It’s that day you’ve been looking forward to for months. It’s the date with a big red circle around it on your kitchen calendar. The date that makes all the previous shit filled weeks, worth the wait. Yes. It’s the first day of your holiday. And don’t we all just love that jolly, happy feeling we get when we close our front door and head off to the airport from where we’ll be ferried to our two week break in the sun, sea and whatever you’re having yourself. A few drinks in the departure lounge to start things off. It’s all smiles and happiness. The flight is bang on time. Sure, you’ll sitting at your restaurant table in your sun-drenched destination is just a few hours from now. What could possibly spoil the feel-good factor? But then you take your seat in the plane and obediently fasten your seatbelt. The take-off is textbook comfort. And then it starts. The most despised sound of all in the friendly skies: Crying fecking babies. Yes, you’ve been there. That tortuous sound that makes every adult passenger instantly reach for the alcohol and Valium.
But last Friday, I was listening to the radio when the presenter announced that there have been serious calls made for airlines to provide adult only flights. This was soothing music to my ears because for so long I thought that I was the only person who dreaded my holiday flight due to the interminable wailing of babies and infants that pollute almost any journey. Look, let’s be honest here. How many of us have longed for the aircraft to have wind down windows through which we could throw the little pests who break out into full crying mode before we hit cruising altitude? The interminable and incessant crying pierces the entire cabin from front to back. And what’s worse is that no amount of Beats, Skull Candy or Dr Dre’s headphones can block out the din that fills you with serious thoughts of how to commit infanticide while the air stewardesses have their backs turned trying to hand out cold trays of airline food. To be honest, flying has never been my ‘thing’. Lock me in a tiny moving tin tube for more than an hour with hundreds of other breathers, and I start to have anxiety attacks
But the constant shriek of an upset infant rattles me like nothing else, especially when I’m trapped with it inside an inescapable cylinder 30,000 feet off the ground. If the crying continues for more than an hour, I start to develop a silent resentment of this diminutive creature who’s robbing my fellow passengers and me of our opportunity to sleep, work, or watch the in-flight movie in peace. After two hours of non-stop screeching, this resentment shifts to the usually gormless, inconsiderate parents who brought this screaming hell creature into this world and onto my plane! Even my by now, well-practiced dirty looks seem to have little effect. Now let me just say that there are the odd occasions when some parents are very apologetic and embarrassed by their tiny, screaming, piss-soaked monster. But then I seem to have little luck here as I always seem to encounter that one percent that don’t give a fuck at every restaurant, movie or grocery store that I ever visit. Why is it that so many parents can’t control their offspring on planes? It drives me nuts. Whether these feral kids are kicking my seat like a soccer ball, running up and down the aisles, or screaming while the parents just fecking sit there, that’s when I get homicidal. No one invades my personal space cave on a flight. NO ONE. And if the crying continues for more than four hours, as it did on one miserable and sleepless flight from Portugal, it’s all I can do to keep from jumping up in the aisles and yelling in my best Samuel L. Jackson voice: “Enough is enough! I have had it with these mother f******g crying babies on this mother f*****g plane! Honestly. By this stage it’s me who needs soothing!!
I mean what’s so wrong with sending your screaming baby to the holiday destination ahead of you using Parcel Force? It’s quick, safe and relatively cheap and secure. You can also pay for tracking. What’s more, the baby can scream it’s lungs out and nobody’s around to give a f**k. Then there’s the drugs option. Apparently it wouldn’t be the first time parents have drugged their kids to sleep would it? I did hear one sensible solution that would involve airlines constructing special sound proof kennels in the back for babies and children. I think this could work though ticket prices might increase with the reduction of seating. At least put parents with babies in a special closed off section of the plane. That way, those who have kids, along with their shit, piss, and screams, can enjoy the company of other families and their kids, along with their shit, piss, and screams. The rest of us can then enjoy a cry-free trip. But I can’t see the airlines going for that option either. So what’s to be done? Well I’m afraid that there’s only one thing for it. Just like pubs, aeroplanes should have their own chucking out times for kids, particularly babies, all of whom should be put out of the aircraft fifteen minutes after take-off. Even if we’re cruising at 35,000 feet this is no excuse for them remaining inside the plane. Sorry but they must be thrown from the aircraft via a special chute installed in the toilet. I do however have no objection to a parachute or any floating device should we be over the ocean during chucking out time.
25th August 2016.