I boarded the CRJ Bombardier early with the first group on account o’ I had almost two million miles with the air carrier. The aircraft was designed to carry 70 passengers of so-called normal dimensions. What I mean is that my six-eight brother would not have been able to walk upright nor sit without his knees pressing hard into the seat ahead. |
My seat was on the aisle so I did not strap in. See, the gate agent announced the flight was full—they were even requesting volunteers to take a later flight. I watched my fellow passengers walk by, and as is my custom, I entertained myself with a few mental comments to wit: …that poor young mother; she has to wrestle with two tired, little ones…man, that guy stinks; keep on walking, dirt bag…mmm, nice; I’d put her on my “to do” list…geez, look at the size of that dude; God, please don’t let him have the seat next to me…suit and tie; you don’t see that much anymore…I think that lady has her slacks on backwards…how’d a slob like that get a babe like her?...hey, lady ever hear of new inventions called washing machine and iron?...Whoa; what a rack…
“Excuse me, sir.” A young, humongous, Wagnerian lady smiled pleasantly at me.
“Wha…?" I was still in my reverie thinking mainly of bosoms.
“I have the window seat.”
OH, NO! This flight is going to be miserable. I paid 800 bucks for this? Thank God it’s only a one-hour flight, but still we’ll be sitting on the ground, taxiing…
“Oh, yeah. Sorry.” I rose to let her squeeze—and I mean squeeze—by me. The agent said we’d have a crowd, but I didn’t expect it all to be in my row. Before she could sit I deftly reached in and slammed down the center arm rest. Me define boundaries! Yeth thir!
She had to sit kind of sideways to fit. The seat groaned, creaked, and strained to contain her. Talk about 10 pounds in a five-pound bag… She looked miserable. Oddly (for me) I had a sudden pang of empathy. Poor thing, made to sit in a seat ergonomically designed and built in the 1960s. The population has definitely super-sized since then. She couldn’t help but partially ooze over the arm rest invading my upper space while her thunder buns slowly flowed like a creeping glacier underneath. Her fat folds allowed mold to grow that emitted a particular odor common to obese people. Plus she radiated massive heat, and the wheezing and nose-whistling was distracting. Still, as miserable as I planned to be, it was worse for her. She was also obviously self-conscious, not like those oblivious blimps who loudly proclaim they’re beautiful. Ever notice those types also tend to draw attention to themselves by the way they act? But this lady was nothing like that. She was a sweetheart. Uncharacteristically unselfish, I felt worse for her than myself.
I could go on a diatribe about the slobbing-up of America, but what’s the use? Our "new human race", comprised of victims of all ilk, are in total denial about their responsibility for anything. This attitude is aided and abetted by the educational system and politically correct whiners that insist self-esteem must prevail no matter how undeserved or untrue.
Basketballer LeBron James when asked about what a cavalier is (in a commercial) responded, “A guy with a sWord?” (pronouncing the “w”) No one had the guts to tell him it was wrong! The producers and director let him go on sounding ignorant. Good grief, has everyone turned into a sycophant for famous and rich people?
Some athletes (those who can’t pronounce two-syllable words: I-come-school-play-ball) dress in terrible colors and/or goofy clothing, and are told they make the threads look good. (No, they look like clowns!)
Some say piercings and tattoos show their individuality. (Not when everyone else in your “group” has them!) Body art? (Give me a break! How about carnival ride operator art?)
People die of lung cancer and blame tobacco companies. I have no use for tobacco companies, but I also believe in personal responsibility.
Same thing with obese people and fast food joints.
CONCLUSION: I could advocate that obese people purchase two seats like US Airways tried a few years back, but then I’d be accused of being insensitive to a certain victim demographic that has “glandular” problems, which is a typical default position. The reality is that less than one-percent fall into that category.
Hey, you know what? I’m not bothered by either being accused or the wimpy accusers—not at all! I’ll simply use the Madonna defense of “So what?” When she used it early in her career, the shocked media slunk away. But if you apologize they’re all over you with new accusations about sincerity and on-and-on, bullshit, bullshit…
So I won’t do that. Here’s the deal: I’m a slim guy, small-boned with a runner’s physique, and I’m uncomfortable in those seats! I’m not saying the air carriers should change all seats and provide legroom for the fattest and tallest of our species, but it wouldn’t hurt to redesign based on today’s statistics. But remember this: you can prove ANYTHING by use of scripture and statistics; the old figures-don’t-lie-but-liars-figure routine. What do you want to bet the airline companies have statistical studies to back up their cabin configuration “based on today’s population norms”? Gee, that’s funny; it’s just like 1962. What a freaking coincidence! But casual observation in any airline terminal tells you this just is not so!
We have a two-headed snake: obese people who think the whole world should change to accommodate them, and airlines (driven by profits) to cram in as many passengers as possible. What to do?
Here’s an idea from my past handball tournament days: There were normal classifications of Open, A, B, and C; but some also had a Monster Man class. To qualify, one had to top 200 pounds. How about a Monster Person (See how PC I am?) class in airplane cabin configuration, say, like two rows reserved for those weighing over 250? Put two first class width seats in place of three coach seats. Wait a minute; I can hear the PC police now. You can’t label those unfortunate souls as monsters! So I suppose terms like behemoth bench, buffalo butt, fat ass, zephyr zone, rhino row, leviathan, Goliath, Lane Bryant, hefty hippo, and ton-o-fun are out too. C’mon, work with me folks! I’m just trying to solve a problem. We use “plus size” in spots. Maybe that tag would work.
Ah, the airlines would never go for it since several seats would need to be removed. They’d charge double, right?
See the problem with both groups (lard-o's and airlines) is that they see the situation as a fate that must be accepted rather than a problem to be solved. Sounds like the way our federal government approaches everything that has to do with improvement or unraveling a terrible piece of legislation.
Oh well (sigh), I guess I’ve arrived at acceptance after going through the “five stages”, which are what? I don’t remember for sure…let’s see…1) realization, 2) anger, 3) denial, 4) unprotected sex with a crack whore, and 5) acceptance. That doesn’t seem quite right, but…
Anyway, from now on if the destination is six hours or less, I’m driving.
Copyright 2011 by Gene Myers.
Author of AFTER HOURS: Adventures of an International Businessman (2009), Strategic Publishing Group, New York, NY. Link: www,strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/AfterHours.html
Author of SONGS FROM LATTYS GROVE (2010), PublishAmerica, Fredericksburg, MD.
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