posted by meowser
What can I tell you? Recently my mom, who hasn’t gotten to visit with me in multiple Tisha B’avs, made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. She would fly me to New York, where she’s now living, and put me up and feed me and all the rest for five entire days. So I went last week. Alas, I missed Kate and Marianne’s Re/Dress shindig by a few days; I couldn’t logistically make everything fit so that I’d be there in time for that event, because I also had to schedule my trip so I could squeeze in a visit with my dad, who’s now moving down to Florida and would only be in New York very briefly before going back down south again. Bummer. So I’ve mostly been off the grid all week and for most of the week before that, in case anyone was wondering.
It was a nice trip, and I’ll probably go into more detail about it later. For now, what I’m going to talk about is the logistics of accommodating my mountainous tush on both the airplane and in other places where my butt took up occupancy on this trip. Like I said, what with the airlines and their you-must-pay-extra-for-not-controlling-your-greedy-appetite-fatass policies making the news of late, I have been more than a little reluctant to fly. We’re talking about a cross-country flight, which isn’t cheap, and even if my mom would agree to pay extra for tush shipment, which I’m sure she would if she had to, I would hate to put her out like that. And me, too. But I remembered that not only did Jet Blue have direct flights between PDX and JFK, but their seats were an entire 17.8″ inches across, which is a little bigger than most of the other airlines are offering these days. So I asked her to book me with them if she possibly could, and she did.
My flight out was a red-eye, which was okay with me since I normally keep vampire’s hours and I knew I’d have to do something pretty radical right off the bat to reset my body clock to Eastern Daylight Time. To my utter amazement, about a third of the plane was unoccupied; yeah, I know it was a red-eye, but I’ve taken this very same flight a couple of times before in the last couple of years, and it was ass to ass. Not now; in fact, the seat between my aisle seat and the window was unoccupied. Would there have been a problem if it wasn’t? Well, let’s put it this way; at about a size 20, I got on my seatbelt with no extender, no prob, but putting down that armrest? Owie. I could physically do it, but not by much. I actually had mine resting lightly on my left leg for takeoff with my elbow on top of it, and nobody said anything. If they had I’d have crunched it down, but I was very happy not to have to, believe me. And with the armrest all the way down, there would definitely have been thigh squooshage into the adjoining seat. So, bullet dodged, at least for the outbound flight.
The return flight was not a red-eye; in fact, it was scheduled for departure at 7:40 PM local time on Saturday, and sat there on the tarmac for two stinkin’ hours because the bumblefucks who did the scheduling didn’t realize that every international flight in the galaxy would be taking off at around the same time, duhhhh. I expected more tushes on this flight; not only was I wrong about that, but the plane was even emptier than the inbound one. In fact, it was so empty that before they bolted us into our seats for the tarmac wait, they encouraged people to move to a completely unoccupied row if we saw one that looked good to us. Unoccupied rows? What is going on here? Are people just not flying anymore unless they absolutely must? No wonder they all want to charge fatasses double; if they could get away with it, they’d charge everyone double. Triple, even. Wearing heavy wool socks? That’ll be $15 extra! I will note that on neither flight did I see anyone fatter than myself, and I don’t, in fact, remember seeing anyone else who was Officially Fat on the plane at all. What that actually means, I can only guess.
Now, since I am a Metsochist, while I was in New York, I just had to go to a game at the Mets’ new digs, Citi Field. I’d been hearing all kinds of great things about the park — better food, improved sightlines, nifty historical stuff, and one of the things that had been ballyhooed in the media was “bigger seats!” Only, I didn’t realize that they only meant “bigger seats” in the expensive parts of the ballpark, not the upper deck where I bought my ticket (on StubHub). It only took one extremely painful attempt to wedge my hips all the way back into my chair to realize that a 19″ seat in a stadium was a much different deal from a 17.8″ seat on an airplane; that 19″ is the entirety of your real estate, there is no squooshing out under the armrests. The lower deck seats, I found out later, top out at 24″ (although I don’t know for sure if they’re all that width, it’s not at all clear from the seating chart or any other information I was able to find online).
So if you ever go to a game or a concert at this facility and you are a wide load, be forewarned. Fortunately, as is the case with pretty much all the newer ballparks (built from 1992 onwards), you are not stuck in your seat if you want to see the game; with the open structure of the grandstands, you can take a walk around the concourse, even on the lower levels if you like, and not miss anything. You can even watch from different angles in different parts of the park, although I’m not sure if the same rules would apply during a concert.
Still, it kind of burnt my toast that none of the stories or publicly available info about this ballpark ever mentioned this little, um, quirk with the seats for those of us wearing bigger than size 12 bloomers. For whatever it’s worth, I saw plenty of fat guys with big bellies at this game, and they, natcherly, had no trouble fitting in the seats. I don’t remember seeing a single fat chick. Of course not! Fat chicks prefer to watch the game at home! Riiiiight…and my great-grandparents settled on the Lower East Side when they came to America because they thought Central Park West wasn’t good enough for them. Uh-HUH.
The food is really good, though. Gotta give them that.
I also rode Metro-North and the subway while I was there. God, all those stairs on the subway, just stairs and stairs and stairs and stairs. I can walk on flat land for days, no problem, but those stairs in Birkenstocks were killing my knees, going up or down. Also, what’s up with those seat dividers when there are all those seats in a row bench-style? What’s the point? Is it to keep the phantom schlong dudes from spreading their legs out to MX-missile width? Because if it is, then it’s not working, any better than it’s working to keep my ass from measuring more than 16″ across. You might as well just have a bench, just a flat old bench, and let people arrange themselves however.
At least they’re not talking about making fatties pay double on the subway or commuter train just yet. I guess it would cost them more to enforce that rule than they’d actually make from the deal.