Maybe He’s Smarter Than You Think

21 05 2016

I had to go to Minneapolis this week to speak at a managers’ conference for a large food manufacturer. As many of you are already aware, I fly Delta almost exclusively, unless I’m going abroad and Delta just doesn’t go where I need to be. On this trip, I had a non-stop flight straight to Minneapolis.

When Delta boards an aircraft, they begin with the folks who need a little extra time getting down the jet bridge…those doing the Tim Conway shuffle. I shouldn’t say that because that’ll be me one day. They are followed by those having children under the age of two. As I watched the young parents line up to begin boarding, I thought, oh my goodness! There must be a Parents with Children Under the Age of Two convention in Minneapolis this week. It looked like they just emptied the nursery at Duke Medical Center and all the new parents decided to go, at the same time, to see grandma in Minneapolis; and, on the same flight…MY flight.

Well, kudos to Delta. They had the foresight to seat all of these families with their cherubs, together, near the back of the plane. A pox on your house, Delta! You had the audacity to put me right in front of them! Actually, when I entered the plane and saw that I was sitting directly in front of this group, I took it in stride. I really don’t mind sitting near babies, even crying babies. In fact, I feel sympathy for parents traveling with small children. If you are a follower of this blog, you know from past posts this isn’t my first encounter with flying tots. See Coffee, Tea or Screaming Baby. ( ) The Lord gave me the gift of being able to tune out crying babies, nagging wives (not mine, of course) and other annoying sounds. Little did I know that one of these ankle biters was about to put me to the test.

Now, this was a Regional Jet, so it wasn’t a very large plane. And, when you put a…well, what DO you call a group of infants and toddlers? If it’s a gaggle of geese, a brood of chicks, a kindle of kittens…must be a bellowing of babies.

I wasn't through telling you about my husband!

I wasn’t through telling you about my husband!

Well, I took my seat beside some lady who appeared to be about my age. Before the air could even escape from my seat cushion, she was talking to me. She was telling me that her husband was supposed to be in my seat, but he did something really stupid. They were on their way to Bozeman, Montana and he had made his own reservations; but, they didn’t discover until the night before, that he had made his reservations on the wrong flight. He was actually on his way to Bozeman via Salt Lake City at that moment. And she didn’t stop there. She went on and on like a square dance caller. Well, as I listened to her non-stop monologue, two thoughts came to my mind. First…she only THINKS her husband made a mistake and accidentally wound up on the wrong plane. He was probably halfway to Salt Lake City thinking about the poor schmuck who got stuck beside his wife. Secondly…where are the cries from all these babies when I need them?

It was about that time the child directly behind me began to wail. And wail. And wail. That gave me the opportunity to put my Bose headphones on and read my book without being too obvious to the lady that I felt we had engaged long enough.

Now, it has been my experience with small babies, that when they cry, eventually, they will begin to tire and go to sleep. Not this child. This six-month old had the endurance of a Kenyan distance runner. Three hours later, as we entered our approach into the Minneapolis airport, this child was still going strong. Her ears were probably hurting-poor baby. But then, a third thought came to mind. In 64 years she will probably be sitting beside a stranger in a plane explaining how her husband accidentally booked himself on the wrong flight. The poor schmuck!