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Author Topic: February 27th, 2009: "Leaving...On A Jet Plane"  (Read 3280 times)
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« on: February 27, 2009, 08:38:03 AM »

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As a fat guy I have to say, I really hate airline seating. The last time I traveled by air I upgraded to a larger seat at the airport before takeoff; but that option wasn't available to me on the way back and it was an extremely uncomfortable ride. Most normal sized folks upgrade because they want more comfort or luxury. I (as I imagine most fatties do, although I hesitate to speak for anyone) upgraded because I didn't want to make my fellow passengers uncomfortable. Their discomfort, of course shines a light on my weight problem which is just fun for everyone.

I think I can honestly say that struggling to fit your ass in an airline seat whilst trying not to bump your large butt into the face of any of your fellow passengers may just be the most uncomfortable thing you can imagine for an overweight person. So many other things in life can be mitigated; there is control, there are options; but there is no getting around my big ass fitting into that little chair. As I loaded myself onto that small plane for the flight home I had a flash of a fictional conversation with the stewardess that went a little like this:

Stewardess: Are you having trouble finding your seat sir?
Me: Nope. It's right there. The little one by the window, right behind the barrier separating me from the slightly larger seats that people paid twice as much for in front.
Stewardess: All right, well let's get your carry on into the overhead compartment so you can sit down.
Me: Oh, that's all right, I'll just hang onto it.
Stewardess: Sir, we really have to put your bag away. There's very little room in there and the FAA states that all bags must be put in either an overhead compartment or under a seat for takeoff.
Me: Oh, C'mon. That's just a silly guideline. Besides, rules were meant to be broken. You can make an exception for me just this once can't you?
Stewardess: No Sir, I really can't.
Me: Fine. Put the bag away. See if you can fit it in there because I sure can't.

Five minutes of struggling later the stewardess puts my bag with all my important electronics, id, money and souvenirs into a compartment 20 or so rows away; never to be seen again

Stewardess: (breathing heavily) All right Sir, your bag is stowed. We'll be taking off shortly so please get in your seat and buckle up.
Me: Actually I've been thinking about this and I really don't think I can fit in there. I think I'll just stand.
Stewardess: WHAT!
Me: I... said I was... I mean if it's all right with you... I was just going to stand here in the aisle. It's only a three hour...
Stewardess: If you don't get your fat ass into that seat I will KILL YOU WHERE YOU STAND AND STUFF YOUR LIFELESS CORPSE INTO ONE OF THE OVERHEAD COMPARTMENTS!

Aaaand end scene.

Needless to say once I had this little imaginary discourse with myself I stowed my shit, struggled into my seat and spent the next three hours quietly fighting agonizing Charlie Horses and contorting myself into positions no human being was meant to take in the hopes of not alerting my aisle mates to my plight.

I'd like to think Artur is going to beat some sensitivity into that captain after the flight is over but I suspect, considering his seating arrangements, he might just want to beat him for putting the fear of the plane blowing up into everyone's minds before a long flight. Either way I think Artur is probably done with this airline. They haven't exactly been good to him have they?

Still in Tucson. Gonna spend a little time looking around a bit. The temperature swings here really are amazing. It was 82F during the day and in the mid 40'sF at night. A forty degree temperature change is just´┐Ż wow.

The people here really are quite friendly although I'm not crazy about the fashion. That may be some New England snobbery I guess but there are only so many multicolor vests with horses, Indians or wolves embroidered into them I can look at before genetics takes over and I start rolling my eyes. These folks look pretty tough though so I hope they don't catch me doing it. I'd hate to get my ass kicked because I was unimpressed by some dude's bolo tie.

I'm starting to feel like maybe I didn't give Austin quite as fair a shake as I should have. It's funny because the city center where I was just looked like another city; albeit one with one of the nicest highways I've ever seen. But once I got out of the city proper and across what I assume was the Colorado River the land became arid, cacti was growing, there were ranches and farms with cattle and goats everywhere. That's what I was expecting to see in Austin. That's what I was looking for. I didn't know it was literally fifteen minutes away across a bridge or I would have gone looking for it earlier.

Just driving through there and on into Arizona made me want to find a horse; and ride it.

I've been really impressed with the stars here too. I stopped to pee in New Mexico (also under construction although with a tiered speed limit system in said construction zones surely designed to inflict speeding tickets) and had my breath taken away by the night sky. Just, wow. I haven't seen a sky like that in almost twenty years when I was in Saudi Arabia.

Anyway, I've been taking some pictures on my road trip. Not tons, as I'm not much of a picture guy; but I think I'll take some time this weekend and get them all uploaded so you folks can have a look.

Until then, have a great weekend; and congrats to my fellow Remedial Comics day laborers for making it to the end of Chapter One. Let's hope this is the start of many many more to come. So far, it's been a real hoot.
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