While recently dining in the 19th level of Parental Hell otherwise known as “Chuck E. Cheese’s,” I noticed through my headache induced haze and paralyzing dread of eventually having to drag my children from the establishment like junkies from a crack house, that my daughter’s taste in arcade games is very similar to my own. This worries me.
Although she’s still a toddler, she is entranced by the idea of operating a vehicle. She pretends to chauffeur other children to class in Chuck E. Cheese’s little yellow school bus, imagines herself humiliating a score of NASCAR legends in the racing game, and practically salivates with excitement when trying out the collective on the helicopter game. She would sell her adorable little soul to whomever would allow her to drive our business’ 16 foot box truck proudly down the street and she is continually putting her Little People baby in the Captain’s seat of her brother’s Playmobile airplane to depart for exotic vacation destinations like Chuck E. Cheese’s.
My concern is that she’ll fall in love with aviation and want to be a pilot. This cannot happen. Being a professional pilot is not something even the evil genius Plankton would wish upon his arch-nemesis Eugene Krabs should the glorious Krabby Patty secret formula hang in the balance.
Even if you completely discount the thousands of dollars spent pursuing this elusive dream, the time spent working for the monetary equivalent of ox spit as a flight instructor, the years of being on call, commuting across 3 time zones to work a 14 hour shift and sleep in a “crashpad” to stave off bankruptcy, and living under the constant threat of loss of flight status due to furloughs or failing a biannual medical or flight examination, the life of a pilot is stressful and exhausting. And the life of a female pilot can be even worse, not only because of the surprisingly large number of men in and out of the industry who truly believe that mammary glands interfere with the proper control inputs of an aircraft, but because of the horribly ill-fitting and completely unflattering uniforms women are expected to spend their entire career trying to live down. I mean, do they really think that neckerchief thing looks professional or are they trying to force women out of aviation by making them look like homely blue trolls?
I love my daughter and as much as I appreciate her need for speed and would love for her to experience the unmitigated feeling of freedom and joy when flying an aircraft, I can’t let anyone do that to her. I can think of only one possible solution to this vexing dilemma: someone’s just going to have to break down and buy us a Learjet.