Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stay 'Way From My Seat!

Where Thin People Roam, and Sometimes Even Eat -

Whenever some irritating factor of life in New York gets to me, I always give myself the advice: “If you want to live in the Big City and enjoy all that it has to offer, you have to put up with this!” And don’t insult minorities! Fortunately, it appears that, to some extent, political correctness is going out of style and, anyway, in this case I’m insulting a majority. The story, “Where Thin People Roam, and Sometimes Even Eat,” appearing in the Times on July 23, mentions that Manhattanites tend to be thinner than residents of other boroughs and, indeed, than in other parts of the U.S. Therefore, it may be safe to mention that being squashed by a fat person who attempts to sit next to you on one of the side-facing seats in the rear of the bus can be yet another downer in our great town. I’m always hoping that only a thin Asian teenager—they’re generally narrower than Westerners—will sit next to me, but this is not usually the case.

On a bus ride to my home on the East Side, I had one of those empty seats next to me when a well-dressed and well-groomed but extremely large man eased his more than hefty frame into the space. After making myself as narrow as possible and holding my breath, I capitulated and stood up. At the same moment, a seat next to a slim, handsome young man opened up across the aisle and I grabbed it. The (much younger) man and I happened to get off at the same stop. He commented, “I saw how uncomfortable you looked, and I was very amused. I really sympathized with you.” He was an acting student, going to class at the Neighborhood Playhouse and always observing people as fodder for his craft. We chatted while walking a couple of blocks to our respective destinations. Then he, obviously honing his technique for future use, said, “And you’re very pretty; I enjoyed our little talk.”

Even though that particular experience ended well, fat people, stay away from my seat!

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