Columnist for Wednesday, 6/6 - Sound and Fury

Infanticide at 20,000 Feet

I've been up for almost 24 hours. I've worn my contact lenses almost as long, so it feels like I have a layer of stucco under each eyelid. I'm cruising at 31,000 feet. There is an estimated 75 more minutes until I land in Los Angeles. It is 11am at the end of a three-day weekend, and I am seriously considering homicide.

The ubiquitous screaming child that was included with this flight (free of charge) is located two rows up, across the aisle from me. He is screaming because mommy doesn't want him standing on the chair and staring at the passengers cursed to sit behind this 4-year old Torquemada. Really, though, I think he just screams because he wants to. Despite his age, he can still hit that super high-pitched piercing squeal that activates the "must stop noise" lobe of the brain.

No matter what karmic debt I am repaying by enduring this howling, the only thing that prevents me from popping out of my seat while the seat belt light is on, grabbing the little beast, and tossing him out the exit hatch as a sacrifice to the sky god is the fact that the sky god would probably refuse my offering and smash the plane into Riverside (I don't want to die in Riverside).

It is now that I come to the epiphany: why don't airlines offer a "no one under 12" flight? Maybe because it would be instantly booked for every route? Hell, I'd even suffer a long layover in Salt Lake City if it meant I was guaranteed a grub-free flight. Or, if they wanted to be more "positive", why not have "family flights" designed for children, potentially drawing off some of the kids and cramming them onto one big airbus full of screaming and shrieking terrors. Sort of like Airline of the Damned. There, kids can kick the seat in front of them, stand up and stare blankly at the person behind them, run up and down the aisles, demand to go potty whenever the stewardesses have the drink cart blocking the aisle, cry constantly, throw their toys everywhere, and lift the window shade up and down as they play peek-a-boo with the gremlins on the wing.

Why aren't there more things like that in the world? Why do the zero-dependents crowd have to suffer the selfishness of others?

(The kid is crying again. Urge to kill rising.)

Maybe parents could get free narcotics when they board the plane. Just a little horse tranquilizer, or scopolamine, or maybe a large mallet would be all it takes.

(We're descending, and he's screeching at volume 11 now. I think I'm going to flush him. Now another baby is doing backup for the first one. I'm going to open the exit door RIGHT NOW!)

I'm not saying we should kill babies or sterilize the entire adult population for a few years to get the kid count down (although those are novel ideas), but a little common courtesy in making things a little easier on childless travelers, or even the rest of the childless population, would be a grand gesture.

They're your children, why do I have to agonize with you?

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