Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Aruba Edition: A Slightly Aimless Rant about...the Family Who Made Our Trip Home from Aruba a Living Hell

On the way back from Aruba, Saucy Jr. was an absolute terror. He never stopped jumping on us. He screamed at top volume about his desire for Animal Crackers or lollipops or toys or the potty. He constantly tried to kick the seat of the people in front of us. He slapped us in the face for daring to not allow him to do whatever the hell it was that he wanted to do at any particular moment in time. Overall, he was a horrific nuisance. But that was OK. Because he wasn't even the most annoying person (or group of people) in our general vicinity.

Coming home at the same time as us was a cavalcade of folks who had gone to Aruba for a family reunion. They would go on to violate the rules of the airways in several ways, many of which I will attempt to account to you here (I doubt I can remember them all).

Being Too LargeYes, this is a bit unfeeling. I don't think you should not be able to fly because you are obese (although I do believe that if you are that huge you should have to buy two seats), but this one lady took it to the next level, informing the people who she was sitting next to that, since she was on the aisle, they would have to go to the bathroom before the flight began because she would not be able to get up once it began. These were people who a) she did not know and b) had just given her the aisle seat so she could feel less cramped by the tight quarters. The chutzpah was mind-blowing.

Grumpy about Getting UpAgain, see the above point, but there were other cases, such as the lady who sat next to us. She had the aisle, we had the window and middle with Saucy Jr. on our lap. She was a little older, maybe late 60s. At one point, I asked her if she could stand so that I could take Saucy Jr. to the bathroom (he is potty training). She puts on a slight puss and then gets up in VERY SLOW fashion. That's fine. She's a little older. However, when I return, she gets up and then asks me if "everything is OK now" as if it was some sort of outsized hardship for her to stand so we could go to the lavatory. I informed her that I hope so but that I wouldn't be surprised if I had to get up several more times. She did not respond to this, but she did have the courtesy to fall asleep during the flight so that we had to feel bad about waking her up the next time that we had to go (yes, falling asleep on a flight if you are in the aisle seat IS a violation; if you want to snooze, work it out with your umpteen family members so that you can sit next to a window).

Drummed Up Paranoia about the Flight's DemiseBefore we took off there was a delay. As is their way, the flight staff did not go out of their way to say what was causing this problem, instead coming on every once in a while to update status. Maintenance was on the way. Their looking at the problem. They just have to sign the authorization book. Yadda yadda yadda. So no one knew what the issue was and for the most part folks just thought they would check it out and we would be on our way once the issue was taken care of. Not the oversized lady. No, she held court for about 15 minutes about the many things she thought could be defective on the plane. Then a family member told her she saw people working on a wing. From there, all hell broke loose. All manner of out-loud ravings about wings falling off during the flight, cracks in the wing, how we should swap out a wing from another plane. Wing, wing, wing! Jesus! All on a flight that will eventually hover over the Everglades. I told Spicy I had not heard so much talk about wings since the last time I went to Hooters. "There's two guys out there on top of the wing," said the manic, nasally voiced disaster-phobe ad nauseum until I wanted to punch her in the face. Eventually, the issue was fixed and, no, we did not crash to the ground in a ball of fiery carnage. (Just a lowly fuel gauge, lady.)

Never Shut Up"So that's my daughter! And that's my other daughter! My daughter has two girls. One is 22. The other is 29. My husband's up there. That's my other daughter's kids. This is my sister. That's her husband. That's their kids up there. He goes to Penn State and majors in Advanced Pedophile Detection Techniques." Who the f*ck cares? Lady, the people sitting next to you are getting more bored by the minute. They will never see you again after this flight. And currently, their bladders are about to explode because your failure to be able to bend your knees and rise has caused them to have to hold their much-needed piss break for going on five hours.

Congregated in the AislesWhen the captain turns the seat belt sign off, it is an indication that you can feel a little bit more at ease. Feel free to go to the bathroom. Break out that iPod and listen to your favorite jam. Recline that seat back a little bit (even though I believe reclining the seat on a flight is a violation due to the lack of space between the back of your chair and the person behind you). It isn't an invitation to get out of your seat, head back to the people with whom you just spent a whole week, and begin a 20-minute coffee klatch about nothing whatsoever. But this is exactly what took place: The Annoying Family of Pittsburgh were just hanging out in the aisles shooting the breeze as if they were waiting for the plane to board as opposed to currently flying from Points A to B. The lady next to us got up to go to the some other family member kneels in the seat, her bulbous ass mere inches away from Spicy's face, chatting up the Big Lady Who Never Stopped Chattering. The stewards and stewardesses (I forget the acceptable term right now) were struggling to get by and do their jobs. It got so bad that an announcement had to be made and the captain had to tell everybody to fasten their seat belts so that one family would sit down and cease restricting the paid help from fulfilling their duties. I think he might have even faked some turbulence to help make his point. This backfired though when earlier wing concerns were fired up anew.

At the conclusion of the flight, I felt a little bad. You see, two of the kids, a boy and a girl, who about an hour earlier I was silently seething about since they were wrestling with each other so constantly and voraciously it made me wonder if they were siblings or young lovers, turned to us and said that Saucy Jr. (who decided to sleep for the last 45 minutes of the flight) was "really cute." They were nice and complimentary and friendly. That's wonderful. But screw it: One nice comment by some youngins doesn't override the ridiculous tendencies of a bunch of adults who spent the entirety of an international flight conducting themselves like overactive toddlers.

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