Bad Advice About Babies Who Cry On Planes

Welcome to our latest Bad Advice column! Stay tuned every Tuesday for more terrible guidance based on actual letters.


“We recently returned from a trip to Eastern Europe. We took a direct flight to Canada, which took 9½ hours.
We paid extra to have a row with only two seats, so as not to be disturbed during the flight.
A couple with two children, about 3 to 5 years old, sat two rows back.
The parents thought it was funny to play with these kids so they could laugh and scream throughout the flight.
Another lady had a baby two rows over, who cried quite a lot during this trip.
Why don’t airlines put people with children in the back of the plane so they can enjoy their kids’ company while people who pay extra for choice seats can enjoy their flight without noise or disruption?”
— From “Tired Traveler” via “Ask Amy,” Washington Post, 20 September 2016

Dear Tired Traveler,

First things first: It’s appalling and inexcusable for you to have endured noise and disruption on a commercial airline flight in the year 2016. What is this, the Middle Ages? The Bad Advisor is very sorry for what happened to you. No one, least of all someone who paid extra, deserves to have experienced what you experienced on that flight.

Except for parents who fly with children, that is! The whole miserable lot of whom should be corralled mercilessly into a sealed and locked back-of-the-plane holding facility into which they will be confined without exception for the entire duration of travel so that people who pay extra never have to see, hear, or smell their inferiors. That way, these inconsiderate ignoramuses who think it’s such a jolly good laugh to enjoy the company of their offspring at 35,000 god-forsaken feet can pull their discourteous bullshit on someone else’s ear drums, preferably a poor person, whose financial status does not make them a superior human being. What kind of a scumbag plays with children on a nearly 10-hour flight, anyway? Actually, don’t answer that — you’re just going to tell the Bad Advisor that these children were allowed to eat meals and use the restroom, too.

You’re not asking for special treatment. You just want to be able to be locked in a flammable tin can and flung into the sky for hours on end with hundreds of other people without experiencing the most minute discomfort. That simply means that some customers will have to be herded into a soundproof chamber and segregated from the people whose comfort actually matters.


“Is there a proper way for a man to introduce himself to an attractive woman in a public place like a store or a museum?”
— From “DAN IN SAN FRANCISCO” via “Dear Abby,” 7 October 2016

Dear Dan in San Francisco,

Indeed there is, and the Bad Advisor is so pleased you asked. Many men don’t realize there are wildly different protocols for approaching attractive women versus the way introductions to the rest of the worthless, aesthetically unpleasing masses must be handled. If you wish to speak to an attractive woman, you should present her with the traditional carved pomegranate (try to find one that isn’t too big). For everyone else, a handwritten note delivered by a friendly (but not too friendly; they’ll get the wrong idea) woodland creature will do.


“Is it appropriate for the Nobel Committee to call prize winners at all hours of the night in order to inform them of their award?
I understand that the Nobel Prize is very important, but it seems to me that it does not qualify as an emergency, and I assume that prize winners are busy people who may be expected to give lectures the next morning.
Also, I think that the Nobel Committee can be expected to be aware of time zone differences.
— Via “Miss Manners,” Washington Post, 2 October 2016

Dear reader,

Winning the most prestigious award humanity has to offer itself is undoubtedly a gratifying experience, but — after bedtime? I hope the Nobel Committee reads this letter and takes it to heart, because the Prize is itself as old as the telephone. We may therefore expect that for more than a century, the greatest minds of these many respective generations have been irreparably addled by receiving untimely communiques informing them of their great and grand achievements.

Until, of course, you arrived to give voice to the suffering of the literal smartest people on the planet! You, dear reader, are a thoughtful and tireless advocate for the most vulnerable among us, unafraid to speak out against the cruel masses of midnight callers who, year after year, oppress and degrade Nobel-winning scientists, scholars, and artists by delivering the happy news at hours which an anonymous Miss Manners reader finds unacceptable. But for your intervention, Nobel Prize winners might never have had the courage or wherewithal to recover from the means of their prize discoveries, least of all speak out against this aural and temporal injustice.

Rise up, Nobel Prize winners! Refuse to take this unconscionable treatment any longer! Take to the streets in resistance and claim your rightful slumber! The guy from the American newspaper advice column stands beside you! As long as this thing doesn’t go on too late, of course.


Lead image: flickr/memekode and Pixabay

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