about anything under the Sun!
The Beavis-Butthead show…Live @ 35000 ft
On a recent long-haul flight across the Atlantic, I witnessed a live demonstration of how wonderfully human beings can co-exist…or not! There were these two clowns who seemed pretty insistent on making sure the rest of us were well entertained. Lets just call them Beavis and Butthead to keep things simple…and real.
Beavis was a middle-aged, ill-tempered man and seemed generally unhappy with pretty much anything in life – I had the pleasure of sitting next to him and even as we were waiting for the plane to taxi out from the gate, he was constantly muttering to himself in apparent disgust at something or the other. And as for Butthead, he was returning back to the States with his family (wife and 2 young daughters), presumably after a nice vacation back home. And we all know how happy someone in that state would be, right? So clearly, the stage was set and the players motivated…all we needed was a spark to get B & B going.
And who else but Butthead’s elder daughter to the rescue. You must know that I usually adore kids and am very tolerant of their bratty behavior. But in a public place, I expect the parents to show some respect for the others in the room, exercise their control and draw up some boundaries. Butthead thought otherwise, of course. The elder daughter was just screaming her lungs out about the movies she wanted to watch, the food she wanted to eat, games she wanted to play etc. It was annoying, to say the least, but that wasn’t quite the problem. She kept kicking the seat in front of her rather violently – she was either sugared up, or just plain excited about being on an airplane, or was listening to music that I need to get my hands on. And yes, you guessed right, she was sitting right behind Beavis and driving him up the wall.
So here’s how the rest of the conversation goes:
Beavis: Hey kid, you are BOTHERING me with your kicking, please STOP it!
Butthead’s daughter either doesn’t hear it, or hears it and ignores Beavis anyway. And yes, of course she continues kicking for the next several minutes. Meanwhile, Butthead is watching and chooses to ignore Beavis (bad idea!). And me thinks he’s actually enjoying the fact that his daughter is heading down this brave path, and quite proud of it.
Another 10 minutes pass, and we are still waiting at the gate. One passenger was yet to board, and the pilot decides to wait for him – am sure he was a surgeon saving someone’s life next to the liquor shelves at the Duty Free store in Terminal 3. Of course we should wait for him, good call! Only problem? Beavis’s blood is boiling some more and I can actually see it bubbling up under his skin. It was scary, and I wasn’t even the one kicking the back of his chair. In one swift motion, he gets up, turns around and goes off on the little one
Beavis: Goddamnit kid! Can you not listen when I tell you? How many times do I have to tell you to stop bothering me with your kicking? Do it one more time and watch what I do to you.
Wow, real class – Yelling at the 6-yr old was bad enough, but he had to top it off by using his size and temper to intimidate her. Moron!
Butthead finally gets into the act…starting slowly but quickly getting into the act
Butthead: Sir, she is just a little kid. Please don’t be so rude.
When he notices that Beavis isn’t retaliating, he gets a little braver
Butthead: You don’t talk to a kid like that. I don’t want you talking to my daughter.
Beavis: But I did tell her 15 minutes ago to not kick my chair. She wouldn’t stop!
Butthead: You are a nasty fellow. How can you talk to a little child like that? Have you ever been around children? I am sure you have never had children yourself. You are nasty, your behavior is nasty. Very nasty!
Beavis starts to ignore him…of course, the poor kid is terrified by now and thankfully the kicking has stopped. But Butthead is not done just as yet.
Butthead: If you talk to her again, I will call the stewardess and tell her about your behavior. Yes, you are nasty!
Wow! I was sure his next move was going to be calling Beavis’s Mommy and telling off on him. Thank God for small mercies, that did not happen. By now, Beavis was clearly done and pretended to go off to sleep
Butthead (to his wife, in his native tongue): He has never been around kids, I am sure. He is a bad man, shouting at kids like that.
Of course, there is no mention of the kid’s behavior (which from where I sat – actually I was sitting dangerously close to an angry Beavis, so maybe I am a tad biased here) was certainly out of line and needed some correction on the parents’ part. And that’s when Butthead’s wife pulled one out of the hat…
Butthead’s wife (to her kid): sweetie, you didnt do anything wrong. You have nothing to be afraid of, so you continue to ignore this man and enjoy your flight. He is a bad man and you don’t have to worry about him.
I couldn’t believe it…everyone was really stooping to see how low they could go. This had all the makings of an outstanding live entertainer. I was about to return my headsets, this was going to be way more fun to watch…at some personal risk to my life, of course, given where I was perched. Alas, nothing of that sort happened. Beavis went off to sleep and the kid did heed his warning, I think. And poor Butthead resigned himself to watching some Bollywood classics. The next 15 hours turned out to be pretty uneventful and boring. Quite the letdown after such an exciting build-up!
How can one not love Emirates? 🙂