Holding the Bag
Eve looked around the cabin of the tiny company plane. The prop was taking her to Tulsa, but dropping off the other passengers at another stop in between. There she sat with the other five passengers, crammed in the cabin like carpoolers in a Ford Escort. One of the executives sat on the special seat. It was in a separate area located directly behind the pilots, and it faced the outside door. This seat doubled as a passenger seat and a toilet. The small area could be closed off with two privacy curtains, one to screen off the cockpit and the other to screen off the cabin. Eve, who was newly promoted to senior engineer, was a highly competent but very shy and private woman. She eyed the potty seat nervously, silently praying that she would not have to swap seats during the flight. All the other passengers and pilots were male.
Although she purposely limited her fluid intake that morning, just as the plane took off, she began to feel a slight urge. She checked her watch. The normal flight time to the first stop was two hours. "I guess I can hold it," she thought.
When she began to feel extra pressure, she leaned over and tapped Randall, the executive who occupied the potty seat. "Excuse me, could you ask Andy how much longer it will be before we arrive at our first stop?"
"Andy says that we've run into some head winds. It will be about another hour," Randall shouted over the roar of the engine.
Eve managed to nod and smile, trying to mask her discomfort. Then she pictured the layout of the tiny rural airport where they would dropping off the other five passengers. She knew the airport contained nothing more than a short strip and some outbuildings. Usually a company car stood by to whisk away the passengers and then the plane would take off immediately.
"I know," Eve thought, "I'll just ask Andy to wait a moment, and I'll relieve myself behind one of the outbuildings. There is no way that I'm going to use the plane potty with the pilot so close that I can blow in his ear." She winced slightly when some turbulence bounced her and her bladder uncomfortably about.
As the plane approached what appeared to be a speck of a runway, she grew eager with anticipation. Then her heart sank. Just below, she saw several farmers buzzing around in their crop dusters over the fields.
"Great, just what I always wanted to do, moon a group of Kansas crop dusters," she sighed to herself.
To add to her pain, there was no car waiting. So the plane delayed its takeoff until it could unload the other five passengers. Although the next five minutes seemed like an hour, the car arrived and the plane was off to its next stop, this time to refuel. Eve knew that the refueling airport had full rest room facilities and was only 10 minutes away. "I can hold off, as long as Andy sets this plane down real smooth," she thought, crossing her legs even tighter.
Then, over the drone of the props, she heard Andy shout back to the cabin, "I've got good news, Eve. We've got some tail winds now, so I won't have to stop to refuel. We're going directly to Tulsa. We should be there in 45 minutes."
"Forty-five minutes! I'll explode," Eve nearly cried. She finally conceded that her situation had become critical.
"Andy, I need to use the bathroom, and I need to use it now," she announced urgently.
"Fine, be my guest," Andy responded nonchalantly.
Eve attempted to pull the privacy curtain between herself and the pilots, but it got stuck halfway across its track. She tugged and tugged. Finally Andy turned around in his seat to try to help her. No luck. The co-pilot was talking to the tower at Tulsa, so he was unable to assist. The curtain was jammed and would not budge. In total desperation she lifted the lid of the commode. There she saw that the seat was composed of a plastic rim with a large plastic bag attached.
"If I can't go to the mountain, I'm going to bring the damn mountain to me," she decided, and ripped the plastic seat and accompanying bag right out of the commode. Then she took it into the cabin and closed off the other privacy curtain between the potty seat and the cabin. Finally, with perspiration dripping from her forehead, she relieved herself. And oh, how she relieved herself!
With her physical needs met, Eve could relax and turn her attention to hygiene concerns. "Now, what am I supposed to do with this?" she speculated, as she stared at the circular plastic toilet rim with the bag still attached. "I certainly am not going to put this back in the commode and have Andy clean up after me. He'll know it's mine. I'm too embarrassed," she worried.
To find out how Eve managed this embarassing situation, read Part 2