A Copywriter’s Blog
Of Flights and Fat- Part 2 Ben Levy 27, August

Greetings and salutations, brave reader, and welcome to part two- Of Flights and Fat! If you can stomach the horror, you should read part one first.

When we’d left our doomed hero (me) I was utterly trapped between a scrawny girl who applied so much makeup a clown would have been shocked, and a woman who sat very much like a rhino.

That is to say dark, huge, and quietly menacing.

You can read about what happened before we even took off here. But this concerns what happened once we (amazingly to my mind) got into the air. You know the miracle of flight? I always saw it as more of a “wish”. It only became a miracle once we achieved altitude while hauling Tubby and the amazing Lardos.

You might remember that I mentioned a small child. I truly believed, upon first seeing it, that the child was intended as a snack. Up until now, it had been passed from one family member to another on the other side of the plane. Now? Now it was grandma’s turn.

The woman rested there, in much the same way the continents do on the surface of our planet, and proceeded to bounce the child up and down on her tremendous tissue-engorged bosom. I felt slightly nauseous, but that could have been the living doll next to me applying more rouge. I had nowhere to run. Clouds of blush to the left of me, babies and arm fat to the right. There I was, stuck in the middle with rage.

As angry as I was- both at this woman and at every pizza she’d ever eaten over the course of her life- it would take a complete asshole to say anything. Objectively, it’s a grandmother playing with her grandson. Realistically, it’s a walrus bouncing a harp seal on it’s blubber. And as you should be able to tell by now, I’m not a complete asshole. I’m a complete, passive-aggressive, asshole.

So I did the only thing I could. I resonated hate.

Humans have been able to resonate since the beginning of time. It’s a total embodiment of a single feeling, projected outward to those around you. It’s partly body language, partly pheromones, and partly psychic resonance. Many of us have forgotten how to do it, but it’s instinctual. Look at any mother with a newborn, and you see her resonate love. A father watching his son play sports, and you feel his pride.

Anger is the easiest thing to resonate of course, because people are wired to recognize it. It’s a self-preservation thing. If you attempt to embody love, the object of your affections may still miss it. Particularly if she’s watching sex and the city. But anger? Shit, your houseplants will figure that out. No problem.

And so I began to resonate scathing, rolling waves of negativity. Annoyance, disgust, and outright anger. I wasn’t doing anything besides sitting in a chair with my arms folded, but the call went out all the same. You know how Aquaman talked to fish? It was like that, only I was screaming at every human being at 30,000 feet in impotent rage. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the pilot and co-pilot turned to each other in the front of the plane, exchanged a glance, and said “Shit. Someone’s PISSED”.

It took about an hour. It’s possible that blubber is a natural insulator against psychic emanations. Maybe there was interference with the electronic instruments in the cockpit. Maybe the fact that I got a bag of peanuts distracted me for .5 seconds and I had to start over. Regardless, after one hour, three minutes, and 12 seconds, it was done. The behemoth passed back the child, swung the crane into place to heave her ponderous bulk out of the seat.

And lest you think this was going to happen anyway, that the bending of my entire will toward a single goal merely coincided with this event, I tell you this: As her son settled down next to me, a petite 250 lbs, he turned to me with an apologetic expression and said “sorry about that.”.

I breathed my first breathe of fresh air in over an hour, and seriously contemplated how long it would take me to walk back to New York once I canceled my return flight.

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Of airplanes and assholes Ben Levy 9, March

My flight to Kentucky a few weeks ago was a two-parter: Miami to Atlanta, Atlanta to Louisville. It was at the end of the first leg that the following occurred.

I was sitting in the middle of the row. The woman to my right had an air of carefully cultivated indifference. The girl to my left had the subtle yet unmistakable air of one who is heading to a very important interview, and is utterly failing to think of something else in order to take their mind off it.

She asked about the book I was reading (I, Robot.) and whether it was better or worse than the movie. I told her it was far superior, though in fact this may have been in a lie. Aside from the title, I can find almost no similarities between the two whatsoever. So answering this question is sort of like deciding whether one prefers a Japanese-made car to the original Shakespearean production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In other words, it was that old ‘Apples to Oranges’ chestnut.

However, we both agreed I, Robot the book was far superior to her own reading, which was school-invoked. I didn’t ask if she was flying to an interview, since her very being radiated a sense of trying not to think about it.

It turned out that she too, had a connection, and one that allowed significantly less time between flights than my own. As our plane was touching down, the Stewardess came over the speaker and announced: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have three passengers at the back of the plane who will have very little time to reach their connecting flights. When we reach the gate, please stay seated a moment so those passengers with a connecting flight can disembark first.”

You have perhaps heard of the miracle performed at the Red Sea? Where Moses lifted up his staff, and the waters stood apart? This was pretty much the opposite.

As soon as the plane touched down, the aisles filled. The girl with the institution-mandated reading material made it about three rows before becoming mired in a single-file sea of humanity. Her fear was palpable. The look on her face could best be described as ’stricken’.

And so I did the only thing that made any sense. I stood up on her now vacant aisle seat, cupped my hands around my mouth, and shouted “Excuse me! Some people have a connection they need to reach, could you all just sit down a second so they don’t miss their flight? Thank you.”

The response was as immediate as it was non-existent. It was nothing. No one moved.

From further down the plane, one person who wasn’t clogging the aisle caught my eye and offered up “It was a nice try.”

A common trait of copywriters is the ability to spit venom. The projectiles are purely verbal, but it’s poisonous qualities cannot be denied. “Oh certainly,” I spat “I just thought I’d appeal to some human decency, but I guess I was wrong.” From further up the plane, one of the bricks in the wall of stupidity had the gall to respond:

“I don’t think it’s an issue of human decency, as much as one of physics.”

I directed my stream at him “No, I don’t think physics is the issue. See, that seat right next to you is empty. If you could step to the right, you’d be in it. And if everyone else did that, there’d be no problem. And if you all do it for 30 seconds, you can all crowd the aisle again and no one will miss their flight.”

Deciding that physics was not his forte after all, the gentleman turned back around. Shockingly, another of the herd of humanity ventured an opinion: “I think a lot of these people have connecting flights.” It should be noted that even though this man was standing in the aisle, he did not include himself in that statement.

“They do not.” I snarled back “She clearly said there were three of them.”

However, what I would have liked to say was this: “Oh indeed, my apologies sir. I had no idea the selfish jackass convention was being held already. Of course since everyone planning to attend seems to be standing up right here on our plane, I’m sure they’ll hold the opening ceremonies until you all get there. With that in mind, why don’t you sit your ass down in that seat right next to you and let this poor girl pass. After which time you and all the rest of these self-absorbed fucktards can erect permanent dwellings complete with white picket fences in the aisle for all I care.”

I didn’t say that. I also didn’t attempt to physically force my way through the crowd like I was contemplating. I have no idea if the girl ever made her flight. I made mine. But I’d like to believe that a rhinoceros who was being transported via air freight and broke free of it’s handlers had just enough time to trample every last one of those impatient jackoffs before security regained control of it and led it off to a life of luxury at the Atlanta Zoo. Because that would please me.

Louisville Lessons Ben Levy 1, March

The following are my observations following a trip to Kentucky for a pitch.

-Total Travel Time: 12 hours flying. 8 hours in Kentucky. 30 minutes pitching.

-They like horses there. A lot.

-People in Kentucky are quite friendly and polite.

-People in planes traveling to Kentucky are not.

-If you can only spend 8 hours in Kentucky, spending 7 of them at The Pub on Fourth St is not a bad idea.

-Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is the best beer ever made. It validates the entire state.

-It is only available in Kentucky.

-Despite this fact, it is not served in either of the bars at the Kentucky airport.