Now that it is a Media Sensation, I feel like I can jump in on the Kevin Smith story. For those of you (both of you?) that don't know. Kevin Smith, of Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy etc. was tossed off of a SouthwestAir flight for being too chubby. Admittedly, Kevin is a chubby guy, but come on. I would be he goes less than 300lb these days. That isn't too big for seat. I have been on flights to Vegas where the Flight Attendants had to go get more seat belt extenders to accommodate the girth of the Vegas-bound revelers. Kevin didn't need an extender, he was in the seat, armrests down, bag put away, doing his best Silent Bob impression when he got booted off the plane for being a safety hazard.
I have been on a flight where a monster got sat next to me. It was only an hour flight, so I leaned over a bit and dealt with it. Should the Chubby be persecuted because they are what they are? Should the Tall? The Short?
If we let the Airlines win on this point -the point being that Kevin Smith and the people that look like Kevin Smith. ie. Those that are over 200 lbs, are too fat to fly- then what comes next? Is Krist Novoselic too tall to fly? Is Jamie Cullum too short? Perhaps then it will flood over to Victoria Beckham being too skinny to fly. Or Sarah Palin being too stupid. Next up, we will say Mick Jager is too wrinkly, Jeff Bridges is too cool, Johnny Dep is too pretty, and Shatner is too awesome.
There will be an Average-o-meter installed at every airport just before the metal detectors. If you are not approx. 5'9" and between 150 and 170 lbs, you will be asked to purchase a ticket "upgrade" that puts you in a tall/short/fat/thin/wrinkled/pretty/or other category, away from the "Average" fliers. This will drive up the cost of your tickets because the separate seats aren't free.The next logical step is, after the special seats are established, the "Average Flier" will complain that they don't get to sit in the Fatty Seats, that they are being excluded and picked on. Persecuted even. THE HORROR!
Southwest should just step up and say the real reason that Kevin was removed from the flight. He was not too fat. He was removed from the flight because he has a beard. It was Profiling on the basest levels. SWA are anti-beard-ites. They are trying to cover it up by saying Kevin was too chubby and that his seat mates had to lean over but the awful truth is that they discriminated against his Hirsute Nature. Personally, I will not be flying SouthwestAir again. I never flew them before, so I doubt this impacts them much. But it is the thought that counts. Right?
Oh, and to all you people that have been commenting on the articles, twittering or otherwise mentioning that Kevin Smith is just too damn fat and it is his own fault (I am talking to you Patricia Remkus, and you Sue Grant.) Last person I saw that CHOSE to be fat was Homer Simpson. Might as well CHOOSE to be Black, Choose to be Jewish, or Choose to be an Asshole... Wait. Strike that last one. That is what a lot of you are doing.
*as a side note, there are some real fatties in Vegas. 400 pounders, using electric wheelchairs to get from one slot machine to the next. Smoking and drinking as they wheel down the buffet line in Circus Circus. In the 116 degree heat too. Mind boggling. Makes me proud to be an American.