Monday, August 07, 2006

I'll give you something to cry about.

Suitcase: £27.99
Earphones for Discman: £7.99
Book: £6.99
Inflatable travel-pillow: £4.99
Bottle of water: 80p
Buying every seat on board so the chances of having a baby cry for nine hours less than six feet away from me are brought to the absolute minimum: Priceless.

There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's Mastercard.

You know how shattering the sound of a baby crying is. Imagine not being able to escape from it because you're trapped in a tin-can the size of a mobile home with no exits. For many, many hours.

I understand that there are people out there who, for economical, practical and mental reasons unfathomable to me, prefer children to cats. I understand that they even, for some reason, want to travel with them (personally, I'd be travelling from them). But what I don't understand is why I, child-free and happy to be so, have to suffer the consequences? Why do people with small children inflict them on everyone else, and look so smug when they do it? Why in the name of all that is holy would you want to take a baby on a nine hour flight, anyway (I can't even contemplate the horror of a 22hr flight to Australia)? What sort of cultural goodness is someone who can't even talk yet going to get from travelling the world? Why did I pay six hundred quid to be kept awake by it?

I'm not the first person to suggest this, and judging by all the grumbling I've been reading in the travel sections of the paper, I won't be the last. But isn't it about time someone set up an airline--or even a subdivision of one--for adults only? I'll make the concession that children over ten could travel on it, because by that age they're less likely to cry for nine hours and more likely to respond to me threatening them if they do. they're also able to say things, like, "My ears hurt from the altitude, can I have a painkiller, please?" which a baby expresses through continuous crying. I'm wondering if this is the real reason why we're not allowed to take anything more dangerous than a plastic spoon on board a plane any more.

Child-free airlines--now! Either that, or mandatory tranquillisers for all children. Ahhhh, the bliss!

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