When I first started flying back and forth between home and school a few years ago I loved air travel. I like airports, love watching people coming and going, and enjoy flying. As anyone who has flown recently knows, however, these days the entire process seems designed to drive you mad. My flight this morning was late, overcrowded, and overflowing with people trying to stuff all their belongings in carry-ons to avoid checked baggage fees. That I could handle. The family sitting next to me I could not.
Stuck on the runway for half an hour before takeoff, Mom, Dad and Junior complained constantly about the size of the plane, the wait, and the seemingly pervasive smell of urine. (Having smelled more than enough urine to last a lifetime, perhaps I was just desensitized, but no one else seemed to smell it, either.) After harassing the flight attendant, the trio decided to pull out their cell phones and complain to family members. Even after the pilot announced that we were clear to take off and ordered electronics to be shut off, my delightful seat neighbors continued to chat away. Finally forced to stow the phones, Junior pulled out a Gameboy as we taxied to the runway, but lost one of the batteries. Unbuckling himself from the seat, he started crawling around the cabin floor while his mother laughed. The flight attendant screamed as she saw him on the floor, so loudly in fact that the pilot jammed the breaks. Confronted by the flight attendant, the mother continued to laugh away the incident before starting to yell. I was shocked they weren't arrested. But with Junior finally strapped in, we were able to take off without further incident.
People are unbelievable. I've come to expect such behavior in the ER, but I don't want to deal with it in the "real world."