Ian O'Doherty

Friday 25 July 2014

Child-free planes? But that's outrageous

Ian O'Doherty

Published 07/05/2014|02:30

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Cranky: Child on a plane
Larry Love and Olaf Tyaransen

Having conducted an exhaustive, laborious and truly scientific survey of the voices in my head, I can confirm that they all really, really hate one thing – kids on planes.

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I know, I know. We're all meant to accept that the little mites can experience pain in their ears during take off, they become bored easily and if they're not suitably stimulated, they can become restless and cranky.

As a result of these circumstances we are all meant to be kind and caring fellow passengers, and we're meant to support parents with stroppy kids rather than spend the entire flight sending filthies in their direction.

That, dear reader, is a degree of hypocrisy which I, for one, am not prepared to be party to.

After all, any time I find myself on a long-haul flight – once a regular occurrence, it hasn't happened for a few years, now that I think about it – I also tend to get tired and bored and cranky.

But all the cabin crew ever do is threaten to call the cops if I don't stop acting up, whereas if a small child does the same thing they all crowd around the little troublemaker as if it was the Second Coming.

And, frankly, that's not bloody fair.

But apart from the survey I just did in my own head, there is also a real, actual survey, which states that a whopping 70pc of people would like to see child-free planes.

The respondents point out the noise that children create, the disruption they cause and the fact that an already stressful experience can be made singularly unbearable by finding yourself beside some hyperactive tyke who won't stop irritating those around him.

Indeed, I recall one flight to Mexico which involved a child constantly kicking the back of Mrs iSpy's seat and when she eventually turned around to ask the small person to desist, its parent reacted with outrage that anybody would talk to their precious little snowflake in terms that were rather less than reverential.

"He's only three," thundered the furious father. Which begged the obvious response – while that may have been the kid's excuse for being an inconsiderate jerk, what was his?

And you see, this is where the powers that be are not being very clever at all.

Because the problem isn't really children on flights, it's their parents.

While you are biologically hardwired to think the fruit of your loins is a truly exceptional creature who will be a superb addition to the human race, the reality is that your progeny is just another snot-nosed urchin like all the others.

In fact, the only reason you think your kid should be a matter of national celebration is simply because Mother Nature has played an evolutionary trick on you – if you weren't genetically programmed to think they are special, then you'd simply leave them on the bus or throw them in the bin the next time they annoyed you.

So if we are prepared to accept that the problem with children on planes is, in actuality, parents on planes, what can we do about it?

Well, there was a time when I was all for a full and total ban on anyone under the age of 12 being allowed on flights, but I've mellowed in my dotage and have come up with the perfect solution.

In fact, this may well be the greatest idea I have ever had, and I've had a few.

Let's – drum roll, please – simply put parent and child in the baggage hold.

There's plenty of space, all they need is a few straps to hold on to, London tube-style, and a good set of ear plugs and then they can travel with the rest of us, just out of sight and, most crucially, out of our hearing range.

I made this point to a colleague who had recently given birth and rather than agree with the idea she started to cry to the extent that I've been given yet another warning by the editor to leave the staff alone.

Honestly, you try to come up with a constructive idea and the wimmin start freaking out and calling you an inconsiderate, sexist asshole.

Bloody feminists . . .

THE BRAVEST WRITER EVER?

Over the course of a fairly undistinguished career in hackery, I've been privileged to meet some brave, fascinating, intriguing people who have creative talent to burn. Olaf Tyaransen is not one of these people. But he knows some of them and now he has released his first short movie, the appropriately titled 'Don't You Know Who I Am?'

In a devastating 15-minute take down of the sheer, monumental hubris and hypocrisy of Tyranosaurasus's home town, Alabama 3's Larry Love – that's him on the left of the picture, the star-struck doofus on the right is Mr T – plays a rock star who takes refuge in the appalling Galway to get his head together following the death of his bandmate.

And, without wanting to give the game away, he spends the rest of the film becoming increasingly exasperated by Galwegians constantly interrupting him to tell him that nobody cares if he is famous or not.

Directed by Paul Duane, it's surprisingly good, considering the author. Although I never expected him to so savagely turn against the place that made him. Frankly, if I lived in Galway and saw this shades-wearing Poppinjay sashaying down Shop Street I'd be so overcome by rage at the way he denigrated Galway that I'd be overcome by the urge to hurl fruit at him. Someone's on the next train up to Dublin, I reckon.

It's currently available to buy online via Distrify.

Well, now he knows how we feel

David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker and Obama's biographer has come out with an interesting take on POTUS – apparently "he is disappointed with the world."

That seems like a rare moment of reciprocity from the man – after all, he has disappointed the world on a consistent basis since he took power, so it only seems fair that the world returns the favour.

Irish Independent

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