Cars and Planes for Skinny Midgets
by Connie H. Deutsch
A friend had always driven a full-size sedan so when the car rental agency told him they were reserving a full-size car for him, he naturally assumed it was going to be like the cars he had always owned.
If it weren’t so pathetic, it would be funny. I watched him folding himself into the car and ducking so that his head didn’t hit the top while he was driving.
Getting out was the reverse procedure. He opened the door and ducked down so he didn’t hit his head as he slowly unfolded his long legs and eased out of the car.
What was amazing to me is that while studies show that each generation gets taller and wider, the seats in our cars and planes have gotten smaller and narrower.
Years ago, plane seats used to be wider and had a lot of leg room. Nowadays, they have jammed three seats into the space where there used to be two seats and added an extra row to decrease the leg room to add six more passengers.
The airlines want to make more money and by putting extra, narrower seats into the planes, they can pack the passengers in like sardines and increase their profits. And anyone who is too tall or who is wider than the new seats is now being told they have to buy two tickets instead of one.
I get the rationale of the airline seats. But that doesn’t explain why the car interiors have gotten narrower and lower. Most of them look and feel like tin cans and they don’t give you the feeling of safety, either as a passenger or as the driver.
Owners of these midget, full-sized cars give you the argument that studies show how safe they are. I disagree.
I remember one time when I was waiting at a traffic light for the light to turn green. It was raining very hard and all of a sudden, I felt someone crash into the back of my car. A policewoman got out of her car and came over to us.
The driver of the other car was crying because she had just bought her new car the week before and the front of it was crushed in. My car didn’t even sustain a scratch. The policewoman yelled at this woman for driving such a tin can and told her she should be driving a sturdy car like mine.
The next generation will probably have to deal with these issues. In the meantime, just duck down, take a deep breath, hold your tummy in, and hope you can survive the plane or car trip without bursting out of your seat.