I recently caught a flight from Hobart to Melbourne with my husband and our seven-year-old son (henceforth John and Josh, respectively, for brevity’s sake). This flight is generally just over an hour and there’s hardly any worse weather than a stiff breeze to bump us around – however this time, one miserable little cow managed to find a way to make it unpleasant. I’ll call her Barbie, and she was in the window seat in front of Josh. Her boyfriend was in the middle seat in front of John.
While he was arranging his backpack under the seat and rifling through the seat pocket, Josh accidentally bumped this girl’s seat a few times. John and I reminded him to be careful not to hit anyone’s seats, but still we were met with glares from Barbie. Whatever, some people are just grumpy. Sure.
About ten minutes after the seatbelt sign went off, Josh clambered out to attend to the bathroom (nervous bladder), which drew an exasperated sigh and a death-glare from Barbie. She began gossiping at her largely uninterested boyfriend about how “some people should control their kids.” Again, whatever.
To save on buying drinks from the airport and from the cart, we’d stopped by the grocery store and bought a large bottle of Pepsi and some plastic cups to have throughout the day (10am hotel checkout, 5pm flight, it was a long day). At one point Josh wanted a drink, so out came the Pepsi in a plastic cup.
At this moment Barbie decided that our existence had inconvenienced her quite enough and, after “surreptitiously” checking behind her to see that Josh was taking a drink, very suddenly and forcefully reclined her seat back as far as it’d go. I didn’t think it was possible to violently recline a seat, but there we go.
Of course the open tray table knocked his arm and Josh dropped his drink all over said table and into his lap. Nobody likes to have their drink suddenly deposited in their crotch, but naturally for a seven-year-old with a bit of a complex about needing to pee a lot, looking like you’ve wet yourself is pretty distressing.
Before I could open my mouth to tell Barbie off for being a bitch, she looked back, dismissed us with a smug, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you there,” put her seat back into the upright position, and plugged in her headphones.
After about five minutes of damage control and wiping sticky bloody Pepsi off his immediate surroundings, Josh and John changed seats. Upon spying this, Barbie very suddenly reclined her seat again, which resulted in John’s knees being all but stuck there. Oh, but she wasn’t done: she hassled her boyfriend into reclining his seat into Josh’s face as well, and when he shifted it back half an inch to placate her, she forcefully pushed it into the fully reclined position for him. Every time he’d start to put it in the upright position again, she’d push it back down and tell him to leave it.
I thought she was done with her bullshit, but the real kicker was that as we were standing behind her in the cattle herd to get off the plane, she loudly said to her boyfriend, “I don’t know why people bring their kids on planes, it’s so rude.”
What a charmer.