I was sitting in my seat on my flight to Denver, doing some reading for work and minding my own business, when suddenly my seat lurched backward.
I momentarily wondered what had happened,, then I realized the truth: the person who was sitting in the seat behind me was getting up and had to grab the back of my seat with both hands to help themselves up — and from the amount of the backward movement of my seat, I figured it was a big person. When I looked behind me, sure enough I saw a heavyset guy struggling to rise from his seat and head off to the bathroom.
How often has this happened to you? For me, it’s become commonplace. We’ve got such an obesity problem in this country that people can’t get up from their seats without help. Even the armrests that allow you to balance yourself as you rise from your seat on the airplane aren’t sufficient, so the obese travelers have to hang on to the back to the seat in front of them and pull themselves to their feet. Never mind that there’s somebody sitting in that seat they’re grabbing, and that the seat grab is going to cause that unlucky person to move backward unexpectedly, interrupting whatever they might be doing. There’s never an apology, either. It’s as if the seat you are sitting in was intended solely to help tubby passengers stand up, giving them every right to wrestle with your seat and maneuver it as they see fit so they can get on their feet.
It’s a minor annoyance, to be sure, but it’s just another little reminder of how extensive the obesity epidemic is in this country. When people can’t even get to their feet on a plane without putting both hands on the seat in front of them and pulling with all of their might, it’s obviously a problem.