Paralyzed by a pretty face
Insecurity lands an airline passenger in the hospital.
Anyone who has flown knows the feeling. You’re just getting settled into your cramped coach quarters when the heavy guy you saw in the airport comes heaving his way down the aisle and — uh-oh — it looks like he’s headed for your row.
Now imagine you are the overweight person on the plane.
You can see the eyes rolling and the looks of dread as you find your seat. After the embarrassment of walking the aisle like it’s a gauntlet, and blocking the way while you stuff your bag overhead, you cram into your window seat. But now your nightmare comes walking down the aisle. It’s the nice-looking passenger you saw in the airport and — uh-oh — it looks like they’re headed for your row.
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That’s what happened to a man on a five-hour flight in Asia. According to local reports, a 40-year-old passenger was in a window seat when a beautiful woman boarded and took the seat next to him. Rather than being thrilled by his luck, he was overcome by anxiety.
The unnamed man was so painfully self-conscious about his physical shape that he committed himself to not moving for the duration of the flight. He wasn’t going to squeeze past that lovely woman to go the bathroom, so he refrained from drinking anything at all for the five hours onboard, despite the familiar recommendation to stay well hydrated while flying. Because he didn’t want her to catch a glimpse of his gut, he didn’t even dare stretch out his arms or excuse himself to extend his legs. He sat there, immobile, for five hours.
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When the plane landed in the Fujian province, passengers deboarded but the man couldn’t move. He soon lost consciousness altogether. He was rushed to a local hospital and diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, in which a long period of sitting causes blood clots to form in the legs. It’s a serious condition. A clot can travel from the legs to the lungs and result in a fatal pulmonary embolism.
The reports don’t cite the man’s weight, and even a slimmer guy might have been overcome by insecurity in the same situation. But there’s another side to the fat jokes that flow as easily as cracks about airplane food, and it’s more than a little sad.
Photo: Oote Boe/Getty Images
Let's call things the way they are and not disguise them with words like "paralysis" to create misleading impressions. I'm sick and tired of seeing human beings portrayed as helpless victims buffeted around by tragic circumstances.
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