Gouge Out Your Eyes With the Snack Box

Parents never get this shit on a plane. You'd be wearing that coffee in 3 seconds.

I reject your snack box United Airlines!

Well, the family travel is over and Punditdad has never been so pleased to be ensconced in his quiet little townhouse in his safe little white suburban city in sunny OC, far from planes and airports.  Two weeks ago Punditmommy flew to our prior home, Chicago, for work. This left Punditdaddy with the yeoman’s work of watching the Bean 24 hours a day for 4 days.  Now, remember, Punditdaddy is eternally grateful to his beautiful, super-hot wife who brings home the bacon, the cheddar and all the other kinds of dough that keep Punditdad in the lifestyle that he’s become accustomed too.  But do you remember what happened to the yeomen who beamed down to planet’s with the crew of the Starship Enterprise? Yup, zapped by a lizard face alien or sucked into a pile of intelligent goo. That’s what happened to me schlepping my baby to Chicago from the Orange County at 5:00 AM last Friday.

Oh, you say we’ll never take the baby on a plane again, then someone hatches a plan that sounds very mild and safe. I take the baby and meet up with Punditmommy and Pundit-Inlaws in Chicago for a week of fun and frolicking. Well we had fun and frolicking (see Rhino Ass/Baby Face in Lower Left at the BEAUTIFUL Lincoln Park Zoo) but it’s the getting there not the being there.

Up at 4:30 AM for Punditdad with that,  “I didn’t really sleep much ’cause I’m terrified of oversleeping feeling because who the fuck gets up at 4:30 AM except the LA Times delivery guy”? Get all the bags in order, then trudge into the Bean’s room and wake the baby. Stick bottle in mouth. Pray there is no yelling. Change baby. Thankfully baby is completely docile because baby is used to sleeping for 13 hours and that includes the hours we’re in now dumb-shit daddy!

Transitions to cab, airport and security are in stunned silence for both Bean and Punditdad. The cabby doesn’t want to talk and neither do we.  Surprisingly, the other patrons at the John Republican Wayne Airport are helpful in waving, smiling and generally helping out this poor dad who is up at a ridiculous hour by himself with a baby. Thanks humanity, I owe you one! Security becomes an even greater delight. TSA minions help move our BabyCrap through the Oscillametaterization Checkpoint and into the waiting area so Punditdad can get dressed and not drop the infant.

United Airlines however has had a serious change in policy that should be addressed. Remember when you were able to get your kid or senior on first because they have a ton of shit/equipment/toys/heavy burden? Not now cowboys and cowgirls. I expected the “All those with children or those needing extra time may board now,” announcement to come. It never came. Of course, being the a-hole that I am, I went to the front 2 seating areas ahead of the one on the boarding pass. The biotch at the gate informed me that if we waited for all the children to get on we’d “never leave”. I firmly stated I didn’t care, it was easier for me. Isn’t that what this is about in America? What’s easier for me? Hello.

45 minutes into the flight I have used Supreme Daddy Powers to put baby to sleep in arms. We are in flight. All is good. 45 minutes later, ego is huge because what kind of awesome dad can put his 1 year old to sleep and live to tell the tale?  Suddenly, the flight attendant came barreling down the aisle with her cart and her sleazy sales pitch for the inhuman gruel they call a “snack box” for only $20.  Screaming “Anyone want a snack box” right over our aisle caused my darling daughter to rise from the dead and curse the rest of my trip.  I wanted to smash the snack box into the flight attendant’s throat, with whatever crap they include in their shitty excuse for a meal.  Who the fuck wants a snack box at 8:00 AM in the morning? People want coffee or they want to be left the fuck alone to sleep.

Baby squirms and yells. Repeat for 3 more hours. Seething on the part of Punditdaddy as flight attendant lives in a world unaware of her sins.

Landing and the return of mommy are welcomed and the trip to Chicago is a reminder that it’s one of the best cities in America bar none.  The urban areas, the sprawl, the lakefront and the culture are some of the best the world and I’ve got 5 years of living there to prove it.  It was a bit chilly and Punditdad had to wear pants and socks rather than shorts and Vans.  Sacrifices.

Return flight to the OC was a different take on the Hobbes quote, “nasty, brutish and long“. The Bean slept for 30 minutes but became an overpowering tornado of squirming, yelling, screaming, grabbing and more squirming. What do you expect a one year old to do sitting on someone’s lap for 4 hours? As we left the John Wayne Republican Airport, we swore we would never fly again until the Bean was able to zone out to a DVD player of Barney, Teletubbies, Texas Chainsaw Massacre III or whatever she wanted to watch.  I don’t care just as long as she doesn’t do the same staccatos of high pitched yells and hollers.  Don’t get me wrong, the kid was exhausted and that’s what kids do and I don’t blame her. I love her to death.

Home was like the welcome bosom of the first spike of opium, the cheating drag off a cigarette or the first sip of a cold beer on a hot day.  Felt real good. Our family fell into our beds and slept and relaxed that weekend in ways we never thought possible. Newspapers cluttered our living room and we ate take-out with pride. Naps aplenty. Home is where the heart is and where our energy cells got replenished.

Having been plenty of places, I know travel is the seasoning that expands your horizons and can connect you to people and places unknown and not previously understood. With the Bean, it was a chance to be with a special part of our family and that can’t be replaced or delayed or cheated. Would do it again in an instant, but damn, next time can’t we do it first-class?

Baby, with Rhino

Baby, with Rhino

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3 Responses

  1. See? THIS is why I never fly United. Though, I have to tell you, my airline of choice serves snack boxes, too, but they are all hippy, organic, almond butter, tofu crackers and stuff. Which? I’d rather eat my own toenails.

  2. They didn’t let you board first? Urgh. Just one more thing to worry about.

  3. Oh, this brings back fond memories. A family wedding in Vegas, travelling with our son when he was 14 mo old. Grandma paid for the tickets, or no way would we have gone. On the way home I fed Vic so much juice to try to keep him quite that he pooped out the diaper and down my shirt when we had to switch planes. I ended up wearing my daughters too small hot pink MGM tee shirt. I have never felt so white trash in my life, and my husbands comment….. “you look hot”- thanks hon. The good old days, but their worth every minute, huh?

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