Ankle Biter Air Travel


This is a request to the parents out there, taking their little bundles of joy (and drool) on a fun-filled flight across how ever many miles to show them off / let them get loved on / get a instant babysitter at Gee-Gaw and Pee-Paw’s place.

As for the big bundles of joy (and drool), you’re on your own with them.

My request: Get off the plane and head down the ramp. Do not stop for anything – an undercarriage flush, an oil change (or changing the “filter”), getting the fluids topped off (or drained), or any detailing you might think of doing before you come ’round the bend to the sounds of delight and screaming.

Just. Get. Down. Here.

“But Calbert, you ignorant twerp,” I hear you say. “You’ve never flown with a little bundle of joy (and drool) and have no idea the hardships involved in munchkin air travel. The horrors. The stress…”

“The smell… Great gravy bones, THE SMELL.”

And you’re right. I have no little bundles of joy (and drool) of my own, thus have no knowledge of their exhaust issues. And even if I was on ground zero for a diaper dump, I’d never smell it anyway, so how could I possibly make such a dumb request?

Allow me to elucidate.

You see, dear ones, I have a unique perspective, and would love to shine a little light into your joyful (and droolful) world: I’m watching Gee-Gaw and Pee-Paw, while they’re waiting for you. 

And pacing. And waiting.

I know that your little bundle of… stuff… could smell like a cotton ball double-dipped in the Bog of Eternal Stench, and then hosed down by diverse and sundry skunkage, before coming down the long walk, and Gee-Gaw will still fall to her knees with a loud “Oooooooooooohhhhhh!” to grab the little smell bomb without giving a wet slap about the fragrance. She’ll find it delightful, and will hasten to join you in the restroom to do the aforementioned undercarriage work.

Gee-Gaw loves that stuff. After all, she was your head mechanic back when you were a little bundle of… things.

Pee-Paw might not be as delighted with the fragrance, but he’ll just kind of grunt and mutter, which is Pee-Paw speak for, “Dear Lord, that child reeks, but is still adorable.” Trust me – that’s exactly what he’s saying. Look it up on Google Translate – you’ll see I’m right.

But here’s the main deal – the longer you take up in the concourse, primping, flushing, replacing filters, removing stench and other byproducts, and all that other stuff you do camped out in the family restroom for 20 minutes, the longer Gee-Gaw and Pee-Paw are down here waiting.

And pacing.

And giving me the stink eye of death.

And waiting.

And pacing.

And asking me if that’s everybody off the plane? Is anybody else coming? Where are they? Why aren’t you up there making sure that they’re actually coming? Why don’t you go let somebody know to hurry up and bring them down?

(And yes, I actually have had Gee-Gaws and Pee-Paws ask me questions like this, in tones ranging from mild-but-polite inquiry to “set phasers to extra crunchy.” Or was that “extra crochety?”

See what I did there?)

And they continue waiting.

And the aforementioned pacing.

And giving me the double stink eye of death.

(Yes, Pee-Paw – I’m lookin’ at you. Gee-Gaws, in general, are much more subtle and kind than you are, and seem to know that the forceful stare won’t miraculously make the little bundles appear around the bend. 

Although sometimes Gee-Gaw gets in on the action too, and then I get dagger stares in stereo. Whee.)

Anyway, dear parents, the longer you take with bundle maintenance, the longer Gee-Gaw and Pee-Paw have to marinate in the sauce of Hot Flaming Impatience with a side of Imagining a Painful Interlude For That Bonehead Security Guy Who Is Holding Back Our Little Bundles Out of Malice and Incompetence.

Don’t believe me? Well, answer me this, riddle pals:

When growing up, did your parents (in their pre-Gee & pre-Pee days) ever show any signs of impatience? Did dear old Dad ever get honked at slow traffic or a long wait at the restaurant? Did Mom ever utter the phrase, “If you don’t get down here right now, there’s gonna be trouble!”

Ah – so there were those little tiny seeds, so small, so innocent.

What you may not realize, is that becoming a Gee-Gaw or a Pee-Paw means that those seeds have sprouted into monstrous trees, bearing only one fruit: Hand over the little bundles, and hand them over NOW. The fact that you brought those bundles into the world is insignificant – you are now the means to the end. The bundles rate higher in the pecking order, and always will. If I’m the first to break this news to you, I apologize.

Santa is also a myth. We might as well get it all over at once.

Believe me, when it comes to those little bundles, there is no more patience. They used it all up on you – the river is dry. It’s now all about getting their Gee and Pee hands on the little bundle(s), and delivering pain to whoever and whatever stands in their way.

And frankly, this might be the night Pee-Paw is off his meds, and we really don’t want to go down that road, do we?

So, please – come out, and do not delay. The life you save may be my own.

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