Flight Attendant Joe Stories: Traveling With A Lap Child

I did NOT take this picture. I am not that old. I am not even old enough to be that kid. Photo provided by SAS Scandinavian Airlines

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post for the blog. I am truly sorry.

Let me clarify, that apology is not directed towards readers. It’s an apology to myself for not posting more on the blog and for not sticking to a promise I made when the calendar struck 2017. It was a simple promise, a promise where I said I’d post at least once a week on the blog. 

Do you think it’s too late to reinvent my promise? 

Maybe I can make myself a new promise. A mid-year promise. A promise that I will write a post on the blog weekly. 

Damn, that was easy. I wish my promise not to have grocery store rage worked out that easily.

But there is a perfectly good reason for not writing for the blog. In fact, there are a few fantastic reasons.  

I just finished writing four episodes of a television show that I am writing with a co-writer friend. A television show we hope to sell to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon — your mom — anyone who wants to buy it. Four episodes of television, do you know how fucking intense that was? It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but intense. And I loved it. I loved it more than writing my book. Please keep that a secret.

And I am talking about writing my first book… I actually REALLY love writing my second book.

Which brings me to that, I am balls deeps working on book 2. It’s titled, Flight Attendant Joe Tells All, which should tell you — I share a lot. But it’s more than that, it’s also full of some important life lessons I’ve learned from my 44+ years on the planet. But no fear, it’s still funny, ridiculous, and inappropriate… you just might grow a little from it. At least that’s the plan. Instead of learning about my masturbation practices as a teen. Actually, you might learn that again, too. You just need to wait around and see. And if you don’t know what I am talking about (the masturbating thing), you haven’t read my first book, Fasten Your Seats And Eat Your Fucking Nutswhich means you hate me. 

Today I am working on book 2 (between making Instagram story videos, eating lunch, talking to the cats like they are my children, and possibly watching some porn) and something popped up in my head which made me say,  “YES! That’s something I need to write about on the blog.”
And I really yelled that out loud. I talk to myself at home. Trust me, it gets argumentative up in here when I disagree with myself.

So here it is. I bet you never thought the point of this ramble would ever fucking end…

A few weeks ago, I was working a flight to Mexico City. Don’t be offended, but them Mexicans were driving me loco. They thought the back galley was a bodega. I wanted to remind them that if they didn’t tone down their demands for extra soft drinks, I’d send a tweet to Donald Trump (Am I legally required to call him President Trump? I don’t know) asking him how the wall was coming along.

I told you not to get offended. But honestly, I think I went into the lavatory about 1000 times (you obviously know THAT’S an exaggeration — the flight was only 3 hours) and asked the mirror, “When is that wall going up?”

Side note: I do not support a wall. I support people not being demanding assholes on the airplane. I write jokes. So save your angry emails and comments for when I really piss you off. 

As we were preparing to land, I walked through the cabin checking seat belts. A young woman had her under 2 year old son in her lap with the seat belt fastened around them both. I smiled and said, “Just keep the seat belt around you and hold your baby tight.”

She spoke perfect English, “Why?”

I normally don’t get annoyed when people question me. I’d say I get annoyed about 25% of the time.

Okay… 75%.

But this was a 99% annoyance alarm because her and I had had the same discussion when we boarded the airplane in Florida. I had politely reminded her then and she followed instruction. This time, she questioned. And like I said, not that I mind too much (75% mind) but the wheels had come down and we were preparing to land.

“It’s for safety measures. You just hold the baby tight and keep the seat belt around you.”

“But why?”

Here’s the thing, there are two ways to explain something to a passenger. The soft gentle way –which takes a long time and increases my annoyance to around 95%) or the quick blunt, it will most likely scare the shit out of you, way. I have done the first… I am guilty of the later.

For instance, I once reminded a female passenger to place her bag all the way under the seat in front of her. She argued with me and refused. Finally, and with a smile, I said, “If we crash, you and the other people in your row will trip over your bag, get trampled on by other passengers, and probably won’t make it off the airplane alive.”

I never saw someone move their bag so fast in my entire life.

I knew I was going to have to go down that same road with this lady. I smiled, “The reason is, if you have the seat belt fastened around both of you, and the airplane stops suddenly on the runway, your body weight will crush your baby. It will crush your baby. Your baby won’t be able to breath. Your baby could die. Please hold your baby and fasten the seat belt around you.”

She complied. She seemed uncomfortable with the wording… but she complied. And really, that’s all I cared about.

Just remember… when you travel with your lap child (under 2 years old) you hold the child in your lap, but you only place the seat belt around yourself. Seat belt fastened around YOU and NOT your baby. You hold onto your baby as tight as you held onto the baby daddy until he found a new woman.

Well, maybe not that tight — you’ll smother little Carlos to death.