Story # 2

Recently I was reminded me of the one of my earlier stories , namely ON THE SUBJECT OF DOING IT IN FRONT OF THE OTHERS. I have promised then to write about another of my unforgettable “adventures”. There have been quite a few of them in my life. Nice thing about these mishaps is that however dramatic and disastrous they feel at the time, they are all just quite comical in retrospect.The one good lesson I have learned from looking back at such events , is never to take myself too seriously.


After many weeks of shamelessly begging and cajoling, I had finally managed to get my big wish fulfilled. A friend of mine had reluctantly agreed to take me along on a flying lesson . He had demanded of me to be ready at 6.00 AM , to be dressed appropriately , not to panic for any reason during the flight , not to ask any questions and, in general , he obviously would have liked best if I could have been invisible (or absent) all together. It was not a common practice among the student pilots to take company along. That , typically is an understanding I have now. Back then , it had never really crossed my mind. “I want to fly” was the only thing on my young selfish, self centered mind . Empathy is a quality that usually develops later in life. If ever. I was not even twenty at the time and was simply ecstatic to have an opportunity of such an adventure , otherwise way beyond my means.

A flying lesson was an expensive affair . It meant one hour only in the air in a small sports airplane with four seats. There were four of us: a pilot/flying instructor, my friend , another man and I .

Off we went on our jolly way: got registered in the log book, men did a technical check, we boarded and took off. Everything went smoothly, we were in the air, sky was clear and the sun was just rising. The view was spectacular. I had enjoyed myself immensely. It was all I had imagined it would be , and… more. That “more” is what this story is about.

We flew over Amsterdam and the surroundings. We did the turns to the left, to the right, we did the loops… About 30 minutes into the flight I suddenly felt an overpowering need to pee. I had to do it like I never did in my whole life! I saw nothing any more. The sky, the glorious sunrise, the city below, nothing mattered any more. My whole Universe was reduced to my screaming bladder. I squirmed. I crossed and recrossed my legs. I prayed. I tried to concentrate on my breathing. I prayed some more. I changed all the colors , from white as chalk to crimson red. The urge was just uncontrollable. I tried to think of any possible smart and creative way to relieve myself there, discretely without anyone noticing. No way! There was absolutely no chance of something like that…

Eventually I just had to summon all the courage, swallow my pride and announce my problem to the three men . I asked them to please land as fast as possible, for I needed to use a toilet. Talking of looks like daggers…

The flying lesson was effectively reduced by good twenty minutes, but I was saved, I made it in time, without having to embarrass myself any worse. It was also clear that I will never fly again, not with that friend of mine. No words were necessary to convey that.

Some time later a person told me that it is a known phenomenon, apparently due to the air pressure in a plane that size. I know that now.

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