Thursday, 15 November 2007

Five miles high and 40 inches around

The news that an Australian nutritionist was this week urging airlines to charge obese passengers more for their seats got me thinking. I will declare an interest here - any of you who've been reading this blog for any time will know that I'm not exactly waif-like. And I do fly on airliners from time to time.

I was going to write something along the lines of "First they came for the smokers, and I did nothing. Then they came for the drinkers, and I did nothing. Then they came for the lard arses...." but that would have been a little bit too obvious.

So I got to thinking. Who else deserves to get hit for an airliner tax? Right...

  • Letting your kids kick the back of my seat? That's going to cost you. And forgive me if I don't raise the tax level a little if they take to screaming the place down while you sit there with your headphones on, blissfully unaware.
  • Reclining your seatback in front of me while I'm struggling through my Chicken รก la Plastique. That'll do nicely. It's hard enough to eat this crap, what with my elbows pinned to my sides, without having to balance it on what appears to be a ski slope.
  • Sitting next to me on a seven-hour flight after having eaten the EU garlic mountain. What an interesting odour, sir! No, I'm really interested in knowing what you had for dinner last night.
  • Taking a window seat on a daytime flight and then pulling down the blind. That's taking the piss. If I have a choice between watching Mr. Bean for the 'nth' time or idly gazing at the scarily wobbling engine mounts on the wing, it's a good view of Mr Boeing's finest for me. And you're denying me that simple pleasure.
  • Getting up twelve times to put stuff in the locker, get stuff out of the locker, put stuff in the locker, etc, etc. No, not annoying at all - why don't you see if you can get something to fall out of it onto me? Lovely.
  • Actually, those people who cram the locker with several thousand duty-free B&H and a litre of Canadian Club, leaving no-one any room for their carry-on bag - never mind a surcharge, we should make you lot sit on the wing.
  • Whilst we're on the subject, what about those people who find it necessary to stand up and get their stuff ready - seconds after the tyres hit the tarmac at the other end? You know you won't get there any more quickly, don't you? Are these the sorts of people who buy houses next to the cemetery, just to save time later?
  • Those of you wearing beachwear when we're flying back from some Mediterranean summer holiday, when we all know it's cloudy and three degrees above freezing back home. Actually, no I'll let you have that one for sheer entertainment value.
  • The delightful lady who sat next to us once, and then proceeded to enthusiastically and noisily empty her nostrils. For three thousand miles.
Finally, we must consider the gent who sat next to me in the aisle seat of a Continental plane coming back to England from New Jersey on an overnight flight several years ago. Ten minutes after take-off from Newark he pulled out an inflatable pillow and eye mask. He then slept soundly until exactly ten minutes before we landed at Birmingham, eight hours later. In part I was jealous as I can't sleep on planes. But mainly, as I was too bloody English to wake him during his trans-Atlantic slumber, the pint of Sam Adams I'd had nine hours ago was making its presence felt somewhat.

We could argue that it's partly my fault, but I'm sorry, I'm already being taxed for being fat. For him we must create a whole new tax bracket. He may as well have a few pies while he's at it.


Tom said...

The guy was obviously a pillock to start with(Am I using it right?), because any real man that has to sleep on a plane wouldn't wear a sleep mask. Who is he anyway? Zsa Zsa? Was it pink satin and lace fringed? I'm sure he was very pretty. I think you should tax him for being able to time it so well.
And for the mask.
I will have to say, though, the whole idea of causing myself pain before waking him... mmmm, no.

Dude knew where he was going to sleep and he should know that he was going to be woken. That part is gonna have to fall on your heritage, because really, drinking before a Trans Atlantic flight. You really should know better.

If they're going to start taxing larger people, they're going to have to start docking the pay of the overly perky stewardess... I mean fight attendant sorry.

Anonymous said...

OOOoooo, whilst. I should definitely use more whilst much more.

City Girl said...

What?! When did they come after the drinkers?!?

fatboyfat said...

tom: good use of "pillock". We'll have you exclaiming "blimey!" before too long, at this rate. And you're right - I know have no problem in waking people up if I need to pee. (Without the context, that last sentence is a bit disturbing).

dory: I can never remember when to use "while" and when "whilst" is better. There are probably rules somewhere.

city girl: they came after the drinkers, but when they knocked my door I was out. I was down the pub.

Rebecca said...

I would have woken him up. When it's between manners and my bladder, the latter wins every time.

One the last times I was on a plane (Denver to New York City), I sat next to a four year old boy named Georgie. I know his name because his parents had to yell it every few minutes because he was constantly getting into stuff. When I smacked Georgie's hand as he was trying to steal the Toblerone from my airline lunch box his parents finally got the message. They firmly held him on their laps for the rest of the ride.


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