Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Da Flu Bug. I Have Brung it Home

And it's either my mom's nasty bug or something formidable that glommed onto me in that US Airways petri dish I flew home in. The flight with the child who DID NOT STOP SCREAMING FOR THREE HOURS. Every person on that plane was ready to dump her out of the cabin over Tulsa. And her mother too. WHY? Because the endlessly, epically stupid mother sat calmly reading a magazine while the Satanic spawn next to her screamed like she was being skinned alive. FOR THREE HOURS.

Thus, everyone watched the movie, to try to escape the demonic wails. But the headphones did not drown out the most hated child in the skies. The girl next to me who was sympathetic about the "poor unhappy baby" when we first got onto the plane, finally came over to my camp.

"I'm ready to choke the life out of this little bastard," I said. "Are you with me?"

"Yes," she said. "I will hold her down."

People were agitated. Positively radioactive with stress from enduring this rotten child. And yes, I know. It's the mother who is rotten, not the child. She truly did read a magazine the entire trip. Occasionally she would tap the kid on the head with a flat palm, like she was trying to get ketchup out of a bottle. Very loving. As my own mother said, stupid parents are not fair to the kid, because the kid ends up being hated and it's not their fault.

Unable to drown out the death screams, I sat daydreaming of a magical system in the universe where parents get a certain number of stupidity points. Once they go over the allotted number, their kid is whisked away from them and put into the arms of someone who has been longing for a child forever. Also, the reproductive organs of the stupid would be instantaneously replaced with, perhaps, a plastic version of the real thing. And just to show you that Candy is not entirely cruel, I would erase the stupid parent's memory, the part of it that included ever having had a kid. No pain. Society improved.

In this particular case, the third or fourth time the blisteringly stupid mother tapped her kid's head like a Heinz bottle, the child would have disappeared, landing in the cuddling arms of a lonely childless couple in Des Moines, and before another page turned in the stupid mother's plump In Style magazine, her original uterus would have been replaced with a lovely, flexible Tupperware one. I would even provide her with a snap-on lid for it so she could burp it at will. Think of the conversation piece (so to speak) she would have at parties! Instead of eggs that could be fertilized, she could tote nice paprika-sprinkled devilled eggs wherever she went on her very stupid way.

Oh, once we landed, and were waiting at the baggage claim, I saw that the kid was wearing a Velcro wrist band that was attached to a red nylon leash. There would be no leashes in Des Moines.


  • At 1:55 AM, Blogger Steve B said…

    There are times where some flight attendants with ball...virtual or not...will kindly suggest to the mother that her child is disturbing the other passengers, and could she please shut the little festering puss nodule the hell up?

    Unfortunately, doesn't happen often enough. As a frequent traveler, I've been remarkably lucky wrt screaming kids. A lot of times it's the kick the back of the seat thing, or, my all time favorite...turn the catch on the tray table and let it drop with a hearty WUMP. Put it back up. Do it again. Repeat ad infuriatum.

    Parents can be such idiots some times.

  • At 7:35 AM, Blogger Jerry said…

    I have flown over 4 million miles, I think your rendition of passenger hell coincides with some of my benchmark experiences. The problem is that normally mannered people are always accompanied on an flight with the extraordinarily obtuse--the people who go 50 in the left lane and create parades and road rage. The parents in expensive restaurants that bring in their squalling brats and ruin $200 meals.

    Unfortunately we live in a nation where children are valued more than adults--forgetting of course that the little angels will grow up to be assholes just like us. The mothers of these sacred angels are also given the status of reproductive priests, when in actuality, they are just average fornicators like the rest of us.

    So, we get forced to the side of the shopping mall by strollers, pinned to the wall in supermarkets and have our toes run over at the book store--never daring to complain lest we be excoriated, ostracized and shunned by the adult community of child worshipers.

    Children should be treated with respect and dignity, but also have their boundaries well defined. Their preferences and their behavior have no special status. They have to adapt their behavior to the context of their presence just like the rest of us. Which means, on a cramped flight where we are already surrounded by bubonic plague, staphylococcus, and tuberculosis it would be nice if they would shut the hell up and let us experience our anxiety in peace.

    Well put Candy. Expressively and humorously written. Great adjectives.

  • At 8:06 AM, Blogger Jerry said…

    And, damn...I like that picture.

  • At 9:59 AM, Blogger Lisa Dunick said…

    I don't understand screaming kids on a plane. Really. Little Man has flown a gaggle of times, and other than a little wining at takeoff and landing when he was little, no screaming. And not just because he's a perfect little angel. Mostly, because we work really hard to keep him entertained with crayons, books, toys, and (if all else fails) food. But the leash is what tips you off-- who puts their kid on a leash?? I know they can be slippery little buggers, but really, just pay attention to them and then you won't NEED a leash.

  • At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have unfortunately been the parent of the screaming child on a plane, but I did NOT just sit there and read a magazine! How COULD a parent do that? It was the most horrifying time of my life! I was fortunate to have some compassionate strangers around me that tried to help, and collaboratively, we succeeded (at the time, my two year old was screaming and I had my 6 month old infant with me too). I was holding back tears--alright, I confess, I couldn't hold them back long and I was finally crying--and apolgizing profusely to everyone. Thankfully, it was only for the quick part of my journey....I think the flight was only about an hour, tops, although it felt much longer.

    But I would have completely understood if we had been kicked off the plane. And at that moment, I would have gladly accepted some Tupperware reproductive organs because the last thing I wanted was to have ANOTHER baby!

    It was a journey home after about a month of hell, and in my kids' defense, they had been pushed to their limit, as had I. (More to come in a private e-mail, Candy. You will totally understand.)

    But I honestly would have given my daughter a heavy tranquilizer, if I had had one available to me. She was thrashing and foaming at the mouth and screaming. She was possessed by something. She was really never a kid that threw tantrums, until of course the moment we boarded the plane for the flight back to Phoenix. Every tantrum that she had held back on, as well as all of those to come, combined into a Katrina of a tantrum, saved especially for that plane ride.

    Of course, perhaps that was the problem. We were headed back to the desert....

  • At 11:44 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    "...and could she please shut the little festering puss nodule the hell up?"

    Perhaps I am bent, but waking up to this turn of phrase is better than finding the money the tooth fairy left under my pillow.

  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Jerry, every single day you come up with a good band name. Today:

    Average Fornicators

    I cannot even fathom flying 4 million miles. I would be reduced to a gel that had to be spread on a cracker.

  • At 11:47 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    LD, and that is why you will never have a Tupperware uterus.

    Futuresis, a KATRINA of a tantrum? HAAAA! You poor thing. I'll bet that was the longest hour of your life.

  • At 12:28 PM, Blogger Domhan said…

    So after a few days out of town, I have finally caught up with the Candy posts! Whew!

    I just flew to Boston and back, and there were NO kids on my flight! But I am wondering about that poor kid on your plane, Candy. I wonder if the child was experiencing pressure in her ears. Kids often scream because they are either uncomfortable/in pain, bored, or because it gets them what they want. I can't imagine that this kid was getting what she wanted--a ketchup whack on the head? I cannot imagine why the stewardess didn't do something about the disturbance.

    The Bob and Tom radio show out of WFBQ (now online, international, streaming) has a character called "Kenny Tarmac" who is a caricature of that person on the airplane who MUST call SOMEONE...ANYone on the cel phone as soon as the wheels touch the runway. His opening line to the Bob and Tom show is always, "Hey guys! We just landed!"

    I sat next to one Kenny Tarmac on the way to Boston and next to another one on the way back. And let me tell you folks, "Kenny Tarmac" ain't no caricature. Both of my seatmates were on their cels until the stewardess told them to get off, and upon landing they both whipped their phones out like it was high noon at the OK Corral.

    Here's part of the conversation from one of them:
    "Yeah, we just landed." [Have you officially landed if the wheels just bounced on the runway twice?] "How was the concert? How were your seats? Were they good? Yes? They were good seats? That's good. So how were the songs? Did they sing well? They sang well, huh? Good songs, yeah. So, do they still call themselves 'Menudo'?"

    At that point, I was choking. I was looking out the window, and I was choking.

  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Domhan, WHAT??? There has been a Menudo sighting? And you're wasting your time commenting? GET US TICKETS!!!

    Kenny Tarmac. Hilarious. And they always act as though they're Big Important People who must make contact with their co-CEOs lest they miss the details of the latest Big Important Stockholders meeting. And they're probably talking only to their own answering machine.

    Didja have fun in Beantown?

  • At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Candy, it was the longest hour of my life. I would rather endure ingrown toenail removal twice daily than ever go through that again. I felt like the worst mother on the planet....every game, every crayon, every snack I tried to cajole my little holy terror with was flung about. I cannot believe that I actually confessed this transgression in parenthood to you all. I have bared my soul.

    But, I suppose I am not the worst parent, since I have never put my kids on a leash. Been tempted, yes. Actually done it, no.

  • At 8:25 PM, Blogger mgm said…

    Candy, if she's carrying deviled eggs in her Tuperware uterus, how, pray tell, does she get them out? Ick!

    This is precisely why I have yet to fly with Skeet. He's just always been energetic. And, no, that's not a nice way to say pain in the ass. When he's a pain in the ass, I admit it. It's just that I don't want to be stuck on a plane with few disciplinary options. Food, toys, books . . . those are all great and useful but it's really hard to send a kid to his room or time out on a plane.

    and ld, to answer your question "who puts a kid on a leash." umm, my parents. they put my brother on a leash. he grew up to be a cop. damage done. 'nuff said.

  • At 8:33 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    I assure you, Mad Grad, that in my elaborate and scientific plan, the Tupperware is quite sanitary and even has a cooling function.

    Your brother. Wow.

  • At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, Mad Grad, I guess that your nobody can knock your parents for doing a bad job if your brother grew up to be a cop! Guess I need to re-think the leash thing.

    I know I was tempted to use a leash when my oldest would take off in parking lots. I had two other little ones in-tow, and it wasn't that I wasn't paying attention, but she could really take off sometimes! And she'd pull it in stores, when I had the other two in the double stroller and I couldn't fit the stroller through the clothing racks.

    I just gave up on shopping with all three kids for several years.

    But I can see where a leash can be necessary. Of course, if a parent is using it just so that he or she doesn't have to watch their child, as it kind of sounded like the woman on the plane was doing, then that's not cool.

  • At 10:41 PM, Blogger mgm said…

    Futuresis, with a two-year-old, I have to confess I understand the impulse. I know my brother was the Great Houdini of department stores breakouts. My mother earned her gray with him . . .

    Though the cop thing is a whole other issue. Small town, small ideas, that whole routine. Think a whole town populated by Booth o' Knives dude-a-lies, except they run the gamut from uneducated, impoverished ninnies to educated, run-the-town ninnies.

  • At 10:43 PM, Blogger mgm said…

    Oh, and Candy, I know how "scientific" works for you. It's a crayon drawing you did at Applebee's, isn't it? Maybe Scott can hang it on the fridge.

  • At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Most parents can't be bothered to pay the attention or make the sacrifices required to raise a child. It's all "I won't judge you for the way you raise your family Mrs. Bundy." Feckless asshats. And there you are trapped in the metal flying tube of death with them.

  • At 10:47 PM, Blogger mgm said…

    "Booth o' Knives dude-a-likes" not "lies".

    Too late. Too many student papers. Losing brain cells . . .

  • At 10:48 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Yes, it IS that kind of scientific!! I am a genius of science.

    And your hometown sounds thoroughly ninnified. Like mine. make me raff.

  • At 9:48 AM, Blogger Domhan said…

    Ah, the leash debate. Candy, to answer your question on Beantown, I'll offer one anecdote that relates to the "leash" discussion.

    My 4-year-old granddaughter (I call her Ess online) is a gregarious, precocious, extremely confident livewire, and she's a GREAT kid. My son, daughter-in-law, and I were riding on the Boston subway (the "T") last weekend when it was very crowded, and Ess was seated comfortably in her umbrella stroller. She kept leaning out and asking if we were at our stop yet. When the T slowed for our station, my son told her "Ess, this is it!" The doors opened, people began pushing out, and Ess bounced up out of her stroller, flew out the door and stood waiting for us on the platform. We, on the other hand, were stuck behind a couple of slow-moving moo cows who, at the last minute, decided they didn't want to get off at that stop after all. The doors began to close, and I heard at least five people onboard GASP! They had been watching Ess, and could see what just transpired. My son threw himself at the doors, and caught the opening just in time. We wrestled ourselves out to the platform where Ess was still standing by herself, looking at us like, "What's taking you guys so long?" We three adults stood beside her experiencing what I told my son would be the first of many stress heart attacks they will have with this child.

    So what of the leash? Would the leash have been enough to keep her there with us? Or would it have been enough of an interference to the subway doors that they would have opened again? Or could the timing have been such that Ess would have been on the outside, we would have been on the inside, and...and...I can't even finish the scenario. It's too awful to consider.

    Other than that, we had a wonderful time. I totally dig Boston.

  • At 2:21 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Ann said "feckless asshats"...

    Heheheh...That's why I keep coming here!

  • At 2:27 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Domhan...Oh God. I can't finish that scenario either. So I'll just veer into an image of the dog on the leash behind the car in National Lampoon's Vacation.

    Mel, I know...I love that phrase. Some things just have a great ring to 'em.

  • At 6:55 PM, Blogger Citlali said…

    OH, YEAH! I'm totally with you on the "stupid-o-meter" for incredibly neglectful parents. It goes right along with my "ineptitude-meter" for drivers: so many points = license revoked. Lots of drivers lose their licenses on my way to and from work... Yep. It makes me feel better. = ]

  • At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Say what you will about Gallagher, but he had a funny/wishful bit about that. We should all carry giant versions of those toy guns that shoot rubber-tipped darts, and every time somebody does something stupid in traffic, fire an oversized dart at them with a little flag that says "moron." When they accumulate three of these on their cars, their licenses are revoked.

    Argh. I hate the whole "their/his or her" problem.

  • At 11:30 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    I remember that, Craig. I'd totally sign up for it.


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