A picture of a morbidly obese man sitting in what is believed to be an American Airlines flight has re-ignited the debate over whether or not the supersized should have to pay more in order to fly.
"We are currently in the process of looking into this situation. We do have a policy that tries to be flexible for passengers of size. Certainly no passenger would ever be allowed to fly on American Airlines in any way that obstructs the aisles of the aircraft, and all passengers must be properly seat-belted-part of the FAA rules. It is very obvious in the photo that the aircraft is not in-flight at the time the photo was taken-other passengers are still boarding and several overhead bins are still open. We can assure you that all passengers on this flight were safely and comfortably accommodated, and that no FAA rules were broken."
That was the statement made today by American Airlines' spokesman Tim Smith.
Smith went on to say that the company does not routinely charge the obese more than the rest of us. He also went onto say that his staff is trained to deal with all customers with the utmost professionalism and discretion when dealing with this and all matters. Tim them goes on to remind us all that passengers are required to use FAA mandated restraint devices as well as keeping their person and belonging clear of the aisle.
And I am sure he was not bullshiting in anything that he said.
This brings us to the matter at hand...
I don't disagree with the airlines charging the morbidly obese more in order to shoehorn them onto a flight.
Look at the picture again...
You think the guy next to this fat fuck is comfortable? Would you be???
Imagine, if you will, shelling out several hundreds of dollars (because flying ain't cheap) to take a flight cross country and having to sit next to this disaster the whole way. 6, 7 hours of having his sweaty skin invade your personal space; the cruel effects of a lifetime of finding comfort and support in the loving arms of Twinkie the Kid suddenly being thrust into your world. How is this right, or fair?
For some reason, our society is so desperate to keep from hurting someone's feelings to the point that we have lost total perspective...
Fat people are not suffering from a disease. Being a huge fat guy is not an affliction, like polio or cancer. A size 60 waist and having to wipe your ass with a wand does not give you the right to waddle around demanding everyone make it easy and comfortable for you. We didn't make you have thirds as a child, tubby.
(And despite what every chick I have ever met carrying an extra 50 lbs might claim, only 2-3% of the American population has a thyroid condition... Sorry)
I could understand getting all up in a tizzy if airlines were asking kids in wheelchairs to pay an extra fair to allow for their chairs or making the redheads pay extra to fly because they smell funny. These are afflictions... things you are born with or could otherwise do nothing about...
But if we have learned anything from new, skinny Al Rocker, we have learned that being fat can be helped.
And it usually starts by taking a good long look in the mirror and realizing that there is nothing beautiful- let alone healthy- about having "a few extra pounds".
(I feel it is important to note here that we are not talking about someone carrying a little weight. We are talking about the cartoonishly overweight here... Biggest Loser fat, if that helps)
Maybe being told by an airline that they are too fat to fly in one seat is just the kind of kick in the fat ass that these people needed to get off the couch and make some serious life changes.
It's not like our society is against shunning and charging those we deem to be engaging in disruptive, annoying, or inconvenient behaviors in order to discourage them. For years now, smokers have been paying more for medical and life insurance, been denied employment due to their addiction, and have been relegated to smoking in dark corners in the back of their workplaces (if they are allowed to smoke at all) . And our society supported this because we, as a society, have deemed smoking to be unsightly, undesirable, a health and safety risk, and in short- unwanted.
And I am sure that many of you jelly bellies out there were all in favor of these measures.
How did the poem from Pastor Martin Niemöller go...
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak out for me.
This is just like the cigarette smoking laws, folks. It's a matter of safety and comfort... It is not out of cruelty or malice. Simply safety and comfort for your fellow man. I'm sure this rule will also apply to bodybuilders who might be oversized just as much as it would to the sweaty stacks of pancakes out there.
So yes, fat people should have to pay for two seats in order to fly (should they be too big to fit in one seat). And if they do not like it, then may I suggest that they go on a hunger strike (not that I believe it will help change the minds of corporate executives or the hearts of the American people... I just think that a few days on minimal caloric intake might be of help to our large friends out there...).
And I don't know what to tell you if you don't see it that way...