Most of us at one time or other have wanted to slap the daylights out of someone else’s crying kid, as did Mr. Joe Rickey Hundley of Hayden, Idaho. The baby was sitting next to him Feb. 8 on a Delta Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta, and as the plane was getting ready to land, the 2-year-old boy put up a howl.
Once he had had all he could take, Mr. Hundley slapped the kid and told his mother to “shut that (racial slur starting with N) baby up. As you might expect, the baby began crying louder after he was slapped and insulted, which no doubt served Mr. Hundley right.
Once the incident was made public, Hundley was fired from his job as president of Unitech Composites and Structures. One imagines he made more than minimum wage at that work, so not only did the baby cry louder, but Hundley now will have to live on unemployment. Serves him right.
We all have been irked by crying babies, but hardly any of us are dumb enough to slap them silly, even if they are our own babies. In fact, if they are our own, we pat them, and rock them, and try to shut them up without resorting to corporal punishment.
And we are wise to refrain from slapping babies, because in most cases it does no good, as Hundley learned to his distress. His wife probably is still bawling him out.
Consider this an example: Imagine you are in church, and the minister is making a point in her sermon, and in the back of the room, a baby starts to cry. Suddenly, the baby is the focus of attention. Not the minister, not you, not the parent of the baby. It is the baby upsetting the balance of power in the room, or on the plane, if that is where it happens. In those circumstances, babies are all powerful, and we grownups hate that.
About all you can do when someone else’s baby starts caterwauling grit your teeth, and recall that you, too, once were an all-powerful baby who did your share of crying.