So last week I laughed at Southwest Airlines because they sent me an email offering me a deal. Pay them $12.50 and I could have “early-early check-in.” This was one day after the $160 offer to move up to “business class.” Southwest allows 24 hour pre-flight check in on-line and that’s what I did. I had a non-stop 4-hour flight to Nashville leaving LAX @ 6 am… board-before-Starbucks-opens-time.
If I could have a re-do, I would pay them $50 to let me check in early when they first offered the “deal.” Nah, make that $100.
As you may know, Southwest has an open seating policy and they board flyers based on their boarding-pass number. Passengers line up on either side of shiny steel permanent posts that are fronted with a large-lit sign on both sides. On the left they start with A #1 thru 30, on the right A #31thru 60. Then the “B’s” and finally the “C’s.” Thirty people at a time are boarded.
My 24 hour online check-in gave me a boarding-pass number of “C-49.” When I finally approached the gate attendant, he said, “Only middle-seats my friends, only middle seats. Please walk to the back of the plane and take the open middle seats. They will have a light on to make them easy to find.” Yes, it was easy to find.
Yet, I was the skinniest guy in that fateful row, stuck in the middle between two people who needed two seats each.
On my left, the window seat, sat a huge man, maybe six foot three, and at least 375 pounds. On my right, the aisle seat, was simply put,… a very large woman.
They were already belted in when the large aisle-seat lady had to unbuckle and let me in. (Why would she buckle in when they announced the plane was full and all seats would be taken?) It was a big job for her and I was sorry she was so flustered. After all she needed the aisle seat and someone was going to move her eventually before take-off. I would have gladly accepted an “A” number and boarded when she did…just didn’t work out that way.
The lady had quite large legs and our legs were touching firmly for the next four hours. The huge man’s belly was touching my belly. Something about that is gross. But then he went to sleep. He had sleep apnea and would loudly snort and half choke on every exhaled breath. That’s right he did it on the exhale.
When he snorted and choked his large belly bounced and shook my too big belly. Something about that is downright disgusting. It would force me to the right where I would accidently press harder against the lady’s leg.
So I rubbed legs and bounced bellys for four hours and five minutes. No place to put my arms, so I had to fold them up under my chin. A bad old neck and shoulder pain I hadn’t felt for months returned…mental?..I suppose—don’t matter…it still hurt like hell for four hours and five minutes.
I’m happy to report that this unlucky and too intimate threesome landed safely in Nashville and went our separate ways. We did not exchange numbers or emails.
However, the diet has started.