I’m sure you’ve all heard the hubbub about Kevin Smith being too fat to fly on Southwest Airlines. As a (insert your favorite fat euphemism here. Can’t think of one? Try: plus-size, plump, chubby, zaftig, Rubenesque, husky, large(r), or porky) woman, I can relate to flying while fat. Of course due to pride and ego I must stress that I’ve never needed a seatbelt extender nor have I had issue putting both armrests down, but I’ve worried about it. Planes aren’t really comfortable places for anyone, and when you’re worried about spilling over onto the stranger next to you for several hours, it’s stressful.
Still, I’ve flown next to people much larger than myself. I’ve never worried about anyone’s safety, and it’s really not that big of a deal. Because there are SO MANY worse situations to be stuck with while flying than a fat person. For example:
1. B.O. dude. You know him. He REEKS. Is it crotch rot? Dunno. All you know is the odor travels and lingers so badly you have to shower the minute you land.
2. Ear crud dude. I sat next to this guy on a flight from Minneapolis to Seattle. That’s a long trip to watch a colony of Sea Monkeys grow and build a world in someone’s ear.
3. The turner. She’s the woman who has to CONSTANTLY talk to the person in the seat behind her. You offer to switch with her traveling companion to make life easier for everyone, but for some sick, twisted reason they decline. Instead the woman keeps turning and turning the entire flight. Fortunately the bruises are minimal.
4. Children. Sure, I only really like seven kids on this planet. Still, I don’t blame the parents or the children for bad behavior on flights. They’re children. But I don’t want to sit near a screaming baby, a kicking toddler or an angry six-year-old as I struggle to sleep on a transatlantic flight. Something about their terror/violence/anger puts me on edge.
And these are just a few examples. Let’s not forget the chatty fellow, the woman who falls asleep with her head on your shoulder (and drools, and snores), the snob, the slob (how much shit *can* one person load on a seatback tray?), and countless others. It’s been my experience that fat people are usually pretty self-conscious and will do a lot to avoid getting attention. That means they don’t talk to you. They try their hardest not to encroach on your space. And they certainly don’t rest their head on your shoulder when napping.