Thursday, July 21, 2011

Customers of Size

You're sitting in your seat, waiting to pull back from the gate, and depart.  The plane door is about to be closed and locked by the flight attendant.  The flight is 98% booked, but you managed to keep the middle seat next to you vacant by giving people the crazy eye.  The last person to board, whom you've all been waiting for, finally lumbers onto the plane.  They are huge: walking with a cane, sweaty, a belly button peeking out the bottom of a greasy tshirt, unkempt hair, rolling an oxygen tank, the whole shi-bang.  You know they're coming to sit next to you, with their clammy arms rubbing up against yours as you passive-aggressively fight for the armrest for the next 4 hours.  There's gotta be one other seat open.  Please god, let them find that other seat!

But there's a problem.  The sasquatch handed the flight attendant some sort of ticket-looking slip of paper.  WTF?  Sit down so we can leave!  The flight attendant has an "Oh, fuck" look on their face.  They grab the mic and announce "Please raise your hand if you have an open seat next to you."  It turns out that the water buffalo actually purchased 2 seats, per the company's Customers of Size Policy.  One of us who had rightfully won an empty seat next to us was going to have to move so that the land walrus could sit in 2 adjacent seats.

I've always wondered how they worded that.  They obviously couldn't have a FAQ section responding to "What if I'm too fat to fit between the armrests (a mere 17 inch width)?".  So, I guess that's their politically correct term for larger people: Customers of Size.  I happened upon the "Customers of Size Policy" on while I was trying to book my reward flights yesterday.  For some reason, Customers of Size gives me a mental image of a bigger African American lady with ginormous boobs.

Like this, but not that big.

One time at Cedar Point, I had a very difficult time fastening the safety belt across my lap on the Millennium Force.  I had to switch my wallet from my front pocket to my back, and I was able to pull it off.  However, the 30 seconds (felt like an hour) leading up to that decision was so embarrassing.  I was positive they were going to have to tell me that I was too big to ride the roller coaster.  I was mortified, even though things worked out.  I almost decided to permanently keep my wallet in my back pocket, though I didn't make that switch, cuz it belongs up front with the rest of the bulges.  That's been my only experience being a 'Customer of Size' and it was horrifying.  I wasn't even that fat at the time (at least, not my fattest).

Oh man, Annie reminded me of yet another time when this happened.  *Ding*  I hadn't noticed that the call light was on, but the nice-looking, middle-aged flight attendant with a Georgian drawl walked up and asked me what I needed.
F.A: "What do you need right now, sweetie?"
Me: "Ummm, nothing?"
F.A: "Then why did you push the call button."
Me: "I didn't.  But, I think my seats broken.  It won't stay up."
She reached down next to my leg to turn off the call button.  Then we all (Annie was there, too) realized what had happened.  My thick thigh had pushed both the call button and the seat reclining button.  I smirked and moved my wallet to the other front pocket.  (I always blame it on the wallet.)

Hopes to never have to buy 2 seats,

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