Friday, 1 July 2016

Nerves Fried

For audio click here
Nerves fried; a plane that is way too crowded without the air con on yet,  a mother, on her second flight, three bags and a three-year-old. All the ingredients you need for a temper tantrum, and the mother is close to losing it. The three-year-old is charming, an adorable smile and a mind of her own. “Hello,” she breezily sings to each passenger as she walks down the aisle. “Hello, hello, hello.” The little dab is managing to put a smile on the faces of even the most grumpy of customers. But there’s no smile on her mother’s face. There’s sweat, and a frown, but no smile.
The mother is two metres behind her child, trying to juggle the bags, the passports and the boarding cards, trying to watch the child and scan the seat numbers. It looks like she’s multitasked out for a while. There’s two additional bags under her eyes suggesting that it has already been a long day. To make it worse there is someone in her seat. Will that be the straw that breaks this camel’s back? The man sitting there smiles at the woman.
“Do you need any help,” he says.
“That's my seat,” she replies.
“No it's not,” he has the confidence of a man who knows he’s right. He points to the number on his boarding pass.
She drops a bag. Her daughter is heading back down the plane.
“Hello, hello, hello.” 
The mother looks at the card in her hand. She sees it, but she doesn't believe it. One seat is 22b the other seat is 25c. She can't sit apart from a three-year-old.  She looks again at the boarding card in case she’s made a mistake, she hasn’t She thinks about cursing the check-in girl before remembering she checked herself in online.
“Anke,” she calls out to her daughter, who is showing her teddy bear to a man in a suit.
“Help,” she says to a nearby member of staff. 
The woman in the blue uniform smiles.
“I have to sit with my baby,” the mother says. “I can’t sit apart. She’s only three, I can’t sit apart.”
“I’m sure we can sort this out.” The flight attendant takes the boarding cards from the woman and looks at them.
“I have to sit with my baby.” The panic is palpable.
“Madam, one boarding card is from this flight and one is from your last one. Have you got another one somewhere.”
The woman drops another bag and fetches out another card from the third bag.

“So you are 22a and b madam.” the attendant says. The woman’s sigh of relief is heard back in the terminal building.

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