Disclaimer: Fatty fatty two by four. Can’t get through the Southwest Airlines Flight.

The picture to your right is of film director Kevin Smith on an airplane. He is making a funny face at the camera because he is about to get thrown off the airplane. In the photo, he’s just been told he can’t be on the flight because he is too fat. Then he twittered about it and now everybody will care about it until someone else falls down and goes boom. His new film, A Couple of Dicks Cop Out, opens in theaters this week.

Some lessons to be learned from all this are:

  • Airline Travel Blows
  • Flying Standby is the Worst
  • Seriously, there’s probably a Twitter Topic Trend about how bad it all is.
  • Kevin Smith is on Twitter
  • Kevin Smith is probably clinically obese
  • A google image search of “Kevin Smith” has nearly identical first-page results as the search for “Fat Kevin Smith”

DISCLAIMERS:

  1. I am not suggesting that Kevin Smith in any way engineered this incident so that he could generate publicity for his movie. My only takeaway regarding publicity is that, before Twitter, this story would have appeared on the gossip page and gossip is way more entertaining when delivered as gossip and way more lame when delivered in the first person with self-conscious awkwardness by the director of Chasing Amy (now available on Criterion? Seriously?).
  2. I am not a big fan of Kevin Smith films. I liked Clerks and parts of Mallrats. I’m not anti-Kevin Smith either. I get why people like his stuff. There’s just something about his films that feels shoddy to me and I can’t get past that to enjoy the stuff about it that I might. But I will confess that my neutral stance on Kevin Smith is also due to my self-imposed information blackout on Kevin Smith. This started when Dogma was coming out. He was on some talk show talking about how he is humbled by his Catholicism. So, can you blame me? I tried listening to his podcast a couple of times and it was like listening to a friend constantly break character in a sketch except that he’s not your friend and the ‘sketch’ is just some bit he insists on doing.
  3. The Southwest Airlines policy basically states that you must purchase two seats if you are a “Customer of Size”. You are a “Customer of Size” if the armrests of your seat cannot be fully lowered and/or if you need an extender for the seatbelt. But they also reserve the right to make case-by-case judgement calls based on the plane’s weight and the comfort of other passengers. While Kevin Smith’s armrests lowered and he didn’t need a seatbelt extension, the flight crew made a judgment call that was in no way based on the highly forgettable Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
  4. Southwest claims that their crew made the judgement call, in part, because the flight was so full. You see, Kevin Smith wasn’t even supposed to be on that flight. He got on that flight by going standby. He had tickets to a later flight. Tickets. Plural. Here is what it says in the news article I linked to: “Both Smith and the airline acknowledged that he had bought two seats for his original flight from Oakland…. But he was flying standby in order to catch an earlier flight, and only one seat was available.”
  5. So let me get this straight. Southwest Airlines, in order to satisfy consumers and save on fuel consumption, have a 25-year-old policy of making “Customers of Size” purchase two seats. Kevin Smith is a “Customer of Size” and bought two tickets for his flight. Then he decided to go standby and they can only offer him one seat on the earlier flight. When the airline realized it had made a mistake in giving a “Customer of Size” only one seat they gave him a voucher and asked him to leave the plane. And then there was Twitter. It’s like life except convoluted and cryptically truncated at the same time.
  6. I don’t know any of the specifics. I’m sure the flight crew could have been rude or Kevin Smith could have pulled some “do you know who I am?”. I’m sure the plane cabin just sat there in the runway getting stuffier while everyone got more irritated with the situation. What I’m trying to say is I don’t know exactly how all this went down but I’m pretty confident when I say “That was probably an unpleasant travel experience for everyone and I hope I don’t accidentally learn anything else about Kevin Smith.”
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