I flew back to
Failing to achieve my first goal on both legs of my flight journey on US Airways; which was an aisle seat, I endured the middle seat on a two hour flight into
“You scared me,” the boy next to me stated.
Oh kid, if you only knew. I smiled back at his sullen look with an ingratiating one of my own and mumbled an unfelt apology. I’ve flown a few times with my own two children when they were these boys’ ages. My wife and I sat with them in alternating shifts; mostly me, because at the time, my Vulcan Death Stare was intimidating enough to evoke their best behavior. I noticed an odd ‘Princess and the Pea’ feeling, and discovered I was still sitting on a Whopper candy, which had spilled from the opened pack I had picked up from my seat. Not having carried on a trash bag, I deposited the candy into the airsickness bag in front of me.
“You’re the crab,” the boy next to me said, placing a plastic crab figurine over toward me on the tray with an added dinosaur next to it. “You get eaten.”
Not today, kid. I smile, wondering what the heck the flight crew will do with the mess on the tray since we are getting ready to take off. I find out quickly as the male steward stops by for a chat. He leans over, smiles at the kids, and swivels his head like the possessed girl in the Exorcist movie, so he can give me his version of the Vulcan Death Stare.
“Sir, we must have all trays up, and all loose items put away.”
Realizing I’ve just been given adoption rights for these two young renegades, I smile back at the Steward with my best Alfred E. Newman ‘What, Me Worry’ look.
“They aren’t mine,” I state simply, as his fake smile vanishes like my prior state of flight optimism.
“They aren’t?” The Steward questions uneasily, looking up and around the plane as the pilot warns of imminent take-off.”
“Nope,” I say happily.
“Okay you two,” he is forced into adoption, still glancing at me unbelievingly, “get your things cleared from the tray, get belted in, and get the tray back in the up position.”
The older boy scrambles to clear the mess off into one of the boy’s backpacks. The Steward then locks up the pull down tray, all the while frowning at me, and eyeballing the growing mess in front of the boys’ seats. He starts to walk away after the task is completed when the youngest brings him up short.
“Hey you, I’m thirsty,” he bellows loud enough for the rest of the plane to hear, most of the late entries thinking I’m still the owner of the two tots.
The Steward does a ‘Slowly I Turn, Step by Step’ mannerism, looking down at the boy with a ‘not if you were frying in hell look’.
“I’ll get you something in a minute.” He didn’t.
We took off, with the two boys holding their hands up in the air, whooping like they were on a roller coaster at Great America. After take-off, the younger one again screams he’s thirsty. The Steward brings him a cup of water; which he promptly spills on himself, thus cancelling any thoughts I had of bringing out my notebook computer. The Steward decides not to share the information with his fellow crew members, and for the remainder of the flight, I’m getting accusatory stares from the other US Airways’ cast members. I’m helping out, passing trash from the kids while denying any relation. My young companion next to me decides it’s time to let everyone know his pants are wet (from the spilled water, I hope). The Stewardess from the front section gives me a dirty look, and I let her know I’m not connected once again. When we’re twenty minutes out, some guy comes over and asks the kids if they’re alright. It’s their real Dad, and he’s been two seats back on the other side with their Mother the whole time.Why didn’t my wife and I think of that? We just dump the kids on the other side of the plane, and pretend we don’t know them until the plane’s landing. :)