Sunday, July 22, 2007

An open letter to the New York Times regarding kids on planes.

As for me, I just can't stand to fly with middle-aged men. For one thing, lots of them are fat, taking up too much room and crowding the rest of us. Also a lot of them are ugly and unpleasant to look at. They bitch endlessly about the menu, they have enormous carryons, they're always screaming into the cellphone, some of them stink and they constantly remind me of my mortality when I would rather pretend I'm going to be young forever. I am not talking about all the middle-aged men, of course, just the ones with irresponsible wives that can't control them. And I don't necessarily endorse keeping middle-aged men off planes. Let's just make sure that if middle-aged men fly they all stay in one section where the rest of us won't have to look at them.

I would never have dared to say such a thing before, but apparently now it's okay to be prejudiced against airline passengers because of their age. (If the link stops working because of the NYTimes' subscription wall, basically the article is full of people bitching about having to fly with kids on the plane.)

Look, if you're one of those people always talking about how you hate having kids around, or how you only like them when they act like absolute perfect angels at all times (ie, not like kids), then I'd like to remind you that at least one of the following things is true about you:

- you will have children someday
- you once had young children
- you once were a child yourself (and I'm sure you never misbehaved).

In most other countries in the world it's understood that children are a part of life. Sometimes they're wonderful, and sometimes they're utterly unbearable. But then, that's true of most people. At least kids have an excuse. So shut up, get that extra drink if that's what you need, and live in the real world. Or stay home.

PS - If you fail to see the Swiftian irony of the first paragraph, please report to the doctor and have your sense of humor examined. I picked middle-aged men, because I am at best a few years short of being one myself.


Penelope said...

If the plane crashed and you were on a deserted island with these "middle aged" men (I guess the island wouldn't be deserted then, but whatever.), would you choose to eat them to keep from starving?

I love Swift.


Jim Stewart said...

That's a very modest proposal, Penelope. Unfortunately, there's my cholesterol to think about.