Lawsuit: ‘Sitting Next to Fatty Wrecked My Back’

So you’re flying from Brisbane, Australia, to Dubai on the Persian Gulf, like halfway around the world, and you’ve gotta sit next to this fat guy who’s not only fat, but has a bad cough and fluid oozing from his mouth… ( )

Gee, this is getting gross. Sorry about that. But that’s the argument of this passenger’s lawsuit against an Australian airline. He says the experience gave him a back injury.

Yeah, I know: the world is falling apart, and I’m writing about having to sit next to some fat guy on an airplane. Well, it can’t be baby parts for sale all the time, can it? Remember when airline travel was, well… classy? People dressed for it. Just to be on the plane gave you prestige.

I am told it ain’t that way anymore. I haven’t been aboard an airliner since 1976, so what do I know? Back then, I didn’t see anybody barefoot in the cabin, or changing a baby’s diaper on one of those food trays, or any of those other sights I hear about.

Consider the fat guy on the airplane a cultural marker, spilling over into the adjacent seats, noisily coughing–a kind of sign-post on the road to cultural collapse. You shouldn’t even board the plane if you’ve got a bad cough and a contagious disease–but who cares about that stuff anymore? Like the supermarket checkout clerk who comes to work sick and coughs in everybody’s faces.

How that translates into a back injury, I don’t know.