Who Will Buy My Sound of Silence?

Posted on Monday 18 February 2008

How much was my not-so-new iPod Nano worth as a loaner on the three-hour flight from Dallas to Fort Lauderdale tonight? Depends.

The woman in the row in front of me would certainly have paid me nothing. She had her own noise-cancelling earphones and a fully charged laptop with games galore loaded on it. She was all good.

Ask the guy traveling on business in 9B with no computer and no headphones. I am guessing $100. As much as he seemed to be in a constant forced state of meditation, I saw him blink more than a couple of times. Yep. $100, easy. Maybe even $200.

Judging by the way the couple sitting in row 6 could only close their eyes and how he occasionally banged on the partition between first class and the bulkhead seat in coach–$500, minimum. At one point, about 90 minutes in, I am guessing my Nano was worth a cool $750 to row 6.

Ask the parents of the three-year-old who screamed nonstop–not cried because his ears hurt or he was sick–but screamed, stomped and screamed some more for his parents’ attention, which they only gave sparingly, which made him scream louder and harder for all three hours. To them, my Nano was worthless. Why, I am confident they would have asked, would we need to do anything to silence l’infant terrible we are raising and thus relieve the misery suffered by all, for which we as parents are entirely responsible?

I write this as I am winging my way home to palm trees and 75 degrees after a long weekend of wearing fleece and down vests and the very cool crocheted black Ugg boots that RG Daughter gave me for Christmas. All in all, a fun albeit chilly weekend, complete with snow showers one morning that will make my Florida native pals jealous. A new work schedule awaits me, my pup–minus a few infected teeth and plus a micro chip implant “in case you get separated during a hurricane”–should be pretty ready to come home from the vet, and I am pretty sure a nearby beach beckons.

As the kid continues his screaming battle of wills with his parents, as the flight attendant pours me another glass of red without asking because she knows it is absolutely necessary to dull the effect of the screaming kid, and as the couple in row six groans in despair that the kid will never shut up, exactly how much is my Nano worth?

You mean the Nano with my new, incredibly great earphones snug in my ears, my music blaring as loud as it takes to drown out the three year old, a second glass of wine in hand? Not for sale, neither the Nano nor the wine. Not in a million years, not in a million miles.

And so it goes as I return home to a place that sometimes feels like home in all its craziness and sultry air and abject uncertainty. Mind-numbing peace, as it turns out, is priceless.

14 Comments for 'Who Will Buy My Sound of Silence?'

    February 18, 2008 | 10:56 pm

    Regarding that last sentence, indeed…something I learned many years ago.

    Oh, and welcome home. I am jealous of the snowflakes. It was 87 in Miami today. No snow.


    February 19, 2008 | 4:29 am

    Of course what they really need on planes is a communal bench where people can chat and get to know each other ๐Ÿ™‚

    February 19, 2008 | 9:59 am

    I don’t know if I could ever give up my iPod on a flight. If I can block out everything else except the music blaring in my ears, I can fall asleep for at least an hour.

    And what’s with those parents? They have to realize that their child is irritating others. I suppose they’re also the parents that let their child run wild in a restaurant.

    February 19, 2008 | 10:01 am

    Oh, and I’m not jealous of the snow… Today’s high is supposed to be 14 here in Chicago (that’s -10 Celsius for those outside the US). It would be nice to warm up on the sunny beaches of Miami/Fort Lauderdale.

    February 19, 2008 | 10:21 am

    They seriously need to make a noise proof “family section” on planes where they can seat parents with screaming crotch spawn. I realize that you can’t always make a kid stop crying, but other people shouldn’t be forced to be subjected to it either. If parents know that their spawn is a brat that they can’t control, they should refrain from bringing it on long plane rides, movie theatres, etc. where other people can’t escape.

    February 19, 2008 | 11:15 am

    That kid is annoying me – and I can’t hear or see him – the memories of other wild children and other overly indulgent parents in airports or on planes and busses and trains still pisses me off. I’m glad you had the Nano!

    February 19, 2008 | 5:39 pm

    Welcome back to the calm and warmth! I just moved to Miami Beach from SW Florida and it’s a nice change.

    February 20, 2008 | 12:22 pm

    Black crocheted Uggs????? I am SO jealous! What a great daughter.

    February 20, 2008 | 3:44 pm

    Wait, a micro chip implant. Are you kidding me? That is hilarious…
    Though with a dog that cute, I wouldn’t want to lose her either…

    February 20, 2008 | 5:14 pm

    The only thing better might have been a third glass of wine. Glad you had the music instead of the kid.

    February 20, 2008 | 7:22 pm

    I’ve always said that airlines could charge a slight premium for guaranteed “child-free” flights.

    Rose Royce
    February 21, 2008 | 12:39 pm

    I’m probably cruel . . . and unusual, but my sister once left me alone with her 2 and 4 year old to walk in the woods with the adults. The screaming started and I treated them like I did my dogs. I grabbed the water spray bottle and misted them and said “hush”. It took three squirts for the older one and a fourth threat of a squirt for negotiations to begin settling down. We talked about how they felt and their was blessed silence as we did something else. When she got back of course I was horrible and evil and knew nothing of children. Some times I wonder if she left them deliberately to show me how much she goes through. Do you think those parents on the plane felt the same way? Too bad air flight attendants, waitress’s etc can’t carry a squirt bottle to assist parents in public.

    February 23, 2008 | 12:02 pm

    LOL. Kind of makes you wonder how much the screaming kid is worth? Moments like that are the best form of birth control. Ever. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    July 25, 2014 | 9:36 pm

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