A U.S. Navy Squadron Almost Pooped Itself to Death in El Salvador in 2011
War Is Boring

I feel my shipmates’ pain.

I flew in recce aircraft during the Cold War and I can tell you that doing a lot of flying messes with your guts big time.

Let’s just say that a P-3 or EP-3 filled with Sailors with gastric upset was pretty odiferous.

One time, I was preparing to go on a 12 hour mission and was looking for something to tide me over. Then I saw a Pizza Hut on the way to the airfield.

First mistake.

Then, for some reason that I still can’t figure out, I bought a large “Hot and Spicy” pizza for my dinner. Wolfed down quite a bit on the way to the field.

Second mistake.

Now, I had flown missions before during which the pucker factor was pretty intense. I’m not talking about danger, i.e., unless you include danger of gastric explosion. However, I always “gutted” my way through.

This was not one of those times.

By this time in my flying career, I had probably 2500 hours and I was pretty proud of the fact that I had never broken “the code,” i.e., never pooped on the plane. Well, I was going to cross the Rubicon on this mission.

I entered our rudimentary head and started doing my business. All of a sudden, I heard a loud “Oh, my God!” from just outside the head door. Looking out, I saw one of my crewmates plastered up against the bulkhead with a look of horror at the terrible stinkiferouness of my product. And there was another Sailor who was known for being obsessed with aircrew flatulence who was clapping for me as he intoned, “Well done, sir! WELL DONE!”

Now, when someone broke the code, the deal was that everyone else on the plane could sh*t to their heart’s content and the codebreaker had to carry everyone’s fecal matter off the plane. The pilots took great joy (at least I thought so) in announcing the fact that “Ensign M. has broken the code. The poop lamp is now lit!”

Luckily for me, my crewmates liked me and took pity on me. At the end of the mission there was only one lonely trash bag to haul off in my eternal shame.

I haven’t eaten Pizza Hut since.