Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Port Douglas

So what exactly does a homeless person do?

Well, since Sunday we have hung around Port Douglas and have not done much of anything during the day because of the oppressive humidity. This being the tropics, summer is not exactly the best time to visit, but Robert and Jaki are avid divers and you cannot come to Oz for the first time without checking out the Great Barrier Reef.

Which reminds me - it is LK and I who haven't done much during the day. Robert and Jaki have done seven different dives over three days. So as a foursome, we have probably averaged out the proper amount exercise.

At night we have been sitting outside our rooms having a drink or two and watching the biggest mother bats I have ever seen in my life. And when I say watching, I mean looking them straight in the eyes as they swoop down within a couple feet of us.

At first I was worried that we were in a living horror movie and this is what the hotel staff turned into after dark, but these bats - despite wing spans of several feet - appear harmless enough. They seem to find something in the palm trees outside our rooms to be quite tasty so I am guessing they are vegetarians, after all.

LK and I have had several hiccups with our technology, and we are beginning to suspect that severe humidity is a bad environment for mobile phone keypads and laptop PCs. Like me, our devices are sluggish outdoors and work much better in the air conditioning.

Nonetheless, we have been able to keep in touch with the outside world. Probably the most important thing that I've noticed happening is that film director Kevin Smith was ruled Too Fat to Fly by Southwest Airlines. It's not like Kevin was unaware of his girth. In December, as I approached the shapeliness of an overdone Christmas pudding, I wrote a post where I mentioned how funny he was when he was riffing about his weight on Twitter.

But now that Southwest decided he couldn't fly with them because he was too fat, there are stories, columns, blogs and tweets everywhere you turn. Fat people, of course, are taking Kevin's side (or at least as much of his side as they can hold in two hands), and the Righteous Among Us are sniffing about how disgusting it is to have someone's waistline flop over the armrest and into your lap while flying.

Frankly, I am quite surprised by all this. Kevin's a big boy, for sure, but he does fit into the seat, can put down the armrests and buckle the belt. I think the airline screwed up. But then again, I have a bias. On Facebook I am a fan of the Big & Tall Mens Store. And I'm not that tall.

Given all the travel LK and I are planning, the incident does give me pause. Even though I, like Kevin, actually do fit in the seat, it appears that the airlines are introducing secret rules known only to flight attendants. Rules like, "You have complete discretion to kick anyone off the plane who fills more than 85% of the seat on the off chance that they may expand during flight."

I guess I will have to get serious about losing weight. I know that would make my doctor happy. He wants me to try stomach banding. I resist that - partly because I resist any discretionary medical operation and also because my wallet suggests bulimia is just as effective and lots cheaper.

I suppose I could try something radical - like eating less, drinking lots less and exercising more. But somehow that just doesn't sound very healthy. Well, OK, it does, but it sure doesn't seem like much fun.

But it looks like I'd better do something soon or cross Southwest flights off my itinerary.

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