take back the capital

Although Take Back the Island is specifically dedicated to eliminating the scourge of annoying kids and their overindulgent parents in New York City, many other brave individuals are fighting this fight elsewhere.

From Washington, DC, comes this rant:

Please don’t inflict the passengers of the already miserable air travel industry with your screaming kids. Two or more hours in a sealed tube with non-stop screaming and/or seat kicking is enough for me to consider how I might kill myself and/or the little jackal with the small blunt items TSA still allows me to carry in-cabin. I am sure your little angel really needs to see Grandma or Mickey Mouse. I agree. And that is why Grandma should fly to you or you should drive to Mickey. And if you MUST fly, please, for the love of God, stay off the red-eye. Nothing like flying from LA to Washington on an overnight flight and getting no sleep because some 9 month old future B-move actress was practicing her slasher-pic screaming by howling…ALL…FRIGGIN…NIGHT. And with airlines removing pillows from flights in a “cost-saving” measure, there is not even the means to smother the little vermin. Also, for the sake of decency, stay out of first class. By definition, if your child is of an age where drooling on oneself is still a reasonable possibility, it probably does not need a 21″ wide seat with 40″ of legroom plopped amongst 15 business travelers who intended to work on the flight but, instead, are being soothed by your little demon’s four hour aria of wailing.

I could go on, but what would be the point. There will be a slew of posts from indignant parents who are going to say that their kid should be allowed anywhere at anytime and that kids cry and everyone else has to deal with it. But you know what? I did not sign off on you having a kid. I did not agree to share in the revels of the screaming and whining and other annoying behavior that your child is hellbent on inflicting on the public. You unilaterally chose to inflict your progeny on the world and, if you are like many parents, you refuse to control the little animal.

All I ask is that you try and remember that some of the people around you are not all that enthused about the screaming, the crying, the running around and other things that come from being with small children. If we are in McDonald’s, we are asking for it, I grant you. But in fine restaurants, nicer stores, libraries, airplanes, business environments and similar venues, think about how your mini Mephistopheles might be impacting the experience for other patrons.


10 responses to “take back the capital

  1. I COMPLETELY agree with this article you hormonal crazies bitches,and one thing to add.If your kid(10 year old) is SICK,buy him or her a MASK since germs do fly trough the air in the airplane and apparently did get me SICK on my vacation!

  2. Oh, I win this one hands down (not) — try sitting behind TWO babies on a 22-hour flight. Or there was the time when this brilliant *&^(#@ decided not to buy an extra seat for her toddler. On an 18-hour flight.

    Methinks the TSA might want to revise its no-fly list …

  3. Look–all this hoo ha still points right back at the parents. It is up to parents to teach children to behave in public places.

    Now I know it is difficult to teach a 9 month old to behave, but not everyone is going to see Mickey or Grandma. There are reasons for needing to fly. It is so easy to crab when you never consider something from another person’s perspective. Do you really think those parents are thrilled that they are sticking it to you with their Shrill Machine?

    Go ask your Momma about the time you were a kid and you screamed your head off because she wouldn’t get you the M&M’s from the candy aisle in the grocery store. If you can claim that you never had a tantrum in public as a child then you are a first — “Let he who is without tantrum cast the first stone”

    Get some noise canceling head phones for goodness sake — it works on the snoring beast in the seat next to you as well as children.

    And there are far worse travelers than children — adults who hog seats, get into passive aggressive arm rest wars, and recline into your lap so you can examine their dandruff. Or others who have some God Awful UTI and have to jostle the crap out of your seat so that they can get to the bathroom pronto. And it is usually ADULTS who are traveling sick to their latest business venture because the want more money and can’t bear the idea that they should stay home and get well and not infect the rest of the population. AND planes are veritable flying petrie dishes — what got you sick on the plane might have been left over on your seat from yesterday when Malaria Mary hacked phlegm all over your head cushion. Don’t even get me started on ADULTS who think they just can’t miss work even though they are barfing on you and hacking germs all over everything. I digress.

    At the heart of the matter — for better or worse, air travel is public transportation like anything else – bus, subway, train, you name it. If they bought a ticket, then they “gets to ride the ride”. You all paid the same price, no special favors. They get to sit with you shooting bad karma all over them. There is almost guaranteed to be someone on a plane that you are going to groan about sitting next to.

    You complain about kids crying, but this rant sounds like “wa wa wa!” to me.

    You want to fly in peace? Charter a private jet.

    You might as well substitute 400 pound fat person for kid in this rant. Although I suppose they don’t have rights either?

  4. I don’t have issues with children on flights, or in any public place, so long as their parents are making a good effort to calm/discipline the child during their outbursts. While I may not like having a child on an airplane that is the cost of doing business with an airline. What annoys me is when parents don’t do their research on how to make a flight more pleasant for the child; crayons and coloring books, pacifier or bottle for take off and landing, scotch and milk. On a recent flight I asked the mother in the row behind me to please keep her son from kicking the back of my seat. She asked him twice and he didn’t stop. When I asked again she said “I asked him and he won’t stop, what more do you want me to do?” I told her that I wanted to her to have slightly more authority over her son’s actions and would no longer tolerate her being unable to parent her child. Just be a parent for Christsake, your job didn’t end at the moment you birthed him.

  5. Up until just recently, I thought I hated kids, but then I realized that it’s the parents. I’m perfectly fine being around kids who have manners. I can even have sympathy for a mother who’s dealing with an outburst. But I can tell very quickly whether that tantrum is just a kid being a kid or if it’s something that happens regularly because the parents let it happen.

    At the end of the day, parents must be held responsible for their children’s behavior, be it on the street, in a restaurant, on a plane, in the suburbs, or in the city. But these uppity, self righteous, indignant parents will make excuse after excuse for their child rather than giving children what they need: discipline.

  6. Why does everyone seem to think that airline transportation is some sort of basic human right? When I was a child, parents respected propriety. If you can’t behave, then you shouldn’t be there, I don’t care how old you are. I agree there are jerks everywhere and it’s an overall problem, but if I yelled constantly on a flight, they would land the plane and I’d be arrested.

    And yes, Greenbroke, 400 pound people also have to take responsibility for their actions. I repeat, if you can’t behave, you shouldn’t be there; that includes your long term eating habits. I don’t want to share a seat with your left butt cheek just because you have no self discipline.

  7. Presumably, as adults, we have learned over the years to control ourselves (!).

    However, this learning process must begin early. Childhood is a good place to start I should think.

    Once again, parents are responsible for educating their children and how to behave as a member of society.

    But you have to remember that they are children, and as such are still quite the primitive little beasties. Sometimes you just can’t explain stuff to them in rational terms.

    You can, however, explain to an adult that behaving in public is in their best interest and expect them to comply. There are times when I would very much like to have a good tantrum, but my age prohibits that, as I am expected to know better.

    And you can definitely tell when a child is having an outburst or is ill behaved as a manner of course, as Jeff pointed out.

    There is also a difference between yelling and crying. I was on a flight once where a toddler was having an all-out yelling fit. For hours– , and the sad thing was the parents were not doing anything about it, and all he wanted was their attention. You do what you can to make a flight easy for everyone–all passengers and everyone must do their part. Common decency must prevail, but that is certainly a lost art in NYC (and everywhere anymore) — a city that prides itself on being crabby and gruff (putting it mildly). Airplane seats shouldn’t even recline–I don’t like the person in front of me taking a snooze in my lap and kneecapping me in the process, so I don’t do the same to the person behind me. But on every flight, I see a chain reaction. I wish I could film it. One person reclines, which angers the person behind him, so he does the same to the person behind him, and it continues like dominoes until you get to the passive aggressive person who chooses just to repeatedly kick the seat of the guy in front of him to subtly indicate how annoyed he is. Common decency and manners. Children, adults, dogs, EVERYONE. But there are certainly times when it is hard to be polite and we have no trouble being rude, irritable, and out and out ugly to those around us. And yet we will point fingers at small children, and babies and say they are harshing our joyous day with their crying and tantrums.

    I’m not sure about plane travel being a basic human right, but last time I checked, as long as you pay the price and are not a security threat, you get to fly. Crying babies are HUGELY ANNOYING, but they are not a security risk. A grown person who is drunk or aggressive or just plain foolish and behaves badly on a plane is most definitely a security risk.

    Think about it the next time you cut someone off, tell them off, or flip them off — is it so different from the expressed anger and frustration of a child except that you have years on them and should know better? We can’t be perfect all the time either.

    If we think it is alright to do as we please and say what we want anytime we like, and everyone who has a problem with that can just go jump off a cliff, then we can’t really blame the the youngest members of our species if they are doing precisely that.

    We like to pick on the weak–it’s easy pickings, isn’t it?

  8. Greenbroke,

    Common decency should always prevail. As you said, the main problem is that common decency is sorely lacking any more. But to say that common decency is a lost art in New York City and that we’re all crabby and gruff demonstrates a misunderstanding of our city’s culture. And to insult us on a site about New York is out and out inconsiderate.

    From my view, New Yorkers are far more conscientious than the average person in a number of ways, largely because we are always on top of one another and are consequently more aware of our surroundings. I could write about the innumerable situations where I am infuriated when I’m visiting my parents in suburbia, but this isn’t the forum for that. Because I find these situations infuriating, I don’t live in suburbia. But I don’t insult people who do.

    You don’t have to like New York, but please don’t generalize and insult us or our city.

  9. Did not mean to generalize — please forgive!

    I know that generalizing is wrong — thus lumping all babies and children and even parents into the same dirty basket is also wrong.

    I think the city is a fine place–and I think the crabby gruff nature is part of its charm. You do me wrong to suggest I am not of the city. And the city does pride itself on being tough and superior to every other city.

    But to suggest that this blog is about New York and in the same post say that New Yorkers are more conscientious than most is not quite accurate as this site promotes segregation of subway cars and loathing children and wants to banish children and their “breeders” to the suburbs–gack! There is not much tolerance in a site that calls children “crotch droppings”. Hard to find much common decency there. And there are obviously quite a few parents out there who are not conscientious or aware of their surroundings as they go plow the concrete with their shiny new double wide, clearing the path of the lesser mortals who have made different life choices.

    I could also wax nauseous about suburbia, but you are correct, this is not the forum.

    The point is that everyone should have good manners and be good members of society. Unfortunately, some of us are too young to know how, some of us are too young to know better and some of us are too old to care anymore. And if we all got along all the time, we might as well pop a soma and call it a day. But there’s nothing wrong with hoping we could all be a bit better on all sides and and in all places.

  10. Greenbroke:

    Yes, you would think adults have learned to control themselves, but there are adults who brad about consuming so much alcohol they vomit. I guess some adults never grow up…

    A ticket is like a license: you can use it but it is revocable. If you are being rude, disruptive, disrepectful, etc. you can be asked to leave. It won’t matter that you paid and have a ticket.

    Yes, there are times I had temper tantrums (I suppose all children have these at some point,) but my parents were courteous and mature enough not to subject other people to my tantrums; they immediately stopped what they were doing and took me out of the restaurant, mall, etc.

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