If you are a long time breeder, or even recent breeder, please look away now. I would also like to remind you that I shall never be breeding nor will I ever be responsible for a child. You have been warned.
At long last, I’m in Bombay.
Remind me never to fly Kingfisher again. Frankly if it wasn’t for their generous baggage allowance (40kg) I would never fly Kingfisher. (The entire collection of vintage Agatha Christie’s I bought in a job lot were transported home with ease.)
The start of the flight wasn’t the most auspicious.
It was clear the company had no money. (I’m not sure what’s going on, but basically they might be going bankrupt.) Even in First Class, the seats were scuffed and grotty. Everything looked old and tired and worn.
There were no little packs of toothbrush/ paste/ socks/ eye mask. Not even any peanuts! (Yes. An outrage). This is budget long-haul travel, and the price of the ticket was certainly not budget (£850 return).
To make matters worse, significantly worse, there was a child on board. A crying child. In fact there were two crying children on board.
The first was a fairly hum-drum crying child. Nothing special. It whimpered and gave out short, sharp, high-pitched sonic shrieks in bursts at random intervals. Like morse code. This was tolerable. I pitied its hapless parents and put on my iPod. If I can’t hear it, a crying baby rarely troubles me except for the rare, odd pang of pity for its creators.
However, (to my horror and irritation) the loudest volume setting did very little to drown out the sound of this second child.
It made the shrillest, vilest, most piercing noise at the top of its lungs. The noise was continuous and unabating. It had unusual stamina and lungs that never seemed to be the least likely to tire.
That’s when I realised I was dealing with no ordinary child. This was a devil child.
(I really don’t know why breeders travel with noisy offspring. I’m sorry (not really) but why should their non-use of contraception be inflicted on other weary travelers? Or at least, why can’t they get placed in a separate section that’s sound proofed? Like a small insulated pod somewhere near the loo?)
As you know, I have no maternal instincts, but I actually surprised myself by how much violence and rage this devil child inspired in me.
For about 10 minutes of this shocking shrieking I indulged in mere flights of fantasy:
- Visions of the baby falling helplessly from 20,000 feet…
- It’s cherubic, chubby, legs poking out from the airplane loo, as it is unceremoniously flushed down. Preferably by its own parent. More poetic.
As time wore on and it’s noise only grew more insistent, these fantasies turned into vague delusions of what a plastic bag would look like over its head. (I know that’s wrong. I just want to point that out. Besides, the clear ziplock I picked up at security had a big hole in it. It wouldn’t have worked.)
After 30 minutes, I was gritting my teeth, rolling my eyes and directing muttered curses at its mother who was really the source of the problem. She brought the abomination on the plane and then didn’t even have the decency to drug it. (Seriously, some brandy, a little opium, laudanum, anything, by god!)
I began to sympathize deeply with those babysitters and exhausted parents who shake their babies violently. It seems like a perfectly understandable thing to do.
To my utter relief as soon as we took off, the devil baby was silenced. (I don’t know how, nor do I care.) And it remained silenced for nearly 9 hours! It was a Christmas Miracle!
Someone did a giant poo in one of the loos and vomited in the sink. Neither worked.
I think it might have been the devil baby.
I wonder what the return flight will be like.