Question: Aweighting An Answer

My wife, Kay , has a question about a recurring problem, and she’s hoping my followers have answers. That’s because I’m too stupid to answer this question for her.

Kay drives a Toyota Corolla. This is a compact car. But it has four doors, with two bucket seats in the front and a bench seat in the back. So up to about five people can kind of comfortably fit inside.

According to her Toyota Owner’s Manual, in the section on Specifications, her poor little ol’ Corolla has a vehicle capacity weight of only 865 lbs, which would be the combined weight of all occupants, plus luggage.

My wife uses the trunk of her car for storage, and I’d say there’s at least 50 pounds in there that she lugs around on a regular basis. So that’s the “luggage.” Kay, herself, weighs about 200 lbs.

Now for the kicker. Kay isn’t the only fat person she knows. Our niece, who lives in town, weighs 400 pounds. Our niece’s husband weighs about 240 lbs. Other members of her family, such as cousins, tend to be heavy also. I doubt any of them tip the scales at less than 200 lbs.

And she has many friends at her diet club who easily weigh-in weekly at a good 200 to 250 lbs each, and often more.

When there are family events, they often want her to drive, and try to squeeze into her poor little Toyota like a bunch of clowns. And at the end of every diet club meeting, her friends all want to go out to eat, and want her to give them a ride. Especially during pre-Covid days, but even now, since outdoor dining has been allowed.

Kay is good at math, and she adds passenger weight in her head. When the total, plus the weight of her and the junk in her trunk exceeds the safety limit of 865 lbs, she worries about her ability to control her car. She also fears that the wheels might fall off, or that the axles might snap, or that she might bottom out while going over a speed bump.

She wants to put a limit on how many fatsos are allowed to jam themselves into her prized Corolla, but she’s afraid to hurt anybody’s feelings. So her question is as follows:

How do you diplomatically tell a fatso that they can’t ride in your car, due to their extreme weight?

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