A Copywriter’s Blog
Of Flights and Fat Ben Levy 25, August

I have traveled. And thus, I have a story. Oh, the story I have.

I had the middle seat in the row. The girl to my right had the window. She weighed 90 pounds max, but she was currently attempting to apply every product in the Revlon line to her face at once, and the cloud of sickening sweet powder produced a miasma best described as “choking”. I tried to breathe through my sleeve.

Despite the constant disembodied voice warning of a completely full flight, the aisle seat next to me was vacant. So were the seats across the aisle. A thrill of terror/glee went through me- perhaps I’d escaped the middle seat after all? Everyone had already sat down. Had I made it?

That last paragraph is what we call foreshadowing, kids. Of course I didn’t.

Their tickets claimed there were only five of them, but their weight equaled at least a dozen. As they cam closer, I could see that each was bigger than the last. Four massive family members, at least 200 lbs apiece. They carried a baby too small to have a seat of it’s own. And then there was grandma. The woman looked as though she had eaten one of her abnormally large kin for breakfast that morning.

I had a 80% chance, but it was no chance at all. “No” I whispered mentally “There’s no way. The odds are in my favor. No no no no no no-” Grandma reached the row and turned toward me. “-yes.”

And she sat.

Lest you think I exaggerate- this woman was so obese, she had to ask for an extension to her seat belt. Not that she did so initially. First, she dug beneath an ass the size of a continent, breathing heavily, until she found the buckle. Then she tried to jerk it up and over her stomach. Not even close. At this point, I imagine most people would have the good graces to feel slightly embarrassed by themselves. Not this lady. She continued to yank it, not in confusion, not in frustration, but in utter confidence. She didn’t seem to think anything out of the ordinary was occurring. I’m sure if she’d looked up she would have been baffled to see that no one else was engaged in a similar contest.

Eventually she called for the extension. Then, having utterly failed to grasp the concept of her own enormity, reached for the seatback tray. “Oh, come on,” went my inner dialogue “there’s no way she can possibly think-” She lowered it. About a quarter inch.

A quarter inch was all the room not taken up by my neighbor or the seat in front of her. So of course the tray didn’t lie flat. Again, I waited for a decent amount of shame. Perhaps a furtive glance, and a hurried motion to return the tray table to it’s locked and upright position.

Shame, evidently, is for smaller folk.

Just like with the seatbelt, Grandma the Hut sat there and tried to “fix” it. She pulled it toward her a bit. Still no go. She tried to push it back towards the seat, perhaps believing there was some “in case of fat” procedure she had missed. She flipped it back down and tried to find a part of her bulk to rest it on so that it would remain even slightly level. No dice. The tray was 90 degrees vertical, or it was 85. There was nowhere else for it to go.

Finally she gave up, and I thought perhaps the grotesque travesty would end. I was wrong. Defying gravity, physics, and mass-to-flexibility ratios, she reached down between her legs and hauled up a purse. From it’s depths she produced a wad of tissues. AND THEN SHE STARTED STUFFING HER BRA WITH THEM.

I don’t mean a few tissues here and there. I don’t mean to imply she was saving them for later, although I suppose she must have been. I mean that the woman shoved a massive wad of kleenix right down her blouse. Then she pulled out more and did it again. I swear she must have relocated the entire contents of a tissue box into her bosom. I don’t quite remember when she stopped. I may have blacked out.

Against my better judgment, I regained consciousness a short time later. Her limbs were so enormous that my left shoulder was enfolded by armpit fat. At one point I literally checked for deodorant stains on the shoulder of my shirt. I feared that I might slowly be eaten alive by that warm and swampy fold.

All of this probably took the space of 10 minutes. A ten minutes horrifying enough to last a lifetime, but ten minutes nonetheless. We hadn’t even taken off yet.

There is more to this harrowing tale, but the human mind can only take so much before getting crushed like my will to live. Come back to tomorrow for the epic, stunning, and hopefully less-nauseating conclusion to- Of Flights and Fat!