Thursday, August 27, 2009


Setting: August 26, US AIR Flight 959, enroute from Charlotte to Ft. Lauderdale, 11:40 pm. Sometime between initial descent and landing. A toddler makes a near fatal error by taking the poop of his life at a most inconvenient time.

Intercom: "...tray tables up, please pass any trash to flight attendants...."

Me (thinking): ooh, what is that smell...did someone throw up...something happened...yuck

(a young mother with a diaper in hand, races to the back of the plane)

Me (thinking): ohhhhh...poop...poor Mom...glad I'm not her.

(the mother returns to her seat hastily. though she is partially hidden from sight, we know she is changing her child who happens to be babbling sweetly. She tells him to hush. Meanwhile a very tall flight attendant appears at row 14)

Attendant:You can't do THAT here.

(she thrusts a plastic trast bag into the mother's hands.

Attendant: Put that under his bottom. It's unsanitary for the people who will be sitting there after.

(the attendant walks away leaving a snitty cloud in her wake)

Me (thinking): Just make a fucking note to clean row 14 with lysol. seems pretty simple to me. I mean...really.

(A second attendant is making her way toward row 14 with a plastic bag in hand)

Attendant 2: The diaper has to be in a bag and deposited in the bathroom.

Mom: I put it there.

(Attendant walks away with an exasperated sigh which meant: "How could you let your child do this.")

Me (thinking): did you ever think of helping her rather than condemning her for her child taking a big shit. aren't you supposed to be of service rather than of judgment...are you a mom.

The confrontation subsided as did the scent of poopy diaper. I could hear the mother speaking Hebrew which was a consolation to me because Israelis are pretty thick skinned when they need to be. Where as I would have probably been bawling in my seat, she was probably a little incensed but it would take more than two judgmental unhelpful US AIR workers to upset her. But there's more.....

(Plane lands, passengers unbuckle and quickly stand, a tall lean woman with a smart khaki pants suit in row 13 is standing hunched over her seat. She faces the mom in Row 14)

Lean Woman: "Changing your child in your you realize how unsanitary that is. Are you even aware of how bacteria spreads.........."

I heard the mother ask if she had any kids. And some more dialogue ensued, but that was all I heard in the deplaning shuffle.

I was ticked off because the attendants were bitchy and unprofessional. Perhaps there was some earlier interaction where the mother caused "a stink" -- so to speak. And now the flight attendants were getting their revenge. Who knows... I was asleep for a good part of the flight.

But to me it seemed the mother was in a lose-lose situation. If she had taken her baby to the changing room bathroom, they would have scolded her for getting out of her seat. She was "in deep shit" either way.

As I walked off "the poopy plane", I almost said something to one of the attendants.

I know almost doesn't count.

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