the evidence I've read/seen on this one they did try. It's one thing to have parents who don't give a rip, but in this case I think that isn't true.

Just about everyone has had "one of those kids" around them on a flight, so I can see why it strikes a nerve with a lot of people. However how many here have been in the other person's shoes on this one? I understand there are a lot of folks here that don't have children by choice, but come on. Sometimes it's impossible to get a kid to be quiet. So long as the parents were trying how can you find fault with them?
posted by Numenorian at 2:48 PM on January 24, 2007


As a parent (naturally predisposed to disliking other peoples children,) of twins girls, now six (thank fuck), I have empathy for both sides of the story.

Wrangling a three year old in the midst of a tantrum into a seat she doesn't want to get into is like wrestling a cat that doesn't want to be bathed, no one is going to emerge unscathed.

On the other hand, feel free to parent your kids a little. Once the tantrum on the plane starts, the battle is already lost. The real work is done in the days and weeks before the flight, telling the brat what is expected of them on the plane and how they will behave, ad nasuem. Preparation with little kids is paramount. They'll deal with almost anything if you've explained it enough long enough in advance.

And kids (except mine, they're perfect angels) shouldn't be allowed in public, never mind on planes.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:50 PM on January 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


Wait, the kid was screaming, hitting the parents, and climbing all over the place, and the airline had to take the kid off the plane? My Mom would have had me off the plane by my ear long before that point. Well, if she couldn't have left the plane she definitely would have had me strapped down to the seat. That's the thing about 3 year olds... adults are bigger than them and get to make the rules.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 2:52 PM on January 24, 2007


Oh really?? Can you count them for me? I'm attending to beating my screaming out of control children.
posted by strawberryviagra at 2:53 PM on January 24, 2007


I had to deal with a screaming hellion on a 2.5 hour flight into Salt Lake last fall. I never, ever want to go through that again. The dad probably should have known that if saying "Don't kick the man!" didn't work the first 37 times, it was unlikely to work on number 38. Yes, that man was me. Kid and incompetent parent were on their noisy way back home to Montana.

Probably to some craphole like BILLINGS.
posted by gimonca at 2:54 PM on January 24, 2007


Seconding KT's remark about the planning for the trip. A few days before, we'd each get to pick out a new coloring book and box of crayons that we couldn't play with until we were at the airport or on the plane, and only if we were Good Little Girls. Which we were. New crayons? what child can resist.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 2:55 PM on January 24, 2007


Meh, this is just OutrageFilter, while inept airlines continue to allow planes to fly late without explanation. It's obviously easy (lazy?) to point a spotlight at a handful of passengers while ignoring the larger problem.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:03 PM on January 24, 2007


Probably to some craphole like BILLINGS.
posted by gimonca


Nicely played!
:: golf clap ::
and
the finger ..|..
posted by The Deej at 3:08 PM on January 24, 2007


gimonca writes "The dad probably should have known that if saying 'Don't kick the man!' didn't work the first 37 times, it was unlikely to work on number 38."

I had that on a flight once. Kid got five times, and then I leaned over the seat, look at the parent, and said "You do something about your child, or I will."

I heard whispering, kid stopped. Sure, I got some dirty looks, but I'm not going to suffer because some parent is useless with their children. And by the same token, when my niece and nephew were little, on the (very) rare occasions that they behaved poorly in public, there was no question whatsoever: turn around, and go home immediately.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:08 PM on January 24, 2007


I had to deal with a screaming hellion on a 2.5 hour flight

TWO and half hours!?! HAH!

Try 10 frigg'n hours. Of screaming. Hair pulling. Snot blowing.

"Iwannacookieeeee."
"I WANNACOOOOOKIEEEEEE!"

And that was me. The kid on the plane was even WORSE.

People who don't have kids tend to romanticize the idea more than those who do. And some people who have kids live in denial about it. Usually because deeeep down they realize they never should have bred and made a terrible mistake. The over compensate by gushing on the kid. Or ignoring what the kid does.

So let me set you people straight. Kids are fucking stupid.

So stupid in fact they are easy to deal with once you admit that simple fact. You understand exactly the sort of shit to expect once you admit your kid is an idiot. But some parents don't want to do that because Junior is just too god damned special.

Well. Junior is not special. Junior is not a unique snowflake. Junior is a moron until he is probably 22. 17 if your REALLY lucky. Once you know that you understand you are 100% responsible for this little retard until he can vote and starts paying taxes. Everything he does is your fault. Except it.

On a plane? Wrap Junior in a towel. Buckle his ass to a seat. Duct tape him in the overhead if you have to. His dignity and person hood is secondary to the adults who have paid for and earned theirs.

PS. As for my own parental bonafides? If I could not control my kids I would gladly pay an airline to boot my kids off the plane. Any plane. Mid flight.
posted by tkchrist at 3:19 PM on January 24, 2007 [9 favorites]


Per FAA guidelines, I put my 15-month-old in a car seat when she flys (we go ahead and pay for the extra seat). The rows are so close together that her feet touch the seat in front of her when she's strapped in.

I'd love to hear your brilliant suggestions for how to stop pre-verbal toddlers from kicking the backs of the seats in situations like this. I know it really, really sucks, but with seats jammed in so close together, it's not always possible to stop the kicking. Unless you suggest toddlers shouldn't be allowed to fly?
posted by leahwrenn at 3:22 PM on January 24, 2007


The Orlando-based carrier reimbursed the family $595.80 (€457), the cost of the three tickets, and the Kuleszas flew home the next day.

They also were offered three roundtrip tickets anywhere the airline flies, Graham-Weaver said.


Poor babies.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 3:24 PM on January 24, 2007


The story said they were already 15 minutes late but I got the impression that the delay was caused by something else.

Which would still have given the parents 15 minutes to gain control of their child.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:27 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd love to hear your brilliant suggestions for how to stop pre-verbal toddlers from kicking the backs of the seats in situations like this. I know it really, really sucks, but with seats jammed in so close together, it's not always possible to stop the kicking. Unless you suggest toddlers shouldn't be allowed to fly?

We put my son in a carseat when he flies as well; same problem. But the problem is the seats, not the toddlers -- speaking as a tall person, I have always hated reclining seats on planes. I never recline mine, and I bump the shit out of the seat in front of me all flight long if the person in front of me reclines.
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:28 PM on January 24, 2007


On one hand I'm pushed by my scathing hatred of AirTran for their attempt to take over a local airline (and their tendancy to drive planes into swamps), on the other hand, I hate screaming kids.
posted by drezdn at 3:30 PM on January 24, 2007


Sounds like someone had a hankering for some spankering.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:31 PM on January 24, 2007


I know it really, really sucks, but with seats jammed in so close together, it's not always possible to stop the kicking. Unless you suggest toddlers shouldn't be allowed to fly?

I'm down with that. Drive your poison progeny to ScreamingTwitLand or whatever to visit Grammy and Grampy. Unless you earnestly believe that your convenience is more important that 150 other peoples'. Or even one other person's. And you obviously do. How do I get to be as special as you are? I could just appropriate that designation for myself, but it would be a real mess if everyone did that, right?
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:32 PM on January 24, 2007 [5 favorites]


Which would still have given the parents 15 minutes to gain control of their child.

Again, assumes facts not in evidence.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:33 PM on January 24, 2007


I have always hated reclining seats on planes. I never recline mine, and I bump the shit out of the seat in front of me all flight long if the person in front of me reclines.

That's not polite.
posted by ibmcginty at 3:35 PM on January 24, 2007


Last Sunday, I saw Children of Men, the film where everyone in the world was somehow rendered sterile and there are no children under the age of 18, and I thought to myself, "What are they complaining about?" Imagine a world where you can see a movie, eat at a nice restaurant, or fly in an airplane without being disturbed by some unruly toddler running around screaming their lungs out.

Dystopian future? No... sweet, sweet fantasy.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:36 PM on January 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


Unless you suggest toddlers shouldn't be allowed to fly?

I suggest it.

Or rather that we have flights with no kids under 18. And you pay 5% more for it. But they have in flight porn and name brand booze.

And second to that that we also have "No Pussy Flights" that are 10% CHEAPER where there is minimal pre-9/11 security screening and therefor one tenth the wait time. This with the stipulation that if the flight gets blowdid up it's tough shit. And also the stipulation that if the flight gets hijacked the pilot is depressurizing the whole plane.
posted by tkchrist at 3:37 PM on January 24, 2007 [16 favorites]


Given that people have not been allowed to get on board flights for far less, like wearing an anti-Bush t-shirt, AirTran was well within their rights to offload the unruly passenger and her entourage.

Personally, when strangers' kids misbehave--in the extreme or relentlessly--on a flight, and the parent cannot control them, I take it upon myself to scare the crap out of the kid (menacing looks, maybe raising a fist) to indicate I mean business and they better frickin' behave. Always works (of course only with kids in the 3-7 range).

A child is much less receptive to a parent's carrot/stick approach than someone they do not know.

For those who doubtless will find this approach too harsh, you can just sit and suffer in silence or file complaints with the purser.
posted by Azaadistani at 3:37 PM on January 24, 2007


leahwrenn writes "Unless you suggest toddlers shouldn't be allowed to fly?"

That would be a fantastic start, yes. Emergencies are one thing--you have to fly home for a funeral or whatnot. Beyond that? Why do you feel that you can inflict your children on the rest of us? Air travel is stressful enough as it is without some fucking banshee doing its thing the whole time.

Small children are not suited for air travel. Hell, very few grownups are.

Also. Car seats can go backwards in cars. Is there a reason they can't on airplanes? If I had to deal with your toddler kicking my seat for a whole flight I'd be switching seats right bloody quick. And if there were no seats to switch to? I would advise you to do something about your child.

Don't get me wrong. I love and adore children, and hope to have my own someday. But that does not mean I'll take bullshit due to someone else's selfishness and/or poor parenting skills.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:38 PM on January 24, 2007


Dystopian future? No... sweet, sweet fantasy.

Ah. See. A man with kids.
posted by tkchrist at 3:38 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


tkchrist writes "Or rather that we have flights with no kids under 18. And you pay 5% more for it. But they have in flight porn and name brand booze."

Huh. You need to fly Air Canada more often. Name brand booze on every flight. Sure, it's not top-shelf, but it's not Joe Schmo's Gin Squeezins.

No porn, alas.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:40 PM on January 24, 2007


Unless you earnestly believe that your convenience is more important that 150 other peoples'. Or even one other person's. And you obviously do.

I suppose you think that tall people, whose knees poke into the seat of the person in front of them, shouldn't fly either, because they are inconveniencing that person? Or large people, because they take up some of your seat space? Come on, we all have to make allowances, given how tightly the seats are packed in.
posted by leahwrenn at 3:41 PM on January 24, 2007


I would bet that every other person on the plane was in agreement with the airline. I know I would be. I'm glad they took some action.

The Orlando-based carrier reimbursed the family $595.80 (€457), the cost of the three tickets, and the Kuleszas flew home the next day.

They also were offered three roundtrip tickets anywhere the airline flies, Graham-Weaver said.


I think Airtran did a good job here.
posted by punkrockrat at 3:41 PM on January 24, 2007


That's not polite.

Heh. Who says I do it on purpose?
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:44 PM on January 24, 2007


I think Airtran did a good job here.

I agree. They were accommodating in this unfortunate situation.
posted by ericb at 3:46 PM on January 24, 2007


Personally, when strangers' kids misbehave--in the extreme or relentlessly--on a flight, and the parent cannot control them, I take it upon myself to scare the crap out of the kid (menacing looks, maybe raising a fist) to indicate I mean business and they better frickin' behave. Always works (of course only with kids in the 3-7 range).

The only time I have ever even been close to being in a fight with another adult was when someone tried something like this on my son. The only reason I didn't go through with it is because the jerk-off was a whole lot smaller than I was and it was clear he suffered from a Napoleon complex.
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:47 PM on January 24, 2007


Given the parents' childish reaction here, it seems impossible to me that this family got the boot for anything but behavior.

And can I just say that anyone who reclines their seat on bus, train, or plane, is a total freaking jerk? Personally I think it deserves a toddler-style seat thrashing.
posted by shownomercy at 3:49 PM on January 24, 2007


This is what I love about Southwest. On other airlines, I might get stuck in the seat next to this spawn of Satan and be relegated to that seat where I would have to use every ounce of will power not to tear open the emergency exit and punt the kid out the window---with a flotation device, of course.

On Southwest, I can see the kid sitting there and keep walking another 30 rows back. Not to mention the fact that as a member of their rapid rewards program, I get free drink tickets for every 13 feet I fly or something ridiculous like that. I fly a lot down to Houston for hearings and the like, and I could get absolutely shitcanned on Crown Royal for free on every flight and never come close to running low on free drink tickets. Those two features are the trick to surviving with little brats on board.
posted by dios at 3:50 PM on January 24, 2007


I suppose you think that tall people, whose knees poke into the seat of the person in front of them, shouldn't fly either, because they are inconveniencing that person?

Of course we should let them fly. To do otherwise would be an infringement on their basic rights.

But we should cut off their legs

Or large people, because they take up some of your seat space? Come on, we all have to make allowances, given how tightly the seats are packed in.

I think what you mean by large is: FAT. Yes I think ticket prices should take into account peoples weight. Fat people should pay more for the flight. But no adult should be excluded on any basis.

Any basis other than odor.

But you bring up an interesting point.

Flying now SUCKS. We are witnessing the end of casual air travel, my friends. The only thing airlines can do now to stay profitable and "affordable" is get rid of the seats, pack in twice the number of people, and nail our feet to the floor to make us stand.

it will not be too long before flying is too cost prohibitive for the average person. People will have to save. Flights will be fewer and smaller. And even then it will still be a mostly miserable experience.
posted by tkchrist at 3:51 PM on January 24, 2007


Flying now SUCKS.

Ain't that the truth.
posted by leahwrenn at 3:54 PM on January 24, 2007


The only time I have ever even been close to being in a fight with another adult was when someone tried something like this on my son.

I scold other peoples kids all the time - though I'm fairly subtle. I prefer the kill with kindness thing. If your honest with yourself about how your kids really behave you would not want to fight me over it. You would give me a medal. And you wouldn't want to fight me anyway.
posted by tkchrist at 3:55 PM on January 24, 2007


Of course the airline acted appropriately. If the parents cannot control their three-year-old child enough to get her to sit down on an airplane, they cannot be allowed to fly. After all, airlines require that a child that young be accompanied by a responsible adult. So they call Grandma or hire somebody, then take the next flight. Big deal.
posted by Methylviolet at 3:57 PM on January 24, 2007


eustacescrubb: you would be doing what any parent I imagine would instinctively want to do. However, you would be better served in protecting your child by making them not such a nuisance to begin with. I have only done this twice in extreme situations when the parent(s) were abdicating their responsibility for a sustained period of time. And yes, with one parent, I got into a fight. In my rulebook, in a public space where movement is restricted, it's not cool to care more about indulging your child or protecting your child, than other's around you. There are always other kids on planes who know how to behave. If your kid misbehaves relentlessly it is not unreasonable for someone to help you shut them up. And in this case the result speaks for itself.
posted by Azaadistani at 3:59 PM on January 24, 2007


it will not be too long before flying is too cost prohibitive for the average person.

This is an interesting perspective. I think you are right that large scale mass flying is cost prohibitive, but I think that is for the companies, not the individual. Perhaps you have numbers to back it up, but my own sense is that it is actually cheaper for me to fly than it was 10-20 years ago. There are constantly absurd deals to fly to MiddleofNowhereistan for $499.00 when it used to cost thousands.

My sense is of the problem is that it is cost prohibitive for some companies to be engaged in the business for luxury and casual travelers. Because of the enormous number of airlines and destinations these days, the airlines have to maintain enormous fleets and offer cheap rates to compete with all the local competitors. So while their costs are sky high, they have to keep prices low. Well, if prices are low, then the only way to make money is add more seats and cram them in. Plus with canceling flights all the time because they offer too many (just to compete), they end up pissing off customers for getting bumped and over-packing the next flight. But they have to do it because the costs of the flight are at a price they can't meet with 40 people flying on super saver tickets.

That's my sense. I'd be interested in hearing why you think it is cost prohibitive for the passengers, instead.
posted by dios at 4:00 PM on January 24, 2007


I suppose you think that tall people, whose knees poke into the seat of the person in front of them, shouldn't fly either, because they are inconveniencing that person?

I'm 6'3". I assure you that no one has ever had an issue with my knees in their back. I can say this with confidence because it's painful for the tall person to keep their knees under pressure on the back of someone's seat for the duration of the flight. You either sit on a pillow to angle your knees down or angle to the left or right.

Or large people, because they take up some of your seat space?

People too fat for an airline seat can go to hell. Seriously. It's not my problem if you can't fit between the armrests and I reserve the right to insinuate that you're disgusting if my space is encroached by your blubber. By giving you dirty looks and staring at the pseudopod from your midsection that climbed over the arm rest and wants to grab my pretzels.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:03 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


This would have made for a great episode of the reality series Airport (UK) or Airline (UK/US).
posted by ericb at 4:03 PM on January 24, 2007


Eponysterical -- eustacescrub, in a child-discipline thread.
posted by Methylviolet at 4:05 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


In one of the articles, the mom says the kid was sitting "in front of her seat, crying."

Was the kid not in the same row as the parents??

I deal with travel as a career, and that's not legal.

Anyone know if they were in the same row?
posted by OhPuhLeez at 4:06 PM on January 24, 2007


you would be doing what any parent I imagine would instinctively want to do.

I dunno. If somebody yelled at my kid for misbehaving I might be like "YEAH! Kick that stupid little shits ass! I'll go to jail if I do it."

The line is: nobody gets physical with your kid. There are a few exceptions. I've picked up screaming toddlers and walked them back to their mom "Somebody needs a nap."
(And if it's a hot MILF "Somebody needs a nap. Care to join me?")

It's a judgment call. Most times you can just go:

"Hey Kid! Yeah you. Knock it off. Where's your mom?" And then you express nothing but sympathy for the poor parent who has to live with this little nighmare 24/7.
posted by tkchrist at 4:07 PM on January 24, 2007


This is what I love about Southwest.

You aren't put off by the fact that the fares are no bargain if you shop around despite their reputation? And that a large contingent of Southwest patrons are barefoot and carrying live chickens?

Not to mention the disgusting bum rush of the airplane once boarding is called? I've never seen a Southwest flight that didn't board in a near-riot like a 70's arena rock concert.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:08 PM on January 24, 2007


Any basis other than odor.

Oh, do I have a story of flying overseas somewhere and packed close-together like sardines on a "red-eye!" where it was obvious that among my fellow passengers deoderant and perfume was not a "big-seller" [NOT RACIST].
posted by ericb at 4:09 PM on January 24, 2007


That's my sense. I'd be interested in hearing why you think it is cost prohibitive for the passengers, instead.

No. I think your right.

But. I think it's a losing formula. Eventually, with fewer routes to grab or other smaller airlines to gobble up, the airlines are going to HAVE to raise prices because fuel costs are going to keep going up and up.

They will start cutting routes first. And then you will see prices climb.

(My brother-in-law is pilot for Delta)
posted by tkchrist at 4:10 PM on January 24, 2007


There are constantly absurd deals to fly to MiddleofNowhereistan for $499.00 when it used to cost thousands.

In Europe -- Ryanair.
posted by ericb at 4:13 PM on January 24, 2007


I've been on a lot of flights with a lot of kids. They have mostly behaved as well as I would expect for kids of their age. I've never encountered anything like the horror stories I've read some travelers encounter. My conclusion is that most parents are quite good at controlling their children even in difficult circumstances. The ones that say "kids will be kids" have misbehaving kids for just that reason.
posted by grouse at 4:13 PM on January 24, 2007


It's good that stories like this get circulation, and even better that the airline was strict about it, because IME, far far too many parents seem to think it's just fine to let their kids go crazy on airplanes. Maybe some exposure like this will make those same parents try a little harder so that they don't get thrown out.

Relatedly, I was on a flight a few years ago when the purser announced "If you people don't get back in your seats and fasten your seatbelts the way we asked... I'M TURNING THIS PLANE AROUND."

Which got big laughs. And also worked.
posted by rokusan at 4:14 PM on January 24, 2007


"Hey Kid! Yeah you. Knock it off. Where's your mom?"

Best sign I have ever seen in a store:
"Unaccompanied children will be given an espresso and a free puppy."
posted by ericb at 4:16 PM on January 24, 2007 [5 favorites]


Maybe some exposure like this will make those same parents try a little harder less so that they don't get thrown out. can get some free tickets from a spineless airline.
posted by grouse at 4:22 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've been on numerous flights with screaming infants-toddlers. I've seen parents belt their children mid-flight.

Sometimes you just can't get them to calm down, but you can force their ass into that goddamn seat.

(As a child, I always had expectations told to me before I went *anywhere*. And my parents had no problem taking my ass home if I screwed up. They also explained how things worked to me to keep my calmed down, which was useful on flights because the noises and various bumps would freak me out normally.)
posted by sperose at 4:23 PM on January 24, 2007


"If you people don't get back in your seats and fasten your seatbelts the way we asked... I'M TURNING THIS PLANE AROUND."

I go back and forth on surly flight crews.

Sometimes I'm thankful.

Other times I feel like "Who died and made YOU god, Sky Waitress?"

It like they've never seen a grown man without pants on before or something?

But it's all good these days. I tend to dope my self silly with Valium. Which brings me into a higher realm of love and brothership with all mankind (some of you may remember the Henry Rollins flight story).
posted by tkchrist at 4:24 PM on January 24, 2007


I fly frequently between Auckland and San Fran, and yeah quite often there's some poor kid screaming it's head off. Being a nervous flyer myself I tend to assume it's due to the kid being scared. It cant be fun to be on a plane when you're like 4. But people traveling between the states and NZ dont really have any other option, it's not as if boat travel is really an alternative. I dont know, to me kids are like traffic - sure they're annoying, but they're always going to be there. No use getting all psycho about it.
posted by supercrayon at 4:25 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Junior is not special. Junior is not a unique snowflake.

That's not what Whitney Houston told me! (Of course, the shit I was selling her at the time was halp baking soda, so who am I to judge?)
posted by Cyrano at 4:25 PM on January 24, 2007


I just want to object to the tide of acclaim for banning all children from airplanes. They are not all noisy, or pukey, or smelly, or whatever your particular hot-button is. I recently flew with my 4-year-old to and from Beijing, and she was quiet and self-contained the whole way. Granted, she is an unusually well-behaved kid in general, but that is my point - there are children who make ideal traveling companions. No 4-year-old is going to overflow into The Mayor's seat, either.

Obviously, the kid in the story is not one of those. The parents should have accepted responsibility and taken effective action. They didn't, so the airline did.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:30 PM on January 24, 2007


and staring at the pseudopod from your midsection that climbed over the arm rest and wants to grab my pretzels.

Could someone punch my Nerd Card, please? Because the only thing that I could think of after reading that was Dralasite.
posted by Cyrano at 4:35 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


If your honest with yourself about how your kids really behave you would not want to fight me over it. You would give me a medal. And you wouldn't want to fight me anyway.

Fuck you, tkchrist. You know shit-all about my child. He's flown over 20 times, and with the one exception has never been a problem. His fear of flying on that one flight was due to the fact that on the previous flight, the change in pressure + his cold had seriously hurt his ears, and he'd ended up with an ear infection. I don't know if you remember what an ear infection hurts like, but that shit hurts. If you had been on that flight and had scolded him for somehing that, from his perspective, is a pefectly legitimate fear, the fucking federal marshalls would have had to pull me off of you.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:38 PM on January 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


once the plane is ready to take off I do not care whether my kid is screaming his lungs out,

Yeah, that's the problem
posted by banshee


anti-eponysterical?
posted by quin at 4:40 PM on January 24, 2007


Granted, she is an unusually well-behaved kid in general

Yes, yes, your kid is so very special. Make sure you tell him/her that so that s/he gets a tremendous sense of entitlement.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:42 PM on January 24, 2007


quite often there's some poor kid screaming it's head off. Being a nervous flyer myself I tend to assume it's due to the kid being scared.

Or the kid could be in pain. Some people have trouble equalizing the pressure in their inner ear when the plane changes altitude. It's painful. Adults have coping mechanisms. Children don't even know why their heads have such pain all of a sudden.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:44 PM on January 24, 2007


You know those planes that crashed on 9/11?? ... yeah, that's right - they had children on them, not al quaeda operatives ... screaming, psycho children!

Can America please address this terrorist threat?
posted by strawberryviagra at 4:45 PM on January 24, 2007


I just want to object to the tide of acclaim for banning all children from airplanes.

What tide of acclaim? All I see is Mayor Curley.
posted by grouse at 4:45 PM on January 24, 2007


Yes, yes, your kid is so very special. Make sure you tell him/her that so that s/he gets a tremendous sense of entitlement.

Oooh, somebody needs a hug - about thirty years ago.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:46 PM on January 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


...the fucking federal marshalls would have had to pull me off of you.

So who Am I fucking again? The Federal Marshals? Or you, tough guy? And in front of your child! Shame on you!

If you had been on that flight and had scolded him for somehing that, from his perspective, is a pefectly legitimate fear,

Yeah. I would have cut his little head off and turned it into a bong through which I would smoke more of the same good shit your so obviously hyped out on.

Because I am so insensitive that way.

How about you calm down. I think you need to see when people are actually trying to HELP you with your kid. I think I could detect when a kid is in pain and when he is being a little fucker.
So relax buddy.




No. Wait. Go check on your son! Somebody may be scolding him! KILL! KILL!
posted by tkchrist at 4:51 PM on January 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


I recently flew with my 4-year-old to and from Beijing

Did you get a good price? I hear they bring in top dollar there.
posted by tkchrist at 4:54 PM on January 24, 2007


Calm down tckchrist - you're scaring people with your self righteousness.
posted by strawberryviagra at 4:55 PM on January 24, 2007


Oooh, somebody needs a hug - about thirty years ago.

Yes, your vas deferens probably could have done with a permanent hug some time ago.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:56 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Calm down tckchrist - you're scaring people with your self righteousness.

Lol. I guess so. Is there such a thing as self wrongteousness?
posted by tkchrist at 4:59 PM on January 24, 2007


What tide of acclaim? All I see is Mayor Curley.

Here
Here (maybe humorous)
Here
Here
Here

And, of course, The Mayor.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:03 PM on January 24, 2007


After having to change me several times (and nearly running out of diapers in the process) ...

OK, now we know where the "moon" comes from. Care to clue us in on the "grapefruit" part?
posted by rob511 at 5:05 PM on January 24, 2007


Here
Here (maybe humorous)
Here
Here
Here


I've never been part of a tide of acclaim before. I once passed out on a air mattress in Mexico and the tide took me out a couple of miles. But to no acclaim. Other than the claim of a bad sun burn.

Perhaps Kirth you need to re-read those with your Sarcasm Goggles on. And that you didn't mark mine with a "humorous" tag? Well. I have to try harder obviously.
posted by tkchrist at 5:12 PM on January 24, 2007


I give this thread A+++. Would read again.
posted by kbanas at 5:12 PM on January 24, 2007


And tkchrist, I got a hoot out of your posts, but you really need to learn about the different forms of your, because, seriously, it bugged the shit out of me every time you mucked it up.

I mean, that's probably just me, because I'm really anal and sort of drunk, but I had to say something.

Ok, I didn't have to say something, but I really wanted to.
posted by kbanas at 5:14 PM on January 24, 2007


Or the kid could be in pain.

That too. The first time I ever flew I was ten and I remember my ears hurting like hell afterwards.
posted by supercrayon at 5:15 PM on January 24, 2007


No. Wait. Go check on your son! Somebody may be scolding him! KILL! KILL!

Odds are, given the time of night, it's my wife.

Scolding isn't the problem -- that's a necessary part of child-raising. But clueless fucks who think they know my child better than I do are the last people who get the right to even comment. And I have found that, more often than not, it's the old and spoiled who can't handle children being around them.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:16 PM on January 24, 2007


This is representative of parenting everywhere. Just the other day, I was out at a sit-down restaurant, not terribly upscale but not Taco Bell, either. Two women had two children in chairs and were busy chatting and, sometimes feeding the children. Sometimes, but only when the two children, who were old enough to talk, would combine forces to produce a piercing wail. They weren't capable of really harmonizing, so the result was this eerie, in-and-out warble as the brace of brats created a demanding, sustained note. They had obviously trained these kids such that they were only going to get fed if this awful noise was made, and were totally fine with it perhaps irratating anything with functional eardrums within, say, a quarter mile. "The Customer Is Always Right" should be changed to "The Customer Needs To Shut the Hell Up, Now," because the staff was only capable of looking on helplessly.
posted by adipocere at 5:18 PM on January 24, 2007


adipocere, I think you may have misidentified who the trainers were, and who the trainees.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:22 PM on January 24, 2007


I used to hate hate hate kids on planes. Then I had a couple of my own, and my opinion tempered. Just wait till y'alll have yours and you'd still ike to, you know, have a life that involves travel every now and then.

Thankfully I've never had to deal with a full-on meltdown like this one, but my experience is that if the parent is making a reasonable effort to control the kid and acknowlege to the nearby passengers that you know your kid is being a jerk, they'll mostly understand.

I once endured a screaming 3-year-old daughter on a five-hour car ride. Sometimes you just have to get where you're going.
posted by stargell at 5:23 PM on January 24, 2007


But clueless fucks who think they know my child better than I do are the last people who get the right to even comment.

My my. You are a defensive dood.

So now your beating people up who merely comment on your child. You're quite the tough guy.

What if I just wiggled my eyebrows at your child? Anything? Maybe you'd just kick out the window of the plane.

Nobody claimed to know your child better than you. What I said, in the general "YOU" sense, is that IF you are honest about your child's behavior and how it affects others then you wouldn't get so pissed when other people stepped in to help you with him. Not if poor little Jimmy Jr. has an ear ache. But if little Jimmy is running around the plane screaming and being a holy terror.

And even if Little Jimmy DOES have an ear ache a compassionate adult can endure that for maybe half an hour or so. But if the plane is at cruising altitude and little Jimmy is STILL screaming in my ear - I may ask, clueless fuck that I am, YOU to do something -OR- if I could help YOU do something.

What? Now you gonna poke my eyes out for that, Mr. Eastwood.
posted by tkchrist at 5:26 PM on January 24, 2007


but you really need to learn about the different forms of your, because, seriously, it bugged the shit out of me every time you mucked it up.

I think your being a bit too picky and you'res is not the first comment to mention it.

see what I did there. I did it again for a joke... and I ... oh never mind...

I am borderline illiterate. And what with the extra chromosome and the price on my head and all. Life is a daily challenge.
posted by tkchrist at 5:32 PM on January 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


But if little Jimmy is running around the plane screaming and being a holy terror.

Then, what, you're going to toss sentence fragments at me?

And who is "Little Jimmy"? You fly on planes with the cosa nostra on a regular basis or something?
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:46 PM on January 24, 2007


This is the most entertaining pissing contest in a while.
posted by grouse at 5:49 PM on January 24, 2007


I'd love to hear your brilliant suggestions for how to stop pre-verbal toddlers from kicking the backs of the seats in situations like this.

Drive instead of flying.

There—I've solved your problem.

You need to fly Air Canada more often. Name brand booze on every flight.

I would, but I don't have anything I can take a loan out on. Also, I'll have to wait until Canadians discover northern Florida and Air Canada starts flying there.

If you had been on that flight and had scolded him for somehing that, from his perspective, is a pefectly legitimate fear, the fucking federal marshalls would have had to pull me off of you.

So you would get physical for someone for saying something to your child, and nothing more? What a shithead.
posted by oaf at 5:50 PM on January 24, 2007


Travelling with kids is a lottery situation - we've travelled extensively on long haul flights over the period of my 3 year old's short life. We believe we are good parents, we don't feed them sugar or fast food, etc, etc and our kids are well adjusted and able to occupy themselves (hard to tell with the 4 month old).

We've had both ends of the spectrum on flights - we haven't been thrown off, but we've had to deal with the occassional tantrum - they're kids, in a highly bizarre and strange environment, afterall.

Foremost on our minds as parents on a flight, is the comfort of other passengers - nothing stresses an already difficult situation than other passengers immediately showing their annoyance when a child gets upset. NEVER attempt to intervene on a parent attempting to calm their child (unless they're getting violent with the child). A child needs reassurance - in strange and hostile environments (as many of you seem to gleefully create) the task places extraordinary anxiety on both the parent and the child, and in some cases forces the parent to overly react to the situation, increasing the angst of all participating.

Airlines should acknowledge this situation, however - and designate areas for families as they did for smokers years ago - put up a bulkhead, paint the interior crazy colours, have some child friendly distractions - but most importantly, keep the full fare paying childless passengers separate.

My wife freaks about travelling - but only because she fears annoying other passengers, and their reactions.

We're off again on Tuesday.
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:51 PM on January 24, 2007


I just pray she doesn't see this thread before we leave - and I hope I never fly with any of you fuckers.
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:53 PM on January 24, 2007


But clueless fucks who think they know my child better than I do are the last people who get the right to even comment.

If you're just going to sit there and let him scream his head off, and then claim it's OK, you're the clueless fuck.

If your child isn't mature enough to fly, and you're traveling on the same continent (maybe you get an exception if you're going from, say, San Diego to St. John's), drive.
posted by oaf at 5:56 PM on January 24, 2007


Then, what, you're going to toss sentence fragments at me?

You never heard of Sentence Fragment Grenades? It's not the shrapnel that kills. It's the secondary grammar infection.

And who is "Little Jimmy"? You fly on planes with the cosa nostra on a regular basis or something?

Ha. Ha. Now. People let's not go all crack pot. There IS no La Cosa Nostra. We all know that the Kennedy Administration concocted that infamous anti-Italian myth so they could divert funds from the justice department into CIA black ops anti-Castro efforts.

And I think you know well and good who Little Jimmy is. It's the alias you gave the child you are often seen with flying the friendly skies and baiting poor suckers into fights with your clever "ear ache" antics.

If there is one thing hanging out with Emilio Barzini, Ottilio Cuneo, Victor Stracci, Bruno Tattaglia, Philip Tattaglia, and the other heads of the five families has taught me is when to recogni...

Oops.

There is NO mafia.
posted by tkchrist at 5:58 PM on January 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


ugh didn't read ALL of the comments, but i always get stuck next to the screaming baby on the plane. bravo, air tran!
posted by WaterSprite at 5:59 PM on January 24, 2007


This is the most entertaining pissing contest in a while.

You took the words right out of my mouth.
posted by Kloryne at 6:01 PM on January 24, 2007


NEVER attempt to intervene on a parent attempting to calm their child (unless they're getting violent with the child).

What if they ARE getting violent? I'm guessing applause and cheering "get the little fucker!" would be out?
posted by tkchrist at 6:03 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oooh, somebody needs a hug - about thirty years ago.

Yes, your vas deferens probably could have done with a permanent hug some time ago.


I love you guys.
posted by eddydamascene at 6:07 PM on January 24, 2007


Oh come on. SOME body has got to mark that one as a favorite just for the fact I remembered the names of all those guys form the Godfather alone.

I do and do for you guys and THIS is the thanks I get. sigh.

Tough crowd.

posted by tkchrist at 6:10 PM on January 24, 2007


I must see this Children of Men, sounds like utopia.
posted by maxwelton at 6:14 PM on January 24, 2007


You took the words right out of my mouth.

Oh yeah, you wanna make something of it?
posted by grouse at 6:14 PM on January 24, 2007


Cyrano: I thought of a Dralasite too! Star Frontiers is the buttermilk shiznits.

DW: You have insulted my honor by making advances towards my wife. Let's see how hot your mouth runs while I advance towards you with my weapon. I'll meet you in the old, ruined refectory at dawn. I nominate Cyrano as my second. You will choose instruments. Though I insist, should it be blades, that I, late in our duel, after locking swords and exchanging witty repartee at least twice, be the one that jumps onto a table, so that you may swing at my feet and I jump over your sword exclaiming "hah!" resoundingly. Oh, and let's be men about this and coordinate fashions a little. I'll be wearing green tights, knee high leather boots with a gold fringe, a frilly white shirt with poofy sleeves, unbuttoned at the navel, bien sûr, and a purple scarf tied around my head with an intricate macramé knot. Let's not clash while we clash, shall we?
posted by Kattullus at 6:15 PM on January 24, 2007


Leave it to the genius of the marketplace to figure out the solution.
posted by stargell at 6:28 PM on January 24, 2007


Oh yeah, you wanna make something of it?

*starts playing with the in-flight phone on back of grouse's seat*
posted by Kloryne at 6:30 PM on January 24, 2007


If you're just going to sit there and let him scream his head off, and then claim it's OK, you're the clueless fuck.

So, do they call you oaf because you don't read the thread before you comment, or because of the wheezing sound you make when you hoist that strawman around?

tkchrist, you made me laugh out loud. As of this post, we have no quarrel.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:48 PM on January 24, 2007


Well, thanks to the predictable bitchfest over people's kids, on one will read this, but:

Despite spending the last 10 Thanksgivings and Christmases on child-filled airlines, I've been pretty lucky. The only two bad experiences were the kid who tried to give me her half-eaten piece of cucumber and the lady sitting next to me who breastfed her kid and wouldn't let me have any!
posted by dirigibleman at 6:49 PM on January 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


So, do they call you oaf because you don't read the thread before you comment, or because of the wheezing sound you make when you hoist that strawman around?

Can you back up either of those outrageous statements?

No, you can't. You lose, but thanks for playing.
posted by oaf at 6:52 PM on January 24, 2007


And, eustacescrubb, since you don't know what a straw man is, please explain why I'd be scolding your child if you were making a proper attempt to control their behavior.

That's right—I wouldn't.
posted by oaf at 6:53 PM on January 24, 2007


As of this post, we have no quarrel.

We had a quarrel?

I'll tell you who I had a quarrel with... It's that fucking Little Jimmy.

All the trouble he stirred up with the ear ache business.

And then him and Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo trying to muscle Philip Tattaglia into hitting the Don.

Well that was just the straw that broke the camels back. A message has got to be sent.

So me and the boys we got a plan.

I'm gonna invite him and Sollozzo to a little meeting at the airport lounge. Once they are good an comfortable, like old friends, see, I will excuse myself and go to the bathroom where I will retrieve a planted copy of Dr. Phils Baby Book from behind the toilet.

Yeah. Old friends. Nice and comfortable.

Then from the chapter on Airplane Etiquette For Parents I will give them give them both SUCH a terrible scolding. Right there at the Airport lounge. Ba BANG!

Afterwards I will have to lay low in Sicily until the heat dies down.

Er... Doh!

There is no Mafia!
posted by tkchrist at 7:20 PM on January 24, 2007


DW: You have insulted my honor by making advances towards my wife. Let's see how hot your mouth runs while I advance towards you with my weapon.

Well, my toddler is giving me a cold, so I will be a little hot. And sneezing.

Must we fight? Can you not accept my forgiveness then we can retire to whatever you Icelanders do post-duel? Drink whatever Icelanders drink for hard alcohol? Eat pickled shark? Debate the musical merits of the Sugarcubes vis-a-vis Sigur Rós?

I mean, my wife is first in the Order Of Who Gets To Kill Me First.

But if we must fight, I choose Acquire. And I and my second Michael Milken shall destroy you with my powerful hotel merger mojo while you beat me to death with the box.

Oh, and let's be men about this and coordinate fashions a little. I'll be wearing green tights, knee high leather boots with a gold fringe, a frilly white shirt with poofy sleeves, unbuttoned at the navel, bien sûr, and a purple scarf tied around my head with an intricate macramé knot. Let's not clash while we clash, shall we?

Well, see, I was never in SCA, so you're going to be stuck with me in a college sweatshirt and a pair of ratty shorts. And Tevas. All covered in toddler snot. That work?
posted by dw at 7:25 PM on January 24, 2007


Years ago I traveled BY MYSELF with my two, three, and four year old children. Round trip, Florida to NC and back. They did fine, did not scream or kick seats, etc. I made sure they were fed, watered, and entertained. They did fine.

When my first child was a year old, I flew (again, alone with him) the same round trip. He was fine.

When they were one, two, and three respectively we flew round trip from Florida to Denver (this time with husband.) My two year old cried during ONE segment but that was all.

Small children do cry occasionally but if they are brats I blame the parents. I see way too many parents who either ignore or try to REASON with prerational toddlers instead of sitting their butts down and enforcing decent behaviour.

PS a little Benadryl doesn't hurt if it makes your child drowsy. But supposedly the reduced cabin pressure in a plane will make them drowsy without it. Mostly my kids slept on airplanes.
posted by konolia at 7:55 PM on January 24, 2007


The irony here, of course, is that if tkchrist was a small child having an attention-tantrum of this magnitude in the cabin of an airplane we'd all be demanding to sedate him.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:07 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mods: could we please remove every comment by anyone who has not had or does not have a three-year-old child. Thank you.
posted by mecran01 at 8:07 PM on January 24, 2007


I've flown a lot recently, and every single time I'm standing there waiting to board, they always let people with small children on first. Usually ahead of the First Class passengers. I think that if you're allowed on first because you need more time & room, then you should be the last ones off. So, these folks should have had more time than the rest of the passengers, and they still weren't ready. Getting a full refund, free flights home, AND 3 free tickets out of the deal is pretty nice too.

AirTran could have just said "Eff you" and been done with it.

I would happily vote for barring kids from First Class entirely. Sucks to pay more for a ticket only to have a screaming brat next to you the whole time.

Flying with kids used to be easier because people didn't pack as much useless crap. None of these massive 6 wheel monster strollers, car seats, bags of toys, etc. Heck, when I worked for an airline handling company 10 years ago we didn't even see so much crap. Now it seems that you're an awful parent if you don't bring 5 different Veggietales DVDs for the sprog.


I hate kids, and I don't give a crap about how wonderful yours are.
posted by drstein at 8:13 PM on January 24, 2007


But if we must fight, I choose Acquire.

Ach no! Not Acquire! My secret weakness! My Achilles heel! You are a craftier foe than I thought.

Well, see, I was never in SCA

SCA! SCA!! SCA!!! You insult me again, you knave, you malodorous nincompoop and furthermore I'll... aww crap... I said knave... forsooth it, I might as well be in the SCA.

I mean, my wife is first in the Order Of Who Gets To Kill Me First.

Of course your wife gets the first stab at you, it would only be fair.

Can you not accept my forgiveness then we can retire to whatever you Icelanders do post-duel? Drink whatever Icelanders drink for hard alcohol? Eat pickled shark? Debate the musical merits of the Sugarcubes vis-a-vis Sigur Rós?

Yes, in accordance to the rules of dueling, I accept your apology. Admittedly, I had to check if those were indeed the rules. There must be a section missing because there's no mention of swinging on chandeliers or slicing through an opponents belt thereby making his pants fall down (which sometimes reveals that his pants are disguising her panties).

Traditionally, post-duel, we deconstruct the semantic différance of the sword's phallogocentrism in the celluloid fever dreams of late capitalism... alright, alright, while also eating rotted, peed-upon shark, drinking black death and quoting Björk lyrics to each other... sure, I'll play to your stereotypes, but, hah! I appropriate your culture and steal your women!
posted by Kattullus at 8:25 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


The irony here, of course, is that if tkchrist was a small child having an attention-tantrum of this magnitude in the cabin of an airplane we'd all be demanding to sedate him.

I think it's funny the parents swear their children aren't those kind of kids on planes, while tkchrist and others swear they're not the selfish pricks in this discussion and on planes.

You really do the best you can with kids on planes. But they're kids. They don't always understand what's going on. So you control them and hope they're not that unruly.

That said, when we had to fly cross-country because my FIL died and the funeral was the next day, I swore that if anyone complained about my daughter they would die, right then and there. Luckily, she slept most of the way, and everyone complimented her on being well-behaved.
posted by dw at 8:29 PM on January 24, 2007


Curley : "You either sit on a pillow to angle your knees down or angle to the left or right."

I tried the first method, but then my head was a little above the headrest, which was uncomfortable. I usually stretch my legs out under the seat in front of me. Airlines suck.

As for kids on airplanes...I don't have any rugrats, so kudos to anyone who can peacefully travel with a toddler.
posted by Liosliath at 8:30 PM on January 24, 2007


Hey everyone ... DrStein travels a lot and in First Class!! Fucking jerk.
posted by strawberryviagra at 8:38 PM on January 24, 2007


Mods: could we please remove every comment by anyone who thinks that people who have never had a three-year-old child do not know how children should behave. Thank you.
posted by oaf at 8:47 PM on January 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


oaf : Drive instead of flying.

There—I've solved your problem.


Unless I'm trying to get to Hawaii.

tkchrist : I am borderline illiterate. And what with the extra chromosome and the price on my head and all. Life is a daily challenge.

Price on your head? How much?... And to who?

No particular reason for asking...

[Takes out tranquilizer gun; considers new car after aborted attempt to drive to an island.]
posted by quin at 8:54 PM on January 24, 2007



Mods: could we please remove every comment by anyone who thinks that people who have never had a three-year-old child do not know how children should behave.

Fixed that for you.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:57 PM on January 24, 2007


Unless I'm trying to get to Hawaii.

I believe the people in this article were flying from Orlando to Massachusetts (probably Boston). If you actually read the whole thread, I later clarified: drive if it's possible. The example I gave (San Diego to St. John's) is actually a thousand miles longer than San Diego to Honolulu.
posted by oaf at 9:00 PM on January 24, 2007


Ok, maybe this is a stupid point, but I have to bring it up.

There are many of you who advocate driving if you have young children. But what if someone has a toddler and can't drive? Is there a difference if the person is simply unwilling to learn to drive, or actually can't?

I ask only because I am relatively young, and have no children. But I may in the future, and I really physically can't drive. What would someone like me do - never travel?
posted by aclevername at 9:02 PM on January 24, 2007


OutrageFilter? I posted this because I thought it was interesting and furthered my suspicion that parents are loathe to publicly discipline their children. If you classify that as "Outrage," well then, ok.

Two links to the same story (same exact text), one link to someone's blog about the story, and a link to digg. What was the point of all those links? One would've been just fine!

No, the text is not the exact same. One starts "AirTran defends its decision" the other starts "Flight attendants often deal with obnoxious passengers." Also, people link to blogs all the time.

If I had posted one link to this, especially if that link had been to Yahoo or some other popular news-site, it would have immediately been criticized as a "one-link news post to some dumb story."

Of course, since this is MetaFilter, someone has to whine about the structure of the post no matter what. Fuckers.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:02 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I ask only because I am relatively young, and have no children. But I may in the future, and I really physically can't drive. What would someone like me do - never travel?

No, someone like you shouldn't listen to people on internet message boards too much. Also, if you keep your kids under control, most of us have no complaints. I don't mind fussy kids on the plane, I know that kids have a rough time dealing with travel. But there's a huge world of difference between "fussy" and "out of control."
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:04 PM on January 24, 2007


Unless I'm trying to get to Hawaii.

Dude, have you never seen a crappy 80s James Bond movie? They have car-boats, now! If you ever go to Hawaii, and you take a car boat, I will totally watch your kid. You will be happy because someone is taking care of your kid while you steer a car-boat. I will be happy because I'm taking a car-boat to Hawaii! Your kid will be happy because you're taking a car-boat to Hawaii!!!

Can I teach your kid to swear? What about foreign-language swears?
posted by dirigibleman at 9:45 PM on January 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


oaf : drive if it's possible.

Fair enough, but that would have ruined my joke about my reasoning for brining in the bounty on tkchrist.

And while you did follow up, the fact remains, that much as I am loath to admit it, you simply can't drive everywhere, and your original statement was silly. Nothing wrong with silly. And IMHO, nothing wrong with pointing it out.
posted by quin at 9:56 PM on January 24, 2007


dirigibleman, THAT is exactly the kind of logic I'm looking for. Thank you.

And while I despise children and will never spawn by choice (the doctors told me that, with my DNA, the best I could hope for was an imp rather than a full fleged Prince of Darkness, so I figured, 'why bother?'), I grant you full permission to teach my parrot anything you like.

Though, in all honesty, he's a pretty filthy little fucker already.
posted by quin at 10:02 PM on January 24, 2007


Mods: could we please remove every comment by anyone who has never been three years old.

kthxbi.
posted by Hat Maui at 10:27 PM on January 24, 2007


Just got off a cross-country flight with two loud little kickers right behind me. And it's really, really hard to blame them when their folks did NOTHING to stop it, didn't even seem to notice. It's times like that that you need to get out the plastic bag.
posted by chinese_fashion at 10:29 PM on January 24, 2007


After having to change me several times (and nearly running out of diapers in the process) ...

OK, now we know where the "moon" comes from. Care to clue us in on the "grapefruit" part?


It's a government secret. Very hush-hush. I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:38 PM on January 24, 2007


On both legs of a recent Southwest flight, the attendants made some announcement about lap children. I looked around, and sure enough, several parents had small children on their laps, throughout the flight.

How can this possibly be safe and legal?


Just in case anyone is still reading ... the alternative is forcing parents to purchase tickets for the children ... and some parents won't, because they can't afford to ... which means more long-haul driving to get to Grandma's ... which, all things considered, is significantly more dangerous than flying.

So, it's legal because it's safer.
posted by frogan at 10:40 PM on January 24, 2007


The downfall of air travel, nay - the fabric of society, was when we stopped dressing up to fly or for that matter go to ball games, dinner and the theater. Civil society ended with the assassination of JFK. Now we're all caricatures of Minor Threat's Sob Story... "'cause i'm sick and i'm tired of your whining, complaining, bitching and moaning... boo fuckin' hoo"
posted by DonnieSticks at 11:08 PM on January 24, 2007


while tkchrist and others swear they're not the selfish pricks

Where? Where have I ever sworn I was not a selfish prick? I AM so a selfish prick. Way more selfish and prickish than you are.

Uh. huh. Are so.

...is that if tkchrist was a small child having an attention-tantrum of this magnitude...

Dear I would love for you to point to where I'm having any sort of tantrum.

(STOMPS UP AND DOWN)

WHAT TANTRUM! WHAAAT TANTRUUUUUM!

No but seriously. I have not had a single tantrum in this thread.

I know. Surprises me too. But I haven't.

Read it again. If anything I have been exceptionally self deprecating and have gone more for the humorous and sarcastic than the jugular.

You just don't like me. Understandable me being a selfish prick and all.
posted by tkchrist at 11:14 PM on January 24, 2007


You just don't like me. Understandable me being a selfish prick and all.

Of course we like you. We just want you to swallow this Benadryl here.
posted by dw at 11:26 PM on January 24, 2007


I can understand why the airlines wouldn't allow the girl to sit in her mother's lap; being sued as often as you are in the States, why would anyone want to take the risk.

But it's sad when little girls get kicked off the plane.
posted by hadjiboy at 11:27 PM on January 24, 2007


tkchrist, stomp up and down all you like, but you still haven't told me how much your bounty is. I like you, and I don't want to sell you out, but let's face it. I am a bad man, and I will pull out your gold fillings if I think I could make a profit off of it.

So yeah, who is it that wants you?

That said, if you give me the exact details about how oaf sold crack and heroin to minors, I could be willing to turn my tranq gun elsewhere.

I don't want to deal, I just want to "make the world right...", knowwhatImean?
posted by quin at 11:29 PM on January 24, 2007


Ach no! Not Acquire! My secret weakness! My Achilles heel! You are a craftier foe than I thought.

I never realized the Icelandic types are so easily defeated by 1960s strategy games. Must make mental note of that in case they attempt to invade America....

SCA! SCA!! SCA!!! You insult me again, you knave, you malodorous nincompoop and furthermore I'll... aww crap... I said knave... forsooth it, I might as well be in the SCA.

But clearly you're not, as you did not admonish me in Middle English, medieval French, a long-forgotten Lombardy dialect, or an obscure Norse language. Or l33t.

Of course your wife gets the first stab at you, it would only be fair.

Fair? It's the law. Washington is a community property state.

Yes, in accordance to the rules of dueling, I accept your apology. Admittedly, I had to check if those were indeed the rules. There must be a section missing because there's no mention of swinging on chandeliers or slicing through an opponents belt thereby making his pants fall down (which sometimes reveals that his pants are disguising her panties).

If you want to do that, go for it. But I'm terrible with a sword. I prefer board games. Craftiness. A battle of the wits. A battle I usually enter unarmed.

Traditionally, post-duel, we deconstruct the semantic différance of the sword's phallogocentrism in the celluloid fever dreams of late capitalism... alright, alright, while also eating rotted, peed-upon shark, drinking black death and quoting Björk lyrics to each other...

Hey, sounds like a night at tkchrist's house, only there it'd be peppered with "DEATH TO CHILDREN!" in a Tourette's fashion.

Or, you know, I was a Classics minor. We could read Catullus and Horace in the original Latin and laugh at the in-jokes hidden in the praeteritions and chiasms. Woo-hoo, party at my house. The fun never stops. Let me get my pocket protector and bow tie....

sure, I'll play to your stereotypes, but, hah! I appropriate your culture and steal your women!

This is why we're trying to build that border fence, you know. Keep our women from marrying intellegent foreign men and breeding a race of smart, world-savvy Americans with an internationalist foreign policy bent. Gotta keep them and their DNA in-country and unilateralist.
posted by dw at 11:40 PM on January 24, 2007


I hate kids, and I don't give a crap about how wonderful yours are. posted by drstein

Dr. Stein, the eminent pediatrician?
posted by Cranberry at 1:29 AM on January 25, 2007


I really don't know what y'alls problem is. I love kids on flights. Beats the usual airline meal, by far!
posted by Goofyy at 2:55 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Something I haven't seen mentioned is that if the plane was 15 minutes late, that most likely meant that everyone had been sitting on the plane (including this child) for who knows how long—particularly if the family was allowed to get on before everyone else (which has never happened to me in the 3 years I have been traveling with my youngest child).

FWIW, I fly once a year with mine, so it seems exotic. But I also have a "air pack" filled with coloring books, a couple of little toys, etc to use as coercion and distraction. When I travel with my kid I am prepared for her to pull out her worst possible behavior (YMMV) and then I'm pleasantly surprised when it goes well ;).
posted by nramsey at 3:18 AM on January 25, 2007


Can you back up either of those outrageous statements?

With pleasure.

Since I clearly wrote above (and wrote in the blog post to which I linked) that my son was calmed down within five minutes, your comment: If you're just going to sit there and let him scream his head off begins with a straw man (you're arguing against a point I wasn't making). That suggests that you didn't properly read the thread.
Then, you continue: and then claim it's OK, which is a second straw man, because not only did I never claim "it's OK" to let a kid scream his head off, I didn't even address the OK-ness issue at all. All I did say was that other adults making threatening gestures at my child is not OK (albeit using very hyperbolic prose).


No, you can't. You lose, but thanks for playing.

But I just did.


And, eustacescrubb, since you don't know what a straw man is, please explain why I'd be scolding your child if you were making a proper attempt to control their behavior.

I fail to see how the two (whether or not I know what a straw man is, and whether or not you would be "scolding" my child) are causally related. That's what "since" means -- that the statment in your second clause is a result of the statement in your first clause. If I were taking the logic of your statement literally, then I'd have to assume you feel it's ok to scold other people's children all the time. Why, do you ask? Well.

Since:

A. I have proven I know quite well what a straw man is.
B. you only withhold your scolding from children who aren't screaming if I don't know what a straw man is.
then
C. you're probably scolding some defensless kid you found sleeping in a stroller at the local Starbucks as I type this.

My advice to you, oaf, is this:

1. Don't make a username that can so easily be turned into an insult, oaf.
2. Take more care reading the thread.
3. Make sure you look words up in some kind of dictionary before you try to convince someone else they dont' know what the word means.
4. Take more care consructing your own sentences.
5. Sarcasm looks really stupid when you're so very in the wrong.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:11 AM on January 25, 2007


Dr. Stein, the eminent pediatrician?

I think it's Dr. Stein the game-show host and TV shill.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:19 AM on January 25, 2007


I used to hate hate hate kids on planes. Then I had a couple of my own, and my opinion tempered. Just wait till y'alll have yours and you'd still ike to, you know, have a life that involves travel every now and then.

No thanks. I hate this parental trump card of, "Just wait until you have kids..." It's annoying and it assumes that everyone has kids. I will NOT be having kids and I couldn't be happier that I will not have to deal with situations like THAT. I have no idea why threats and stories of misbehaving children would encourage me to have them.
posted by agregoli at 7:06 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


AirTran has pissed me off several times in the past, but this news is wonderful, so I'll fogive them their past transgressions. However, I wish they hadn't rewarded the parents for their childs behavioral problems.

Still, you can't just always take parents & troublesome kids off the plane. For example, crying babies are amazingly disruptive & normally occur in flight.

When you buy airline tickets, they should simply take an extra credit card authorization for possible disturbances. If you cause a significant annoyance to other passengers, such as having crying babies, they should charge your card. Not huge sums, just enough to say: Hey, you need to realize that your making everyone miserable! How about $1 per min of bawling baby up to 30 min, when it drops to $10 per additional half hour.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:45 AM on January 25, 2007


A couple of weeks ago I flew from L.A. to Dallas and it wasn't the nine month old in front of me that was the problem. He was actually entertaining with his big blue eyes and his need to show off his newly-learned skill of blowing raspberries. No it was the forty-something arrested adolescent in the seat behind me that was the problem. He was doing his best to pick-up the 17 year old girl on the seat next to him and his low-pitched, growly, boozy voice was impossible to tune out. I turned up the volume on my i-Pod but the soothing strains of Neil Gaimen's American Gods was no match for jerkwad's courtship dance which was comprised of his opinions, his experiences, and his future plans.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:58 AM on January 25, 2007


And then it hit me this morning.

The parents WERE taking the comfort of other passengers in mind.

The mom was trying to get the 3-year-old in her lap so that HE WOULD CALM DOWN AND STOP CRYING. The flight attendants refused due to the rules about lap babies.

The mother was trying to do the one thing that would have most obviously calmed the kid down and made other passengers happy, but it was against the rules.

I don't fault AirTran for what they did. They were more than accommodating. But demonizing these parents because they had a screaming baby seems a little disingenuous when they're trying to do exactly what various people are bitching about here.
posted by dw at 9:13 AM on January 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


That suggests that you didn't properly read the thread.

Please read the thread before commenting, eustacescrubb.

I have proven I know quite well what a straw man is.

I'm glad you now seem to know what it means, but that doesn't make you right; saying there's a straw man there doesn't magically make it so. Sorry.

With the exception of #1, you should take your own advice, because it certainly doesn't apply to my comments in this thread, which you still haven't read carefully. You're still wrong; I'm sorry you don't get it. But for your reference, this is a straw man, and damn close to a personal attack:
you're probably scolding some defensless kid you found sleeping in a stroller at the local Starbucks as I type this.

I'm sorry your statement that no one ought ever scold your child is ludicrous (and never should have been said to begin with), but that doesn't mean you can defend it by shooting the messenger.
posted by oaf at 9:34 AM on January 25, 2007


And going back to this, which shows a lack of regard for others:

If you had been on that flight and had scolded him for somehing that, from his perspective, is a pefectly legitimate fear, the fucking federal marshalls would have had to pull me off of you.

If your child is on a plane, bothering others, and you can't get him to stop in a timely fashion, someone else will, and there is exactly nothing you will do about it.
posted by oaf at 9:40 AM on January 25, 2007


Oh, oaf. You keep coming back for more abuse. I think you secretly enjoy it.

If you want to assert that I didn't read your comments carefully, you'll have to prove it. Merely asserting it doesn't make it so. As things stand, you have neither rubtted my actual points, not made any of your own, you've just asserted your opinion.

And then:

But for your reference, this is a straw man, and damn close to a personal attack:
you're probably scolding some defensless kid you found sleeping in a stroller at the local Starbucks as I type this.


It is actually not a straw man. For it to be considered a straw man, I'd have had to asserted that you said you enjoyed scolding defensless children. What I was doing instead was making fun of the fact that you constructed a poor sentence, which allowed me to intentionllly misinterpret what you wrote. In short, I was mocking you, and the mockery is, yes, guilty of a logical fallacy, but not, unfortunately for you, a straw man. Ad hominem, yes, style over substance, yes, but straw man, no.

I'm sorry your statement that no one ought ever scold your child is ludicrous (and never should have been said to begin with), but that doesn't mean you can defend it by shooting the messenger.

You fail to demonstrate why it is ludicrous. If you yelled at my child, I could press assualt charges against you, so the law is on my side, and it is pretty commonly understood in our society that, without prior parental consent, we don't discipline each other's children.

If your child is on a plane, bothering others, and you can't get him to stop in a timely fashion, someone else will, and there is exactly nothing you will do about it.

Ah, but what constitutes "timely"? For someone who clearly has such a delicate constitution as yourself, "timely" might mean 30 seconds. In my situation, I got my son to calm down in under five minutes. If a spoiled brat like yourself had piped in with amateur parenting advice, I'd probably not have risen to violence (more about that in a moment), but I'd have definitely told you to be quiet at the least. (I *have* done that, though not on an airplane. My favorite rejoinder -- "Oh look, honey, it's Dr Spock, only older and uglier!")
But you're wrong, there is plenty I could do about it. I would definitely press charges if you raised your voice, and I'd consider telling the flight attendant that you made me nervous and I found you threatening. "I'm just trying to help my kid calm down and this guy just threatened my son, ma'am."
Among my peers, I am considered a strict disciplinarian -- my son is incredibly well-behaved, and so when he's having a problem, I *always* take it seriously. I also believe that discipline should be about justice, not avoidance of discomfort, so if my son is genuinely frightened of physical pain, and he doesn't calm down on your timetable, then your timetable is irrelevant.

As for my threats toward tkchrist, you clearly don't recognize hyperbole, or an internet pissing match when you see one. Would I *really* attack him? No. But would I take other measures? Yes, definitely.

People dispense useless and bad parenting advice all the time, and most adults rarely try to understand the world from a child's point of view. The problem is that we've become a society of prolonged adolescence -- most adults I know are just 15 year olds in adult bodies -- that adults are spoiled and can't handle being around children because children become competition. If there's an actual child around, it's harder for crybaby adults to maintain the precious illusion that they're the center of the universe. Luckily for you, there are plenty of comsumable products to help yoo out. Buy some noise-cancelling headphones, plug in your video iPod and watch downloads of Desperate Housewives while you sink back into your pool of self-centered self-pity. The plane ride will be over soon and then you can go back to pretending it's all about you.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:27 AM on January 25, 2007


jeffburdges: If you cause a significant annoyance to other passengers, such as having crying babies, they should charge your card. Not huge sums, just enough to say: Hey, you need to realize that your making everyone miserable! How about $1 per min of bawling baby up to 30 min, when it drops to $10 per additional half hour.

Do you propose that money would be given to the other passengers to refund a portion of their fare to compensate them for a flight that was crummier than was necessary? Because it's silly to suggest that the airlines should turn upset children into a profit center. Not that they wouldn't do it if they could get away with it. But I'd be even more annoyed to endure a crying baby knowing that the airline was making an easy dollar from my further suffering.

And babies cry, that can't be helped. It's an older age range that is the source of all the piss and vinegar in this thread.
posted by peeedro at 10:38 AM on January 25, 2007


...And that age range seems to be grown ups who should know better.
posted by peeedro at 10:39 AM on January 25, 2007


DW: Of course we like you. We just want you to swallow this Benadryl here.

YES! Oh. It says "May Make Drowsy." Though I am not a doctor I read that as "Take with Vodka."

Seriously though. I never had a tantrum in this thread and I resent that characterization. It gives people who are smart enough to not read every post for context the wrong idea. It also implies I was not in control of my faculties. Please. PUH-leeeze. LOOK at these faculties. I can make them do anything I want.

If you must be a Negative Nelly refer to my posts as deliberate obnoxious drivel. But not tantrum.

quin: ...but you still haven't told me how much your bounty is. I like you, and I don't want to sell you out, but let's face it. I am a bad man...

I don't know the dollar amount. But I DO know it's to be paid in livestock. Crazy Mormons.

DW: And then it hit me this morning.

eustacescrubb!!!! Stop beating people up already!!


I'd like to thank my fans for marking so many favorites in this thread. thank you. my relentless pandering paid off. i am somebody!
posted by tkchrist at 11:36 AM on January 25, 2007


People dispense useless and bad parenting advice all the time, and most adults rarely try to understand the world from a child's point of view. The problem is that we've become a society of prolonged adolescence -- most adults I know are just 15 year olds in adult bodies -- that adults are spoiled and can't handle being around children because children become competition. If there's an actual child around, it's harder for crybaby adults to maintain the precious illusion that they're the center of the universe. Luckily for you, there are plenty of comsumable products to help yoo out. Buy some noise-cancelling headphones, plug in your video iPod and watch downloads of Desperate Housewives while you sink back into your pool of self-centered self-pity. The plane ride will be over soon and then you can go back to pretending it's all about you.

My head just exploded.
posted by maxwelton at 11:36 AM on January 25, 2007


Of course we like you. We just want you to swallow this Benadryl here.

Brings to mind this event --

Flight Attendant Who Spiked Child's Juice Sentenced
"A Northwest Airlines flight attendant who spiked a toddler's apple juice with an antianxiety drug to stop her crying was sentenced yesterday to four months of home confinement. The incident was discovered by the 19-month-old girl's mother, who took the juice off the Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight last August after noticing that it was bitter and foamy and had blue and white specks floating in it. Tests confirmed the presence of Xanax, which is prescribed for panic attacks and anxiety, the FBI said. Daniel Cunningham, 39, of Ann Arbor, was fired by Northwest."
posted by ericb at 12:34 PM on January 25, 2007


The mother was trying to do the one thing that would have most obviously calmed the kid down and made other passengers happy, but it was against the rules.

If I had been on that flight, I would have rather had the kid screaming, just as long as it could get me where I was going. Having a quiet kid in the lap, while the fact that it is in the lap means the plane can't take off, doesn't help one bit.
posted by grouse at 12:44 PM on January 25, 2007


If you yelled at my child, I could press assualt charges against you

What if I was yelling "Your hair is on fire! Your hair is on fire!" And his hair was really on fire. Hey. It could happen.

What if I was yelling "THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUSE!" Because there isn't.

-OR- what if I was yelling "Your SHORT and I bet you don't know the capitol of Ethiopia! WHAT!? You DON'T? HAH! It's ADDIS ABABBA!"

MOST Likely I might raise my voice slightly and yell "Go sit Down!"

Your unlikely to get a successful assault conviction for somebody yelling at your kid (unless he is yelling "I will cut off your head and smoke dope through your eye sockets"). Otherwise claiming assault is pretty dumb thing to say.

Scrubby you have gone from threatening assault randomly to then falsely claiming assault on other people.

These people who are just trying to get your hypothetical misbehaving son under control.

You don't see the irony there? The hypothetical irony.

Anyway. I have other hypothetical children to abuse. See ya.
posted by tkchrist at 4:14 PM on January 25, 2007


Their daughter needed a spanking, what? No spankings allowed.
Call the cop on the kid, lets get her a parole officer.
Then when she turns 18, give her a license and a felony.
Yes, power to the people.
posted by IronWolve at 4:34 PM on January 25, 2007


"I ask only because I am relatively young, and have no children. But I may in the future, and I really physically can't drive. What would someone like me do - never travel?"

If only there were some kind of iron cars that were run on rails all over the US...
posted by klangklangston at 5:33 PM on January 25, 2007


Family kicked off plane triggers ... nostalgia? -- "Longing old-school parenting methods in a modern, hypersensitve world."
posted by ericb at 6:54 PM on January 25, 2007


MSNBC -- Live Vote: Should AirTran Airways have removed a family due to their toddler's temper tantrums? [unscientific -- currently with 160,664 responses]:
Yes -- the airline has an obligation to all passengers to leave on time. -- 69%

Yes -- it's about time a crew removed a screaming child. -- 22%

No -- this scenario could have been resolved with patience and understanding. -- 4.3%

I don't know -- screaming kids are difficult to deal with, but this is harsh. -- 4.5
posted by ericb at 6:58 PM on January 25, 2007


Your unlikely to get a successful assault conviction for somebody yelling at your kid (unless he is yelling "I will cut off your head and smoke dope through your eye sockets"). Otherwise claiming assault is pretty dumb thing to say.

1. Threats are highly subjective. If you're willing to break with social norms enough to yell at my kid, who knows what you're capable of.
2. Even if the conviction isn't successful, you'll have the inconvenience of dealing with having charges pressed against you all the same. The point here isn't the mete out justice, but to punish the hypothetical you for being an impatient jerk.

These people who are just trying to get your hypothetical misbehaving son under control.

being afraid of flying != "misbehaving"
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:11 PM on January 25, 2007


I'm not a parent, so maybe someone can explain what the big deal is with a stranger snapping at or gesturing at a noisy child that would cause the child's parent to get upset about it?

I suppose it might be counterproductive in some situations - perhaps the child would become even noisier in consequence, but why does it demand that the parent retaliate?
posted by Ritchie at 8:55 PM on January 25, 2007


Yeah, I'm with you. My kids are perfect, of course, and have always been remarkably well-behaved, and even so this has happened to me. I was surprised, my kid was surprised, I said, "oh, I'm sorry we bothered you." (with more or less sincerity depending on the situation). Big freaking deal. I told my kids that it is the duty of all adults to look out for all kids -- and as their mother I am glad it is, because I can't always be with them -- so we have to take it as a good instinct, no matter how it was expressed.

Was I secretly mad? Maybe. But people are pretty tolerant of children. If my kid is pissing people off, my kid needs to chill, and if I can't command his respect enough to make him do so, I have fallen down on the job. Right?
posted by Methylviolet at 10:36 PM on January 25, 2007


It's about time someone took a stand against these sorts of terrorist tactics.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:14 PM on January 25, 2007


If my kid is pissing people off, my kid needs to chill, and if I can't command his respect enough to make him do so, I have fallen down on the job. Right?

Wrong. That's a false dilemma. Adults get "pissed off" for arbitrary and stupid reasons, and being an adult does not grant anyone the automatic right to have their wants/desires/interests trump those of children. Maybe you live somehwere where adults are better behaved than they are in the dozens of places I've lived, but the most childish behavior I've witnessed in my life always comes from adults.

I'm not a parent, so maybe someone can explain what the big deal is with a stranger snapping at or gesturing at a noisy child that would cause the child's parent to get upset about it?

Because almost always, the person who would break the social norm -- that we don't discipline each other's children -- is going to be a dick about it. Never mind the fact that it is assumed that it's ok to talk to children in a way one would not talk to another adult.
Imagine if the plane were taking off and suddenly I began moaning, or crying. No one would assume that it was an issue of behavioral control -- most people would express concern for my wellbeing first. There would be polite inquiries, offers of help, and likely the flight attendants would try to help me.
Adults make the opposite assumption of children, with no good reason. When adults treat my child like a second-class person, that makes me angry. My son is a person, and his emotions and perspective are as valid as yours. As adults, the onus is on you to behave yourself better than a three-year old. If my son yelled at any of you on the plane for anything, he'd be going stright to time out land, because we teach him that yelling is an inappropriate way to handle conflict.* How can I teach my son to avoid yelling if the other adults are doing it.
We are also trying to teach him tolerance -- the world is filled with things that are inconvenient or uncomfotable. But if his models for adult behavior include people so intolerant that they can't handle a kid'd moments of frustration on an airplane, then what lesson will he learn?
I remember opnce I was driving cross-country and couldn't stop -- I was late. There came a time in my driving where I felt like I could tear my skin off -- I wanted to MOVE so badly, to run, to stand, to do anything but sit in that car. Every time my son is restless or rambunctious, I remember that feeling -- toddlers feel that all the time.
That's not to say that if my son's doing something really wrong or is merely being obnoxious, I won't put a stop to it, but in my particular case, when he was freaking out while boarding a plane, he had a legitimate fear, and once he was strapped into his seat, my goal was to help him overcome his fear. Everyone else in the cabin was an adult, and I assume that adults have enough self-control and patience to endure a few minutes of waling while my son works out his fear.
Any adult who can't handle that, who hasn't realized the world isn't here for their convenience, has never really grown up.

We al know plane rides are uncomfortable, miserable experiences. I detest nearly everything about air travel. Why assume that kids will handle one well?


______________
*yes, yes, I know, above, with me, and the bigtalk about throwing down with tkchrist. But, again, that was hyperbole, swagger.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:29 AM on January 26, 2007


I told my kids that it is the duty of all adults to look out for all kids

Wow, well that's totally untrue. I mean, I'd save a child about to be hit by a bus, but it's not my responsibility to keep an eagle eye on other people's kids.
posted by agregoli at 6:29 AM on January 26, 2007


Any adult who can't handle that, who hasn't realized the world isn't here for their convenience, has never really grown up.

I'm sorry, but the ironicness is burning me.

I have sympathy for most parents, I really do. But I side with the airline - the kid might scream and cry but they should have put her in her seat and buckled her up if they wanted to leave on that flight. They didn't do so, and were asked to leave. I'd expect the same for ANY misbehaving, non-compliant customers on a flight.
posted by agregoli at 6:33 AM on January 26, 2007


Seriously, they need to make chewable children's valium, just for "insane toddler emergencies" like this one. Is it really worth the hassle of kicking people out because their kid hasn't learned how to do something detestible yet? It's not their fault when something as fragile and emotionally unstable as a young child decides nothing is going to bring it back under control. No amount of good parenting is good enough to halt a child mid-tantrum, unless you think stuffing a literal sock into their screaming mouths qualifies as "good parenting" (from time to time, I wish it was).
posted by tehloki at 6:48 AM on January 26, 2007


So let her tantrum! In her seat, with belt fastened. THAT'S why they were kicked off, because they wouldn't do that.

I get that kid's tantrum - but sometimes, it's tough shit. The other passengers shouldn't have to wait because of the will of a 3 year old.
posted by agregoli at 7:17 AM on January 26, 2007


Imagine if the plane were taking off and suddenly I began moaning, or crying. No one would assume that it was an issue of behavioral control -- most people would express concern for my wellbeing first.

Actually, in today's society, you would be tackled by an air marshal and arrested when you were escorted off the plane. And if you were running around the plane, hitting people in the head, refusing to take your seat? You would also be ejected from the plane.
posted by antifuse at 8:24 AM on January 26, 2007


And if you were running around the plane, hitting people in the head, refusing to take your seat? You would also be ejected from the plane.

Yeah. But they had to catch me first!

But the worst part was standing there in gangway watching the plane take off without me. My faced pressed against the glass—seeing my wife waving through the porthole as the plane taxied.

"Bu... But.. You forgot to give me back my pants?!?"
posted by tkchrist at 9:00 AM on January 26, 2007


The "social norm" about disciplining other people's children varies so widely by region and generation.

To this day, my grandmother will not hesitate to plant herself in the path of a child running in a store and tell him to stop.

Fortunately she is a such an intimidating figure that this rarely results in displays of disgust or irritation on the parent's part.

I have not had much luck with it in NYC. In fact, the few times when I have reached my breaking point and said something, the parent has actually encouraged the children to keep at it. Pride trumps common sense in all lesser minds.
posted by hermitosis at 9:35 AM on January 26, 2007


I have sympathy for most parents, I really do. But I side with the airline - the kid might scream and cry but they should have put her in her seat and buckled her up if they wanted to leave on that flight. They didn't do so, and were asked to leave. I'd expect the same for ANY misbehaving, non-compliant customers on a flight.

My comment is based on the conversation that precedes it; you'll see, if you read the whole thread, that I'm referring to a similiar incident I experienced with my own child on a plane, and further, that I've already said the parents in the articvle ought to have strapped the child in and then comforted her. I think you'll find that takes some of the "ironicness" away.

To this day, my grandmother will not hesitate to plant herself in the path of a child running in a store and tell him to stop.

You're right; old people feel differently, I've noticed. But I've also noticed that old people often suck at discipline. It is rarely constructive or age-appropriate, and is often worse than the behavior they're trying to correct.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:04 AM on January 26, 2007


What I love about someone else getting involved, though, is that it often stops a kid dead in their tracks. When they are upset, kids lose all concept of where they are, and forget anyone else is around, so sudden intervention from an outsider can be so shocking that they forget what they're upset about.

I play with this a lot. On the subway whenever I see kids flipping out or becoming whiny crying messes, I stare at them as hard as possible. Usually making some dorky face. (I only do this when I'm sure the parent can't see me.) Usually the kid sort of freezes, trying to figure out who I am and why I am staring at them. Often it makes them cry harder, which I sort of enjoy (hey, at least I'm involved somehow, instead of just a passive prisoner). Sometimes it shames them into just whimpering more quietly and clinging to mom or dad a little more closely, as they are nervous want to have my eyes off of them as soon as possible. Sometimes they actually just stop crying or laugh-- as soon as mom turns around, I'm calmly reading my book. The kid experiences a moment of relief, and then as soon as I'm in the clear, I make the face again and there are fresh tears or fresh quiet or what have you. The important thing is that the child has suddenly been made conscious of the fact that they are in public space, that there are other people around besides their family whose attention is being drawn by their misbehavior.
posted by hermitosis at 10:37 AM on January 26, 2007


My comment is based on the conversation that precedes it; you'll see, if you read the whole thread, that I'm referring to a similiar incident I experienced with my own child on a plane, and further, that I've already said the parents in the articvle ought to have strapped the child in and then comforted her. I think you'll find that takes some of the "ironicness" away.

I have read the whole thread. I'm afraid I still find the comment of yours I quoted to be kind of amusing. Sorry to disappoint.
posted by agregoli at 11:27 AM on January 26, 2007


I told my kids that it is the duty of all adults to look out for all kids

Wow, well that's totally untrue. I mean, I'd save a child about to be hit by a bus, but it's not my responsibility to keep an eagle eye on other people's kids.
posted by agregoli


Ri-i-ight, Agregoli -- what on earth could you possibly have thought I meant?

And Eustace, I know you're just posting in character as (pre-Dragon Island) Eustace Scrubb, so rock on, baby. I think not everyone here has read that book, though, so they aren't getting your joke.
posted by Methylviolet at 11:48 AM on January 26, 2007


I have no idea what you meant - sounded like a bizarre thing to tell your kids, frankly. Adults are not to be trusted across the board.
posted by agregoli at 12:11 PM on January 26, 2007


agregoli,

I have no idea what you found ironic then.

And Eustace, I know you're just posting in character as (pre-Dragon Island) Eustace Scrubb, so rock on, baby. I think not everyone here has read that book, though, so they aren't getting your joke.

Heh. I wasn't actually thinking about doing that -- initially I was playing the part of the all the whiny nonparents in the thread back at them -- overreacting and threatening violence/yelling/etc, but then I started to enjoy the back-and-forth with tkchrist.

My opinion that most adults are spoiled, perpetual adolescents is genuine though, as is my big sermon above..
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:30 PM on January 26, 2007


Shrug. Not everyone can spot the funny about themselves. I don't need you to know it for me to be amused by it, thankfully!
posted by agregoli at 12:38 PM on January 26, 2007


P.S. That wasn't even the quote I found ironic so you're getting a little confused.
posted by agregoli at 12:39 PM on January 26, 2007


agregoli, are you here to exchange ideas or just secretly laugh at everyone else?
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:03 PM on January 26, 2007


You're going to make him choose one?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:43 PM on January 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


^^^ (best comment of thread) ^^^
posted by LooseFilter at 2:36 PM on January 26, 2007


Touché, Kirth Gerson, touché.
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:57 PM on January 26, 2007


And Eustace, I know you're just posting in character as (pre-Dragon Island) Eustace Scrubb, so rock on, baby. I think not everyone here has read that book, though, so they aren't getting your joke.

Thanks, Susan.
posted by dw at 4:27 PM on January 26, 2007


"And Eustace, I know you're just posting in character as (pre-Dragon Island) Eustace Scrubb, so rock on, baby. I think not everyone here has read that book, though, so they aren't getting your joke."

I don't remember a Dragon Island on the voyage of the Dawn Treader...
(Though I do remember the fairly damning indulgences that Eustace was allowed by his parents, including calling them by their first names...)
posted by klangklangston at 9:09 PM on January 26, 2007


I think she's referring to the island where Eustace discovered a dead dragon and was transformed into one himself, a malady that was only curable by Aslan. The incident represents the turning point for Eustace, since his isolation makes him realize he needs and values his friends.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:04 AM on January 27, 2007


Oh yeah! I remember that now.
posted by klangklangston at 3:05 PM on January 27, 2007


"Unaccompanied children will be given an espresso and a free puppy."

Funny, I've seen that sign in shops on at least three continents. I wonder where it started.
posted by rokusan at 1:20 PM on January 28, 2007


Merely asserting it doesn't make it so.

That you would learn from your own words. But, my guess is that you won't.

If a spoiled brat like yourself had piped in with amateur parenting advice, I'd probably not have risen to violence (more about that in a moment), but I'd have definitely told you to be quiet at the least.

First, I'm not a spoiled brat, but continue with the ad hominem attacks. It indicates the absence of anything real to say. And telling me to be quiet because your child is causing a disruption is just boorish on your part.

Buy some noise-cancelling headphones, plug in your video iPod and watch downloads of Desperate Housewives while you sink back into your pool of self-centered self-pity. The plane ride will be over soon and then you can go back to pretending it's all about you.

Thinking that people should generally be quiet on planes, whether they're children or not, does not make me self-centered. Your thinking that it is not horribly improper for your child to scream or kick my seat or do whatever annoying thing he can invent does make you self-centered. I'm sorry you can't see that, but it seems that no amount of reasoning will convince you that your child doesn't have the right to do whatever he wants just because he's uncomfortable.

If you yelled at my child, I could press assualt charges against you, so the law is on my side, and it is pretty commonly understood in our society that, without prior parental consent, we don't discipline each other's children.

If I say, "Hey, kid, stop that!" in a just-above-inside voice (which is what I'd do), you couldn't press assault charges against me. Pretending you can is just silly.

Even if the conviction isn't successful, you'll have the inconvenience of dealing with having charges pressed against you all the same. The point here isn't the mete out justice, but to punish the hypothetical you for being an impatient jerk.

And if you press frivolous assault charges against me, you get to contend with all that comes with such a transgression. Abuse the legal system at your own peril.



It's a good thing I'm not flying anywhere for three months at the earliest, because the next first child to kick my seat and not stop in a reasonable amount of time will be stopped, either by a parent or by a member of the flight crew.
posted by oaf at 8:29 PM on January 31, 2007


What, did you wait five days to respond in the hopes that the thread would be dead and you'd get the last word?

First, I'm not a spoiled brat, but continue with the ad hominem attacks. It indicates the absence of anything real to say. And telling me to be quiet because your child is causing a disruption is just boorish on your part.

I disagree; you are a spoiled brat, and your response to the concept of you being a spoiled brat proves it. You have the nerve to call a guy whose kid is terrified of boarding a plane boorish because he dosn't appreciate your amateur input while he's trying to calm his child down. Who's insensetive to the social situation, a person who can't see that a kid is genuinely frightened, and who can't notice the kid's parents working to calm him down, and who can't wait five minutes for it to be over, or the parent, who'se trying to calm the kid down? Do you really think that if a child is frigtened, that having a complete stranger bark at him would do any good? Have you ever actually interacted with a child? You're as likely to exacerbate the problem as you are to solve it.
And that's what makes you self-centered -- your attitude is focused on your own comfort, not on the needs of the other people in the plane.

And you can't quit with the straw men:

Your thinking that it is not horribly improper for your child to scream or kick my seat or do whatever annoying thing he can invent does make you self-centered.

You make it sound like I'm suggesting I'l let my child do whatever he likes, when, in fact, if you actually read my posts, you'd have seen that's the furthest from the truth.

And here you change the terms:

If I say, "Hey, kid, stop that!" in a just-above-inside voice (which is what I'd do), you couldn't press assault charges against me. Pretending you can is just silly.

What happened to the threatening guestures and the yelling? (You didn't promise those, but that was the hypotehtical situation to which you decided to add your two cents, and to which I was responding when you did so.) Of course if all you did was say "hey kid be quiet" all I'd probably do is offer you a pacifier. I usually have a few to spare.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:25 AM on February 1, 2007


Re-opens lawn chair. Is it time to get more popcorn?
posted by ericb at 7:56 AM on February 1, 2007


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