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On This Page: "Whatever the reason may be, the baby screams constantly. Perhaps its diapers are laced with cocaine and the drugs itch."

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Screaming Baby, stylizedThe Screamer

(Written several thousand feet above the ground)

I have been sitting in this airplane for five hours, with another six hours to go.

Three seats on the right, a four-year-old child is playing with its toys. It's alright. A row before it, there is a baby, sitting quietly in its baby chair, barely a year old. It's alright.

Three rows back, there is yet another baby. This one, though, is a two-year-old screamer. Its howls jar my nerves and give me a royal headache.

Whatever the reason may be, it screams constantly. Perhaps its diapers are laced with cocaine and the drugs itch. I'm just speculating -- I don't know. I just know that there is a howling baby two rows behind me. A baby with a mother who doesn't seem to believe in pacifiers and who must be stone deaf.

It screams when it is angry.

It screams when it is tired.

It screams when it is hungry, when it's thirsty, when it's cold.

It screams when it's bored.

Its vocal range goes from annoyingly high to eardrum-piercingly shrill, often within a singe wail. Each siren scream passes my ear plugs with ease, burrowing itself deep into my brain, making it hurt.

Occasionally, the baby takes a breath. For a minute, there is nothing but the drone of the engines, the tired shuffle of the fellow passengers in this aircraft and, soon enough, the other baby.

Because sometimes, the other baby also cries. It's understandable: This is an eleven hour flight. The plane is noisy. Sometimes, you just have to scream for a moment.

But that other baby won't shut up. After a while, I locate the position of the emergency exits (no, I wasn't paying attention during pre-flight instructions).

In my mind's eye, I see everything very clearly: I will open the door just a tad, aided by a flight attendant, throw the little pest out and 246 passengers will spontaneously break into applause. There will be wolf whistles from the pilots' cabin. And I will get a seat in First Class, where I can finally rest and I sleep until we arrive at our destination.

Right when I have gotten this far, the small kid two seats next to me tries to Rap into the plastic microphone of a Fisher Price tape recorder. I realize that it won't be enough to throw just one kid into the clouds. And I sit in my cramped seat and I scream.

I scream until the airplane touches down five hours later. My voice is hoarse but it feels so good. I understand the baby now.

By the way, all the small children and babies shut up right after I started screaming. They didn't even burp for the remainder of the flight; they just stared at me, a Master At Work.

(Note: The <NOFRAMES> Gallery contains a full-size version of the image at the top right of this page.)

This Thought: © MOATMAI (October 2000)

Previous heretic thought: Everything A Spider Can
More heretic thoughts: Terrorizing People

More Heresies

No Afterlife for me, please: Against Life After Death

Don't ask how I'm doing; you don't want to know: Too Much Honesty

It's all Steven Spielberg's fault: Grow Up, Already

A true, if indiscreet, story: Christmas In A Tree

A musical obsession: Hating the Pet Shop Boys

Yet another opinion about Littleton: The Devil Made Them Do It

Spider-Man, The Early Years: Everything A Spider Can

Babies in Airplanes, Oh My: The Screamer

About the Terrorist Attack on New York and Washington: Terrorizing People

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