’Tis the season to endure poor service and the rigors of flying. Recently, I was subjected to a baby wielding a wild sippy cup and a substandard restaurant meal. But I’m not complaining. I hope it’s the start of a trend.
’Tis the season to endure poor service and the rigors of flying.
Recently, I was subjected to a baby wielding a wild sippy cup and a substandard restaurant meal. But I’m not complaining. I hope it’s the start of a trend.
The Southwest Airlines flight to Fort Lauderdale was crowded. I tried not to sigh when a young mom plopped her baby in the seat in front of me, then stuffed the overhead bin with enough gear for an Arctic expedition.
I wasn’t the only one. I heard stifled groans from my fellow passengers. The baby was about fifteen months with a dandelion fluff of hair, chubby cheeks and a high-pitched shriek like a creature on the Discovery Channel.
The kid was armed with a sippy cup, and not the fancy leak-proof kind, either.
"Yii!" yelled the tot and tossed her sippy cup. It landed on my shoe, splattering milk.
"I am so sorry," the harried mom said.
I wiped the milk off my shoe and forced a smile. There was sympathetic eye-rolling from my fellow passengers.
After a long day of writing, I have lunch at Seasons 52, a restaurant chain that serves fresh, low-cal food. Every item, from appetizers to desserts, are 475 calories or less. They don’t taste like a microwaved cardboard box, the way most diet food does. I think Seasons’ citrus salmon salad with organic greens beats Jenny Craig any day.
I stopped by for a late lunch and ordered the grilled turkey skewer with orzo salad. The server who brought it said, "Those veggies look over-cooked. The green peppers shouldn't be black on the edges."
"They're fine," I said. My standard for sending food back to the kitchen is: Is this worse than what I make? The answer to that question is rarely yes, so I almost never send things back.
"The food is okay," I said.
"It is not," the server said.
It wasn’t bad. I liked the slightly singed peppers. The tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and turkey were fine. I was munching away when the manager appeared.
"I hear your lunch was overcooked," he said.
"It's edible," I said.
"We don't do edible," he said. "We make the best food possible. Lunch is on me."
As the plane took off, the baby howled. The altitude changes seemed to hurt her delicate ears. Her screams hurt my not-so-delicate ones.
I envied the child. If I could get away with it, I’d shriek and scream from takeoff to landing. I don’t like being sealed in a metal tube with several hundred scowling, coughing strangers, hurling through the skies at 600 miles an hour.
The plane leveled off and the captain turned off the seatbelt sign. The flight attendant started taking drink orders.
"Scree!" screamed the darling child. Harried Mom pulled drink coupons out of her purse and handed them out to the suffering passengers in the neighboring rows.
"You don’t have to do that," I said.
"Yes, I do," she said. "You have to put up with my baby."
Amazing. Most parents believe every burp their offspring makes is music to us all.
"Heee-yaw!" yelped the kid as we cheerfully sucked down our drinks.
For the rest of the flight, I slept like a baby.