Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Fat man in a little coat...

So, I thought I would start my recap of events in reverse chronological order, and as such, I will begin with my plane trip home yesterday.

The flight from Oklahoma City to Chicago was pretty uneventful. I was flying American Airlines, but one of those tiny planes with only two seats on each side of the aisle. I had an aisle seat and this woman came up holding a little kid and with another kid in tow, probably an 8 or 9 year-old little boy. The little boy had the window seat next to me and the mom (with the little kid on her lap) had the aisle seat across from me. So, the little boy goes "You need to move over so I can sit across from my mom and help her with my little brother." I was mildly shocked at his tone and the fact that the mom didn't correct him, but I went ahead and moved so they could all sit across from each other. As I'm moving all my stuff over the mom goes, "Thanks for moving, [the little kid] is a REAL tyrant so his brother has to help me with him." OK, so, you are unable to control your youngest child without the help of your 8 year old son? And she wasn't! She had this kid doing everything for her. "Bobby, wipe your little brother's hands." "Bobby, go get your little brother a bottle of water because he dropped his." "Bobby, find your little brother's favorite toy and hold it for him so he can look at it and see if he wants to play with it." It was ridiculous...I see an intense case of sibling resentment just waiting to rear its ugly head.

In Chicago I switched from American Airlines to Alaska Airlines. When the plane boarded it went roughly like this..."We would like to first board all families with small children or people needing special assistance...[pause one minute]...We would now like to board everyone else at exactly the same time in a manner roughly resembling a cattle stampede only with less order and common sense." It was crazy, everyone just sort of herded onto the plane in no apparent order whatsoever. Because I truly hate being stuck in a crowd I kind of waited and was towards the end of the line of people getting on the plane. So, I'm walking down the aisle looking for my seat and when I find it I know that God for sure hates my punk ass. Right in the middle seat of my row is the fattest man EVER! He has both armrests up and is taking up at least half my seat.

I look around trying to figure out if there is anywhere I can go, but every damn seat on the plane is taken. I mean, it's a very awkward situation. This guy is clearly in the 450+ pound range and cannot possibly fit in one seat. I'm sure that it's difficult for him, it's probably embarrassing (I would be embarrassed anyway), it would be very expensive to have to buy two tickets, etc...

BUT, I paid for my ticket too. And what I got was half a seat, one leg jammed under the outside aisle armrest which allowed me the distinctive pleasure of being hit with the drink/food carts during the entire 4 hour flight, and...this is the best part...this incredibly fat guy pressed up against my entire right side SWEATING ALL OVER ME! Oh yeah, my leg was WET when I got up because he was so huge and sweaty, I almost puked. I got up and walked around and went to the bathroom a couple times to try to stretch and get away from him, but with all the drink carts in the aisles and stuff, I couldn't really stay out of my seat long enough to get totally away from him. I was so claustrophobic that after about hour two of having this guy entirely in my space I was going totally nuts...I thought I was going to have a total panic attack. I couldn't even go to sleep because I had NO ROOM at all to even breathe or sit properly. It was seriously one of the worst flights ever.

I looked today on Alaska Airlines webpage and it says they have a policy where "customers of size" are required to buy two tickets if they can't fit in the seat, but clearly no one was enforcing that on this flight. I feel kind of guilty even being so angry about it, like it's socially unacceptable to feel like a really large person should have to buy two tickets, but this guy was so big that there's NO WAY he didn't know he needed two seats...when you can't put down the armrests and your leg is taking up half my seat, well then, I think it's time to just admit the truth to yourself that you may be inconveniencing others.

Anyway, I am still sick today but feeling a lot better. The hacking cough is not quite as horrible and gutwrenching and my nose is starting to heal from all the nose-blowing of the past few days. I still have to talk about how great the wedding was and all the fun people I met, but for right now I think I best go and try to work on the motion in limine I have due tomorrow...it's on Hearsay, and I have a test on Hearsay tomorrow as well. FUN!
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