It always has seemed so irrational; the way ordinary, fun-loving people embark an aircraft and suddenly hate families how Tonya Harding hated (hates?) Nancy Kerrigan.
They stare. They snivel. They seethe. Sometimes, they even sneer.
We encounter these terrible humans just about every time we fly the so-called “friendly” skies, and every time we meet them, we think to ourselves, “What the hell is wrong with these people?”
Now, thankfully, we have an answer: According to researchers from King’s College in London (including the very first UK professor of “aerospace medicine), many mental processes are impaired at altitude. Read between the lines and this discovery means, quite simply, that flying makes people dumb.
Finally, everything is illuminated. The guy who changed his baby’s diaper on flight attendant jump seats. The dude who slapped a crying baby on an airplane’s descent. The couple that bribed fellow passengers on a cross-country flight with goodie bags.
All of these people behaved badly. And all of them were, obviously, “impaired.”
Thanks to David Gradwell, all of this bad behavior makes perfect sense; for better or for worse, the very act of flying has turned our brethren against us.
As the objects of derision and hatred, we family travelers COULD blame the airlines. All this time, we’ve put up with lousy food, rising prices and dwindling benefits for enduring the additional challenge of traveling with kids. Now we find out these companies are sitting back idly while they poison our countrymen (and women) against us. The bastards!
I suppose we also could blame our fellow passengers. They willingly board these planes, tacitly accepting anything and everything that occurs as a result.
Sure, they might end up next to a former wide receiver for the LFL with whom they decide to join the mile-high club. But they also might end up sitting behind a baby who is acting like a baby, and therefore (to them, people) deserves life in a North Korean prison.
Instead, dear readers, I offer a different solution: Forgiveness.
Our fellow passengers know not what they do when they call our daughters “demons.” They aren’t themselves when they encourage us to “get a muzzle.” Instead of taking offense at these types of messages, from now on, I will look at the messengers and feel pity, or just nod and smile.
The way I see it, turning the other cheek like this is the very least we can do. After all, like Gradwell says, life at 30,000 feet makes us all do some pretty crazy stuff.