Dear Fatty McMiddleseat

Saturday, March 08, 2008

You chose the middle seat next to me&nbsp_place_holder; I know that you chose it because it was the exit row.&nbsp_place_holder; I saw your 300 pounds of balding business traveler body eyeing that tight 17 inch-wide, 34 inches of seat pitch torture chamber right from the moment you waddled down the aisle.

I was in the window seat.&nbsp_place_holder; And yes I chose the exit row too.&nbsp_place_holder; But I chose it because it is the one place on commerical airliners where taller men and women seek refuge from the evil little old ladies who insist on fully reclining their seats directly into our knees.&nbsp_place_holder; But you, Fatty McMiddleseat, were not tall.&nbsp_place_holder; 5' 9" tops.&nbsp_place_holder; You were wide.&nbsp_place_holder; Aisle seats work well for people of your stature, not the exit row.&nbsp_place_holder;

However, judging by the relatively full flight, you may not have had the chance to get a coveted aisle seat.&nbsp_place_holder; Fine, I understand.&nbsp_place_holder; But that does not excuse your behavior for the rest of the 2 ½ hours spent in a cramped, pressurized aluminum tube.&nbsp_place_holder; No, no, Fatty McMiddleseat, you had grander visions for your seatmate.&nbsp_place_holder;

As you suished in between my companion in 12D and me in 12F, I detected the unmistakable odor of vodka wafting from your pores.&nbsp_place_holder; Was that Popov or Five O'Clock?&nbsp_place_holder; It was&nbsp_place_holder;5:30 am and not exactly the preferred aroma of someone who should have just showered.&nbsp_place_holder;

So we settle in, get our obligatory exit row “are able and willing to operate the window in the event of an emergency” interrogatory from the flight attendant, and push back from the gate.&nbsp_place_holder; Take off was uneventful except for your inadvertent seat reclining right as the engines spool up at the runway threshold.&nbsp_place_holder; Was it your thigh pushing the button accidentally?

Upon passing FL 100 and our ability to operate electronic devices of imperceptibly small wattage is restored, I try to catch some sleep and listen to some soothing “happy place” music.&nbsp_place_holder; But that peace is disturbed by the most noxious waft of assgas this side of the Mississippi.&nbsp_place_holder; Oh my god, Fatty McMiddleseat.&nbsp_place_holder; What did you have for dinner?&nbsp_place_holder; I think it involved some sort of nuts.&nbsp_place_holder; Your fart had a distinctly peanut aroma.&nbsp_place_holder; Either that or it got filtered through your peanut dust-infused seat cushion.&nbsp_place_holder;&nbsp_place_holder; Yeah, every 4 or 5 minutes it happened.&nbsp_place_holder; “ppuuffffffffff….”

The greatest insult, though, happened somewhere over Pennsylvania.&nbsp_place_holder; You fell asleep.&nbsp_place_holder; Snore. Check. Snort. Check.&nbsp_place_holder; Then you proceeded to lean over onto my shoulder and place your head a 90 degree angle on top of my shoulder.&nbsp_place_holder; I nudged you and your head snapped back up. Then a minute later, you did it again. A half hour of this.&nbsp_place_holder; You even muttered a half-hearted “sorry” and then did it again.&nbsp_place_holder; Oh, and some more nut farts helped me to make the moment more special.

Thoroughly traumatized, we finally decended.&nbsp_place_holder; Right after the pilot greased it right on the numbers (way to go dude, best landing ever!), then it happened.&nbsp_place_holder; Sometime in the flight you managed to unbuckle your seatbelt.&nbsp_place_holder; The reverse thruster buckets kick out and brakes applied…then you, Fatty McMiddleseat, get tossed forward into the seat in front of you, almost off your seat.&nbsp_place_holder;If it wasn’t so wide to begin with, I swear you would have become your own underseat carry on. &nbsp_place_holder;Damn that was funny to see you sheepishly relatch the stretched-to-its-limit belt.&nbsp_place_holder;

So, thank you, Fatty McMiddleseat, for being a close companion and cuddlebuddy.&nbsp_place_holder; I will miss you.

Posted in: Life