El Ojo Rojo del Infierno

Complete wakefulness. A dark reverie descends upon me in the newfound silence. Moments before, chaos lay across the plane. But now the squalling Beast in seat 28E lies silent, surely taking only a respite before his guttural wails resume to peel the last layers of sanity from my mind.

It is 2:58am, and I cannot sleep. I am on the Red Eye from Hell.

The Beast cries out in the darkness, his evil moans destroying the slumber of countless innocents. I wish to kill him, to squeeze his throat with all my might until blood runs from his ears and his eyes burst from their sockets. I want to silence his miserable voice forever. Society prevents me, not the first time or the last that the arbitrary morals of man have checked my homicidal rage. Things will be different when I am emperor, but for now I seethe.

The Fat Man snores again. What does he dream of, I wonder? Of winning the lottery, of cakes and candy bars and a world without hunger? His incessant drone provides no answers. Of all those here he seems most impervious to the Beast’s powers. Though its cries do seem to interrupt the Fat Man’s nasal symphony for a time, the music soon resumes when the Beast pauses to catch its breath.

An old Japanese woman ambulates weirdly down the aisle. She stares at me with hollow eyes, perhaps baffled by the solitary light above my head. Back down the aisle and up again she wanders, a ghost looking for a tomb.

Somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico lightning slashes between cloudbanks and illuminates the bare metal wing of the plane. A perfect quarter moon hangs in the black air, Mars a jewel in the halo of its crown. I am tired and my hand grows heavy. Yet the squealling maw of the Beast opens forth and issues another warning, promising me that any sleep I might steal would be troubled and brief. Still, I must close my eyes and try to rest before dawn fills the cabin and our red eye emerges from the gates of hell.

Some brat screamed his goddamn fucking lungs out for seven hours straight on an overnight flight, a scant ten feet from my ears. He kept me from getting a single moment’s rest. I wanted to fucking murder him. It’s been a couple days since the flight, and I still want to fucking murder him. With a rusty chainsaw.

Parents, the next time you contemplate bringing your small child on an overnight plane, please do the following for me:

  1. Consider travelling by covered wagon or ocean liner instead.

  2. Force your child through the infant equivalent of the Bataan Death March eight hours prior to your arrival at the airport. If your child attepts to sleep, use an electric cattle prod to shock her back into consciousness. Only allow child to pass out in exhaustion once she is on board. But not before then.

  3. Air pressure changes can cause pain in a child’s ears. To ensure this doesn’t happen, cut off your child’s ears before the flight begins.

  4. Always travel with a small bottle of sedatives with which to tranquilize your child should something upset her. If you’re opposed to using heavy duty sedatives on your baby, how about at least giving some to the rest of us who have to listen to her?

  5. Become a better parent. If you were a better parent, your progeny wouldn’t be crying so loudly. Try getting advice from the self help section and Barnes and Noble, or maybe one of your own parents.

This was the first time I’ve ever been on a plane where the crew didn’t speak cheery goodbyes to passengers as they disembarked.

Well, I’m sure you’ll end up with some folks giving you a pit-worthy roasting, but I’m with you ALL the way on this one.

So Neuroman, please tell us, how do you REALLY feel? :wink:

One trick I learned after having done too much flying - earplugs. I saw a stewardess obviously deadheading on a DFW to Ft. Lauderdale flight stick in a pair right before takeoff. I tried it on my return trip and damned if it didn’t help one hell of a lot. I used the disposable foam types and they seemed to allow pressure in my ears to equalize. Airplane noise disappeared completely and the caterwauling of the cattle sharing coach with me was muted to an acceptable level.
Next time you catch the hell-plane, take a pair with you or if you forget, ask the flight attendants. Just don’t kill any children, unless they’re keeping me awake too. :smiley:

Que pena!

Major suggestion: a DVD/CD player with noise-cancelling headphones. These are made by a variety of manufacturers and actually work. Some, such as Bose, are expensive, but worth every fucking nickel. Trust me.

Additional advice to parents:

You cannot explain to your screaming infant why their ears hurt. Therefore, provide them something to suck on during takeoffs and landings - boobie, bottle, finger, whatever. It will help equalize their little ears and minimize pain for everyone else.

On my flight back from my folks’ place there was a little one screaming like that, and I already was sensitive of hearing due to an extreme allergy attack. I feel your pain. Thankfully, I had my MP3 player and noise-dampening earphones.

I actually had some decent earplugs, but to stop this noise I would have had to dip my entire head in wax. An MP3 player is something I viewed as a luxury item on a plane ride, but the suggestion that they be used defensively is a good one.

I am pretty understanding of little kids on flights because I know their little ears must be bursting. Yet, parents don’t seem to comprehend that their kids will more than likely cry on these flights- the entire time. If I am on a daytime flight and a kid is crying, I let it go; but night flights- what the hell???

I flew from Honolulu to LAX on a flight that left at 9 PM. A family with 4 kids under 5 and a baby (no more then 4 months old) was on my flight. Now, I understand sometimes there are emergencies and overnight flights are a necessity- this was not the case. Mom and dad were yammering on about how they were sad to leave Hawaii and their vacation and they couldn’t wait to get home to Huntington Beach because mom wanted to make a cake.

Needless to say, the ENTIRE flight the baby was screaming that awful baby scream that says, “I’m in pain! Help!!”. Then because the baby was crying, ALL FOUR KIDS STARTED SCREAMING. Not crying- screaming.

Mom and Dad? Can we be a lil considerate? Take your friggin kids on a day flight where the entire plane wont be trying to sleep.

Anyway, I ended up driving the 2 hours home like a zombie until I found a Starbucks.


Earplugs AND headphones. That is a solution worth trying. We do a lot of international flights and that 1/4 inch piece of foam saved my sanity from the woman who thought it was smart to being a RATTLE on the plane for her (otherwise well-behaved) child.

This alone was worth opening the thread for. Unfortunately, it’s not true. The air pressure change happens in the inner ear. Better to drug the little buggers, unless you’re gonna cut real deep.

My last red-eye was an 11pm flight from Phoenix to Newark that got in just after six in the morning, for a total flight time of 4 hours, or a little over 2 hours of sleep between reaching cruising altitude and starting the descent. Ugh.

I always have my MP3 player on me for long flights now. Makes the time fly and drowns out all other noise.

But SEVEN HOURS?!? The baby’s own parents were probably a couple of wails away from doing the kid in themselves.

*Note to self - when flying in future, bring earplugs, mp3 player with noise-dampening headphones, and large bottle of sleeping pills (in case I have to share)

Am I the only person who read “Ojo Rojo del Infierno” as something like Peter Jackson’s representation of Sauron?

“Hey, little kid…that’s a really cute sippy cup you have there. Can I see that for a second?”

Oh, c’mon…even I (who knows almost no Spanish) know that “Ojo” doesn’t mean Giant Vagina…

Well my flight was 5, but that really makes no difference. And mom and dad were perfectly fine! Snuggled up together sleeping while their brats were freaking out (I’d say a good 80% of the time).

Oh, that’s too much - the parents didn’t even notice the kids all screaming? I think it would be perfectly appropriate to wake them up to make sure they notice. Maybe with a bucket of cold water.