First class or first grade?

These flat escalators at the airport are my favorite thing to play on. My sister Chrissy and me like to run in the wrong direction on them while big people try to get around us. Itís like a Disney ride but you donít have to wait in line. But a lot of times grown-ups donít even know itís a ride. Sometimes they donít even get on the escalators and walk in the boring old aisles even though they can see us having lots of fun on them. Other times they say things like ďThis is not a playground, you could get hurt. Where are your parents?Ē

Clean your glasses, mister. Theyíre standing right over there. Dadís reading the newspaper. Momís on her cell phone. Hey, you want to run up the down escalator with me? Nevermind, watch this. I can hang on this black, rubbery, moving thing and then let it drag me along with it down the flat escalator. No, you canít do it, Chrissy. I just invented it and itís mine. Mom. Mom! MOM! MMMOMMM! Chrissy wonít stop it!

I got brand new wheelie shoes. Theyíre like sneakers and roller skates all in one. Watch this. Watch, mom, watch! Mom. Mom! MOM! MMMOMMM! Too late. They never seem to be watching when I do the coolest stuff, like skate in and out of that line of people over there. Itís like Iím invisible. Want to see me ram this shopping cart thingy into a window real hard? Watch!

Wow! Did you see that?! The whole window shook. Did you see that old lady jump? Did you see everybody, except Mom and Dad, watching me? They miss all the good stuff. Mom! Mom, watch me! MOM! MMMOMMMM! Look!

Why do we have to see stupid, old grandma anyway. She doesnít let me touch anything in her stupid old house and itís just a bunch of stupid old stuff anyway. So what if her stupid old glass vase breaks? She acts likes itís such a big deal. And whoís Tiffany? None of her grandkids are named Tiffany.

Címon, letís play on the elevators. I can push all the buttons at once. Watch me hold the door open. See! Itís trying to close but I put the shopping cart thing in it. Bang, bang, bang. Hey, donít that, mister. I was playing with it first. Mom. Mom! MOM! MMMOMMM!

This is soooo boring. Mom. Mom! MOM! Get me another soda. I put this one down on the seat and it fell over. And I had only taken one sip. Now itís gone. Letís sit somewhere else. This is all messy!

I donít WANT to play with Chrissy! NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! THIS IS MY INDOOR VOICE! MMMOMMM!

I donít have to go to the bathroom. Iím fine. Iím telling you, itís OK. Iím positive.

Chrissy, watch this. When I push this door open, it starts all those bells ringing. You try it. See? Whatíd I tell you? Have you ever heard anything that loud. Why is everybody running? Mom. Mom! MOM! MMMOMMM! My fingerís stuck in the pay phone thingy! It hurts!

I donít care that we have to get on the plane right now. I have to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW! Do you know what I mean?

Look at this, I can make all the sinks turn on at once. See that? Dad? Dad! DAD! DDDADDD!

What do you mean they wouldnít hold the plane for us? They just left? Canít we sue them, Dad? Canít we? Canít we? Like we sued that old school bus driver? You mean you settled for an upgrade to First Class on the next flight? OK. Just like last time, huh, Dad. Dad? DAD? DDDADDD?

Jim Mullen is the author of ďIt Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple LifeĒ and ďBabyís First Tattoo.Ē You can reach him at

Copyright 2006, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

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