"According to our weight charts, you're 15 pounds overweight. We charge a dollar a pound."
"That's ridiculous," I said. "My physician says I'm within the normal weight range."
"Sir, I don't wish to argue with you, but according to our charts you're overweight. We can't have you slowing down our plane's speed because of your bulk."
"Who prepares these charts! The Society of Anorexic Actuaries?"
"No, sir," said the ticket agent proudly, we have only professionals. Last month, it was one of the women from 'Friends.' I think next month it'll be Nicole Richie."
"I assume if someone is underweight, you give them a refund?" It took her two minutes to stop laughing.
"Is there anything else you would like to make your flight more enjoyable?" she asked. "Seat belts, barf bags, headsets for music or an abridged and censored movie?"
I took one of each, and she began calculating the costs. " . . . And, finally, there's the gas surcharge, state, federal, cloud, and runway taxes--"
"I have to pay for the runway?!"
"You do want to land don't you?" She gave me the total. "Would you like a shot of oxygen with that?" she asked. I gave her two bucks more.
[Dr. Brasch's latest book is Sex and the Single Beer Can, a witty look at the mass media and American culture. It's available at amazon.com and other online stores.]