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By Paul Ollinger, Forge, April, 13, 2020
Comedian. Host of the Crazy Money podcast. Former digital laborer. http://PaulOllinger.com/podcast
When our son was a year old, my pregnant wife and I endured a grueling day of travel from northern Michigan to Los Angeles, where we lived at the time. A canceled flight and a missed connection led to five hours in the Detroit airport with a squirmy child whose undiagnosed ear infection had kept any of us from sleeping the night prior.
The fun was just beginning when our flight home finally took off. As changes in cabin pressure inflicted cochlear agony, my son didn’t just cry — he let loose desperate, primal screams that could not be extinguished with hugs, Juicy Juice, or M&M’s. His anguish was so extreme that fellow passengers zoomed right past anger and straight to incredulous pity. Somewhere over Wyoming, the kind woman next to us held the demon boy and his attention by pointing at clouds out the window. Finally, after a 16-hour travel day, we landed at LAX and sheepishly mumbled our apologies and thanks to those around us. ….