…Lest Ye Become A Monster

I was clicking around Salon today when I came across an article by the Ask The Pilot guy entitled Worst Flight Ever: Middle Seat in the Smoking Section with a picture of a dude from the 70’s sitting contentedly in a burnt orange airline seat with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. So I clicked through to read it and whip myself into a frenzy… of nostalgia and desperate longing because I haven’t had a cigarette in eight months.

Oh sure, I still smoke the hell out of my e-cigarette because it’s better than smoking nothing at all and unlike real cigarettes it’s still legal to use in bars, much to the consternation and fruitless vocal complaint of many total non-smokers, who, upon realization of their total lack of recourse, take on a look much like Armando Galarraga, who also thought he had a perfect game going.

Which, as someone who wasn’t allowed to have a single cigarette indoors during the last five of his 17 years smoking, is a very satisfying look to see… but nowhere near as satisfying as a cigarette. Let’s just say that if I had known at 21 that I would live to see the day when I would be cigarette free? I would have immediately ramped up to five packs a day to try and be dead before that day. But I digress.

So anyway, I skimmed the article and noted its attendant glee at 23 years of having treated smokers more ruthlessly than terrorists (Who were at least allowed on the fucking plane), when I came across this little jewel, hidden right in the middle:

While we’re at it, here are some other things we ought to consider banning:

…Shrieking Children. The crying kid is, hands down, the single greatest scourge of modern air travel. It’s the kid; it’s the indulgent parent; it’s the air pressure … whatever, just make it be quiet. How about a kids’ section in the back, where the smokers used to be sequestered?

…and then the Internet exploded.

While I’m writing this, the article has 268 comments (The article about Republicans gearing up to turn off the government has 42 comments), mostly from parents, who apparently somehow managed to put their future Supreme Court Justice with the Beiber eyes, cure for cancer brain and rainbow-emitting anus into their ergonomic snuggie high chairs long enough to comment (But not so long that the attendant 90 second lack of attention might trigger cascading autism) in the following ways:

…you are not entitled to complain about children on airplanes (or in general). I, and the rest of the world thank you for not reproducing because chances are, if you’re an enormously unreasonable, pain in the ass, entitled,unsympathetic, whiny baby now, as demonstrated by your bitching about crying babies, you were just as unbelievably miserable as a child as you are now and so would be your spawn.

And:

Again, children are members of the public. Suck it up. I have to listen to your whining and endure your nasty expression when I board the plane with my child, who is amazingly well-behaved on flights actually.

Now, I recognize that many parents who are readers of Salon are probably not smokers and not used to this kind of reaction from people, but let me go on record with my take on this situation:

FUCK YOU, AND FUCK YOUR CHILDREN.

I know you think that your child is the bestest, most beautiful angel in the entire world, and that you are deserving of special consideration because being a parent is difficult. You, however, are wrong. Fathers: all you have achieved is finding a woman who’ll lie there and take your goop (however briefly), and mothers: you managed to keep your equilibrium on staircases for 240 days. I too have accomplished both of these difficult tasks (My balance is better since I switched from JD to beer, thanks for asking!), yet if I decided to allow the results of my orgasms to hit the back of your seat for six hours, Air Marshalls would be waiting for me on the tarmac in San Diego.

And yes, children are members of the public… but that’s all they are. Which means I don’t need to cherish their disjointed stories about imaginary friends, I don’t need to lend them my electronics, or read them a story, or listen to them regale me with songs about talking fucking sponges. Frankly, if any other “member of the public” got up in my shit with these requests I would be permitted by local statute to blast them with a 75,000 volt electric stun gun as a “justifiable subduing of an insane person.” And I live in Boston.

I know and respect that you love your children, but I don’t. I don’t have to, and neither God nor Man nor Batman can make me. The entirety of the legal and social contract I have with your children is to not use dynamite on the side of the plane so explosive decompression sucks them into the engine.

And whereas if I were to begin to loudly complain that my ears were uncomfortable due to air pressure you could call me a douchebag and demand my silence, yet were I to politely request that you make an effort to silence your child for doing the same I am invariably met with a hearty, “How dare you tell me how to raise my child!” Which means I need to mind my own business while you nap with noise cancelling headphones and your child takes his first steps into the exploring scientific method by experimenting to see if a groin punch makes a stranger whimper just like Daddy.

Fine. I’ll mind my own business and wipe Cheerio drool off my laptop while Junior imitates a nuclear attack klaxon because it “Didn’t has no Buzz ‘n Woody on it like Mommy’s”. I’ll leave you to it, okay?

Yes, my child cried, especially at the beginning of both flights. I asked one flight attendant to please hold a bag for me, just for a few seconds, so I could get to a bag I needed. She refused, saying she couldn’t help me, because if she did, she’d have to help everyone else on the flight.

Wait, wha-? Huh?

Instead of bitching to yourselves, and anyone who would listen, have any of you people complaining about children on planes ever offered to help a stressed parent with a crying child, even for one second? Because all I get from this is your’e [sic] a bunch of really selfish jerks who like to laugh at the misfortune of others.

Oh, I see! Back when I politely asked not to have my spine adjusted every 8/10ths of a second from Logan to Tampa, you were Brainiac SuperParent who didn’t need child rearing assistance from anyone. But now that you need to actually do something, you’re Blanche DuBois with a trick knee and a partial lobotomy. Hump your own diaper bag, genius. And count yourself lucky I didn’t spray foam insulation into the stroller seat so your kid gets scoliosis… or spray something else so he gets herpes. And probably ringworm.

I understand that you parents aren’t used to being spoken to in this way, with this much vitriol, but as a former smoker, I can only tell you that you’ll get used to it.

Oh, what’s that? You won’t, huh?

Yeah. You get where I’m going with this, right? The world isn’t all about you. You have to give a little to the other people in the world. And some of them have children. And some of these children will be on your flight. Just repeat, “It isn’t all about me” to yourself over and over again.

Wait for it…

The majority of people acknowledge that children are a good thing, or at least a necessity (unlike smoking tobacco.) Therefore it becomes necessary to transport them on aircraft.

My father was a pilot, and I used to like your articles. but you are a f8%*king punk! I am so disgusted with you making smoking analogous to having kids on a plane.

See, parents think they’re safe putting up a ruckus because unlike cigarettes, there’s no evidence that a child is harmful to other people in an enclosed space, therefore, no one can gin up a reason to keep them and their children off of an airplane.

Yup. That’s what they think about their adorable little bundles of joy, who are cute as the dickens, and I’m sure have documentation that they’ve had all their vaccinations, particularly the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine

What? Afraid of autism, you say? In spite of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary? Your “rights as a parent,” you complain? Sure, you have rights. Lots of rights. Just like I have a right not to be exposed to whooping cough and polio, you selfish twat. Huh? You “need” your child? Yeah, I’d have sympathy if you didn’t have the ability to get your cute, care and nurturing fix from other sources. Get yourself Nintendogs & Cats and suck it up. Why don’t you turn around and take that filthy virus sack outside, willya?

Yup. Out here with us smokers (Or ex-smokers just crazy for the smell). And now you’ll know the horror we’ve felt for the past 20 years whenever a wino stumbles up and asks if he can bum one off you.

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