November 22, 2008

Saturday Smile

Richard Paul Evans tells the following true story.

My recent jetting across the country reminded me of a funny experience that I had on a flight a few years back. Keri and I decided to take the kids to the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C. At the time we had two 4-year-olds, a 7-year-old and two teenagers. We arrived at the airport for our trip home only to learn that our flight was delayed four hours. As you can imagine, after four hours of sitting in an airport our bored kids were driving us crazy.

Only as we prepared to board did I realize that the airline had scattered our seats all over the plane. No two seats were together. Exhausted, I tried to reason with the airline clerk that with small children we should be together, but he was not only insistent that there was nothing he could do, but he was borderline hostile. After about ten minutes of trying to persuade the man to seat us together I realized that I was going about this all wrong. I suddenly stopped arguing.

"Never mind," I said. "Don't worry about it."

He looked at me quizzically. "What?"

"Thanks for your help, but really, don't worry about it. We're fine with how things are."

Now he was suspicious. "What do you mean?"

"I mean, these kids are so out of control and I am so tired of fighting them, nothing would make me happier than to have someone else deal with them for the next five hours. It's like having free babysitters."

The clerk turned white. "Just a minute."

"No, I replied. "Really, we're perfectly fine with the way it is."

Miraculously, within five minutes our whole family had seats together.