Waiting In A Long Line To Pee

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“The woman standing at the back of the plane is about to piss her pants. I know this because five minutes ago she crawled over me and said, “I’m sorry to disturb you Mr. Rowe, but I’m about to piss my pants.” Sadly, the kid across the aisle beat her to it. No doubt about it. The whole plane smells of urine, and it’s not coming from the bathroom. It’s coming from the kid.

We’re on a CRJ700 – a Canadair Regional Jet flying from San Francisco to Kansas City. It’s a three hour flight, but it feels a lot longer. Why? Because the CRJ700 was designed by The Marquis de Sade. There’s only one bathroom on board, and it’s all the way in the back. One bathroom for 74 people. On a three-hour flight that was delayed on the tarmac for 35 minutes.

Seasoned travelers will immediately understand the implications, and behave accordingly. But most of my fellow passengers do not possess the institutional knowledge required to endure three and a half hours on a CRJ700. At the airport, they drink their breakfast beverages like it was any other day, enjoying their lattes and orange juice with impunity. Then they blithely board this long and skinny Tube of Despair with no sense of how a solitary toilet can conspire with a bad floor plan to humble the strongest among us. Once settled, many avail themselves of the beverage service, cruelly offered by a smiling flight attendant who must have surely known what would follow. Poor bastards.

It began with lots of anxious head-turning – the way it always does when people realize they’re on a plane with only one crapper located far behind them. People needing relief look worriedly toward the back of the plane to see if the restroom is occupied. Invariably, it is. So they stay seated, but they keep looking back every five seconds. The effect is interesting. As more heads turn, more people realize their own need is identical to the need of those around them – and getting worse. So a line forms in the aisle. Not good.

Soon, people realize the inevitable – we’re all going to need to urinate before landing – but not necessarily at the precise moment of our own choosing. Thus, the fundamental certainty upon which all continence depends is suddenly compromised, and a series of unusual but pressing questions begin to form in the mind every traveler.

When exactly, does one get up and join the line? Does one wait until one needs to go, or does one wait in a line of ever-changing length? What is the proper protocol? Are those seated closer to the restroom obligated to remain seated if they see someone getting up in front of them? Do women and children deserve some kind of deference? If so, how much?

These questions are important, because standing in line to pee on the CRJ700 is a journey in personal humiliation. The aisles are so narrow it’s impossible to remain upright without invading the personal space of those still seated. (If you zoom in to my seat-mate, now standing in the back, you’ll see that her ass now occupies the space reserved for the face of the man still in 17C. That guy, or whatever’s left of him, is now crammed into the lap of the stranger next to him, who is no doubt trying to jam himself through the window, happy to pay the ultimate price for a little fresh air.) Point is, waiting in line to pee on a CRJ700 is actually worse than pissing your pants, as evidenced by the peaceful countenance of the soggy kid, sleeping across the aisle.

Anyway, the situation really devolved an hour ago, when the line grew to fifteen people. Everyone who hadn’t yet peed was fumbling through a personal calculus involving time, space, bladder capacity, prior liquid intake, arrival time, and basic self-control. Those in line were the most desperate, and no doubt counting the minutes to relief. Alas, they forgot to factor in the big unknown – turbulence. As we flew through some very heavy chop, the Captain demanded everyone take their seats. Desperate people who had been waiting in line – some for a half hour – had no choice but to follow orders. Mutiny was out of the question, as the chop would have made hitting the toilet – even from a seated position – all but impossible.

The agony in the plane was palpable, and when the safety belt sign was finally turned off twenty minutes later, it was like a scene from Pamplona. The stampede toward the stern was immediate and chaotic. Good manners and decorum were forgotten, as once civilized people scratched and clawed their way over the young and helpless, fighting backwards for a few private moments in a defiled outhouse 37,000 feet in the sky.

I have pictures, but out of respect, I’m not going to show you. After yesterday’s post, I’m worried about sharing as much as I already have. I will however, show you the inside of the briefing card, which the flight attendant strongly advised we refer to during the mandatory safety briefing of the CRJ700. In it, you’ll see all sorts of helpful illustrations regarding what to do in the event of an emergency.

Alas – there are no helpful tips for how to politely pee all over yourself and your neighbor.

Mike”

Funny how there are times that one can actually relate to a Facebook status update, as this was the case yesterday as I browsed my rather uneventful wall. I stumbled across yet another Mike Rowe status update that really hit home. Eventhough I don’t fly nowadays unless, well, I don’t fly but I drive, but back in my Air Force days this little story told here was true more often than not, especially on those long international flights we love to hate so much. The status update and the picture used above have been shared here without permission, I hope Mike Rowe doesn’t mind.

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When Mike Rowe Speaks Out

After seeing the blip on my radar for this story on Mike Rowe’s Facebook page as well as on The Blaze I knew it was going to be an interesting story for sure, and I was right. If you don’t know who Mike Rowe is then you just might want to come out from under your rock today. Yes, I know, we are not all fans of Mike Rowe, the rest of us won’t hold that against you. I saw the truth and humor in what was said therefore its time to share. Everything below, text and pictures, was borrowed from The Blaze in its original form without anyone’s permission to repost it, please enjoy.

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“After Mike Rowe Had a Disagreement With a Lawyer at a Liquor Store, He Went Home and Did This Just to Spite the Attorney.

Mike Rowe, the former “Dirty Jobs” TV host and current head of Mike Rowe Works, has shown he’s not afraid to say what he thinks. Monday, he proved it once again — and took on a lawyer in doing so. It all started when Rowe decided to hit a local liquor store recently and noticed a picture near the front of the shop. That picture was of a man in a white shirt that the store was identifying as a shoplifter.

“Good for you,” Rowe says he told the owner whilerecalling the encounter on Facebook. “I wish every store in the country did this.”

That’s when things got a little awkward. Someone behind Rowe in line disagreed, saying that it wasn’t right to publicly shame someone who may be innocent.

That started getting Rowe a little fired up. The conversation continued with Rowe’s response as well as the store owner’s:

[Rowe continued:] “If I were falsely accused I would feel angry. But why would the owner put my face in his window and identify me as a shoplifter if he didn’t have proof that I was in fact a shoplifter?”

“Mistakes happen,” said the guy in line.

I looked at the manager and said, “Frank, have you ever made a mistake or falsely accused someone of shoplifting from your store?”

“Of course not,” said Frank. “I have the proof on the video. I put up a new photo every week. I have hundreds of these scumballs on tape.”

“Really? So has this strategy helped cut down on theft?”

“Big time,” said Frank. I used to get ripped off every day. Now it’s more like once a week.”

And that’s when the lawyer got involved. According to the lawyer, Frank the storeowner could technically be sued for posting the photo and shaming the man. That’s when Rowe became “incredulous” and even had some blunt words for the attorney:

Then a third guy chimed in. He identified himself as a lawyer, and said that even if Frank had proof of the crime, the guy in the photo could sue him and very likely win. I was incredulous.

“On what grounds?” Telling the truth in a storefront window?”

The lawyer shrugged. “I could argue that the man in that photo – were he my client – suffered irreparable harm to his reputation and public standing. I’d argue that Frank here was the proximate cause of that damage. Moreover, the level of potential harm caused by this photo goes far beyond the punishment typically handed down for this kind of petty crime.”

“Are you that good a lawyer,” I asked? Or does our country really have it’s head that far up it’s own ass?”

For the next ten minutes, we discussed the law, public shaming, petty theft, and the rights of the accused. I expressed my belief that stocks should be brought back to the public square. Frank concurred. The first guy in line called me a “modern day Torquemada,” which I took as a compliment. The lawyer was in favor of stocks, but only because they’d be good for business. The whole thing made me very thirsty for the Whistle Pig, waiting patiently in my brown paper bag.

Finally I asked, “What would happen if I posted this photo on my Facebook page? Could the shoplifter then sue me?”

“Alleged shoplifter,” said the guy in line.

“Sure,” said the lawyer. “Anybody can sue anybody for anything.”

“Yeah, but would you take the case?”

The lawyer looked at me with something I’ll call recognition. “If I thought there were a decent chance at a recovery, sure.”

“So if I post this image on my Facebook page, and the guy in the photo comes to you and says I’ve ruined his reputation by telling the world he’s guilty of shoplifting, you’d sue me? Even if the guy is proven guilty on tape?”

“Suing celebrities is fun,” said the lawyer. They usually settle, just to avoid the headache. But just to be clear – I’d sue Frank here as well.”

So what did Rowe do? He decided to stick it to the lawyer. He posted the picture of the crook (although he redacted the face):

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“After careful consideration and deliberation with Frank, I’ve decided to post the photo in his front window,” Rowe concluded. “But upon the advice of my own attorney, I’ve concealed the identity of the no-good shoplifting scumbag in the white tee-shirt and jeans. I realize this defeats the purpose, but that’s what things have come to in my world.”

So far the post has over 55,000 likes and over 10,000 shares.

Originally posted: Jun. 24, 2014 10:09am Jonathon M. Seidl on The Blaze.”

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