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My story of 'plane' misery page 2

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Date published: 9/2/2001


"I probably should have paid for two seats," he uttered.

He already had half of mine without even paying for it.

Once we were in the air the flight attendants began the lengthy process of handing out refreshments to the 120 or so of us coach passengers, more fittingly known as steerage.

The wait was a nonissue for the World's Largest Living Human, who had plenty of time to consume the large Burger King meal he had brought on board.

When the refreshment cart finally reached our row, I chuckled to myself as he requested a Diet Coke and rested it on the pull-down table in front of him. He then shifted his weight, leaning a bit on the table. As if in a slow-motion movie scene, the Diet Coke tumbled off the table, pouring into the credit-card-thin gap between our jeans. Trapped by my own pull-down table, I was unable to manage a quick escape. I was sitting in a puddle of Diet Coke less than an hour into our five-hour flight.

I beckoned a flight attendant, who suggested I flip over my seat cushion. The bottom was some sort of heavy cardboard.

"It'll be hard but at least it's dry," she said.

I said I wished I could say the same for my pants.

She offered no solution, other than to hand me a blanket to soften the seat.

Later, in retrospect, I realized my good fortune that it was a Diet Coke, because NutraSweet isn't as sticky as sugar.

Because most of the passengers had emptied their drinks into their mouths rather than into their neighbors' seats, several of them needed to use the restroom just as the flight attendants were pulling the lunch cart up the aisle. Their path to the bathroom blocked, they had no choice but to line up behind the cart as it inched along--an odd sort of situation.

One young passenger told the flight attendant that he really had to "go."

The attendant's reply: "You'll just have to wait."

Finally, all the passengers had their relief and their meals, respectively. Clearly this served as a mere morsel for the World's Largest Living Human. His meal was gone in an instant, partly because his right arm was free to maneuver his utensils.

The next time you are served a chicken breast, try to cut it while keeping your elbows tight to your body while your plate remains no more than an inch from your chest.

I think it was the first time I actually wished I had no forearms.

Unless you can fly first-class, my advice to anyone boarding an airliner is to be less than 4 feet tall.

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