The World Does Not Revolve Around Your Children: 5.20
Sorry for the unannounced week-long vacation, kids. Here's a long-ish post I took the time to craft to thank you for coming back.
As you may know, I've been doing some jetsetting recently. And just the other day, while waiting in a security line at LAX...wait. I know how to tell it better...
INT. LAX - TERMINAL SECURITY CHECKPOINT - DAY
A modest line loops around a polyester cord, perhaps seventy souls waiting to remove their shoes and walk through a pair of metal detectors before a fleet of TSA SECURITY OFFICERS.
The following takes place between 5:00pm and 6:00pm.
ASSISTANT/ATLAS, played by the ever faithful/faithless Chad Michael Murray, itches to board his United flight, now very close now to removing his shoes. A SOLO WOMAN, early 30s, mixed race: Latin/Asian?, played by Rosario Dawson, is removing her shoes and placing her items in bins. SECURITY SCREENER #1, mid 20s, African-American, played by Kobe Bryant, waves a businessguy through the metal detector and he passes.
Special Guest Star: Kobe Bryant
THE MOM: (O.S.)
Is this the line?!?
Atlas swivels as all attention turns to THE MOM, a haggard late 30s, who has a stroller, a babyseat, and at least TWO CHILDREN OF THE CORN. No husband type in sight.
Excuse me, I have a six o'clock flight, may I cut in line?
Everyone freezes. Atlas, Solo Woman, the entire line and even the security screeners. What's freezing everyone is two things: the fact that The Mom isn't begging, she's practically commanding, and an acute moral/existential dilemma.
The Mom addresses the Solo Woman directly.
Please may I cut in line!
She's insistent, and projecting 'harried Mom' to all corners of the earth. The Solo Woman mumbles something, looks away, and starts taking off her shoes. The Mom is shocked. Atlas is shocked. The Solo Woman is studiously avoiding any eye contact. The Mom then addresses Security Screener #1.
Please I have children!
Oh, she's done it. She's playing that Mom card for all it's worth.
SECURITY SCREENER #1:
Ma'am, you can wait in line like everyone else, I promise you'll be in time for your flight.
That bold, effing Security Screener motions the Solo Woman through the metal detector and The Mom is still outside the polyester line.
THE MOM: (screeching)
MY FLIGHT IS AT SIX OCLOCK!
Atlas GULPS. He is the next one who is supposed to take off his shoes. The Mom turns on him.
Do you mind if I cut in line?
Atlas' world swims. He gazes back at the neat arrangement of American citizens waiting patiently for their screening. Looking at him. Waiting for him. Atlas totters as he turns back to The Mom.
Is all he can eke out. Atlas looks, pained, in the direction of the line, then pleadingly at furiously imbalanced The Mom, hoping she'll take note of the moral/existential dilemma.
Look, I have two children!
Atlas, struck mute, motions toward Security Screener #1, trying to summon the authority of Transportation Security Administration- Kobe's words. The Mom persists in huffing in Atlas' general direction.
Atlas begins removing his shoes. The Mom launches into a production. She SIGHS, adjusts her baby, shakes the stroller threatening, like a rattlesnake, and prepares
HHHUHHHHH! Sir, do you mind if I cut in line?
The Mom is now asking the GUY BEHIND ME, mid 30s, played by an arrogant-acting John C. Reilly, who almost immediately says...
GUY BEHIND ME:
Yeah, sure, I don't mind.
Atlas can't give John C. Reilly an evil look because he's tossing his shoes into a gray bin and rolling his belongings toward the X-ray machine. The Mom begins pulling all of her possessions under the polyester barrier. Atlas pushes his toward the machine and looks to Kobe for the wave-through. But Kobe is engrossed in Mom pulling herself under the barrier, shaking his head slightly and looking down.
Finally, he notices Atlas and waves him through. The metal detector does not beep as Atlas slides through. TSA Kobe regards Atlas.
Hey- sorry about that, man.
Kobe does look sorry for Atlas, but somewhat bemused by the situation. It-- the bemusement-- wears off on Atlas, will take note that Kobe makes The Mom send the babyseat through the X-ray machine.
Um, it's okay.
But it really wasn't.
Moms with kids taking priority? On the Titanic, yes. Because you're late for your flight? Join the club. And there will be another plane going to where you're going. Promise.
By the way, I managed to wing my way home for a visit with the fam. Everyone's fine, thanks for asking. But here's what my Dad said about the whole matter: "Well, I would of said, 'Don't ask me, you've got to ask every person in that line'. (gesturing toward imaginary line)."
TECHNORATI TAGS: Parenting, Travel, JetSetting