An Airplane Story

As Monty Python used to say …

And now for something completely different.

Once upon a time, there was a pilot who had to fly an airplane very far, far north.

The pilot had done lots of flying before, but not very far, far north.

The pilot was looking forward to this trip.

On the morning of the flight, the pilot was up early in the dark darkness of the northern winter. It was very cold, but the airplane was in a warm hangar.

The pilot got the airplane ready as passengers gathered in the waiting room with their bags, boxes, a bunch of freight, two hamsters and one dog.

Now, this dog had to travel in the passenger cabin because … well, because there’s no freight compartment on this particular aircraft type.

This airplane is what’s called a combi – it carries a mix of passengers and freight, all on one level.

The pilot went inside to talk to the owner of this dog. It was a really big dog. A Great Dane. Its hair was really short and it was wearing a coat. It looked cold, miserable and scared.

It was shivering and shaking.

The pilot asked the owner to make sure that the dog had done its business before getting aboard.

It was a three hour flight; it’s not like there would a place to pull over and stop.

The owner assured the pilot that the dog had pooped, peed and burped.

Okay, thought the pilot. Let’s load and get this show on the road, so to speak.

40 minutes later, all was loaded and everyone was taxiing along just as the sun was coming up over a northern winter horizon.

The pilot applied power and started the take-off roll.

A satisfying back pressure as the aircraft lifted off …

Reaching altitude … settling in … And then, and then …

What is that God-awful stench?

If you took one of Lebron James’s basketball shoes after a number of heavy practises, stuck it in a vat of boiled cabbage, buried it under a chicken coop, and left it there for several weeks … then maybe you can imagine this malodorous vapour.

The pilot sent the co-pilot back to investigate.

He came scurrying back, turned green and promptly threw up all over the radios.

Chunks started to befoul the throttle levers as they slowly slid down the panel.

The pilot, floating by now on the ghastliest sea of odiferous gases, directed the co-pilot to do what he could to clean up himself and the cockpit.

With the autopilot on, the pilot went back to take a look, and … almost threw up too.

For there in the first row, the very large Great Dane had pooped a mutant-sized mound of poo. And was sort of standing in it. A baby elephant would have been proud.

The owner sat there, unreactive as the entire cabin starting collapsing into various stages of tummy trouble. He pretended not to notice.

Retching slightly, the pilot told the owner to clean up the mess.

“With what?” he snarled, “My bare hands?”

“If you have to, yes! Don’t you have any poo bags?” the pilot snarled back. “My co-pilot is sitting up there with a major case of the heaves. Now start cleaning this up!”

“I don’t have anything to put it in. I don’t have anything to pick it up with. What am I supposed to do?”

But a chorus, a groundswell, began from the back of the plane. Items starting finding their way to the front. Bags, hand sanitizers, towels and even a plastic spoon.

Sometimes, on your journey through life, you encounter twits with giant mounds of poo. But often, there are ordinary people who will help out with whatever they have, and will give you the hand sanitizer out of their pockets.

(And everyone lived to happily disembark the poo plane.)

You? What poo plane have you had in your life?

23 thoughts on “An Airplane Story”

  1. It sounds like lots of hand sanitizer is in order! Thanks for the laughs, Lynette! This story reminded me of our neighbors when I was a kid. They had a Saint Bernard who had puppies. I remember being traumatized when the mother ate the puppies poo!

    1. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Yup. True story. I flew the dog poo plane. Those passengers were terrific – they offered whatever they could to relieve the stench. But what was really funny was all those little bottles of hand sanitizer. Altogether they would have made up a very large bottle, and that would have been illegal.

      1. Well, that’s some story. Who brings a dog with them and no poop bag? Wth? Was there a bathroom on the plane where it could be picked up and flushed?

        1. This guy really was a twit. A big giant dog who was clearly under the weather and no poo bags. And he made no attempt to clean up until pushed. Yes, there was a toilet but the poo was just loaded into plastic bags – there was a lot! Then the hand sanitizer did the rest. We eventually got some relief from our entrapment in Stenchville. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh Lynette, the things that happen. You bring back memories of many flights around the NWT (no Nunavut at the time) in combi-jets, with the bulkhead moving forward & back from stop to stop as the latest combination of cargo and passengers required. Had some interesting times but never, thank gawd, one to equal that! I’m so glad fellow passengers backed the pilot and enforced some kind of responsible behaviour (however minimal).

    1. Flying in the north is the most amazing, quirkiest experience ever. What you encounter can be so completely unexpected. These passengers were the best. Their tummies were rolling but they helped out however they could. ๐Ÿ™‚
      How much time did you spend in the north?

      1. I came & went a lot, for 2-3 years, writing both for Above & Beyond, the inflight magazine for First Air, and often for Equinox & other southern magazines. I was never resident, but just loved every minute I spent north and thought myself so lucky to be able to spend time there, talking with people who did live there and sharing their stories.

  3. How horrific! Well…I didn’t really need to eat lunch today anyways….
    I’m really hoping this is fiction and not something that actually happened to you? As a previous reader stated in the comments, this is very much why they don’t allow dogs or any other animals on planes alongside humans.

    1. Sorry about that. If you’re on a diet a story like this one might be helpful. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Yup. This happened. It was pretty gross. I never knew that that much could come out of … anything. A shovel might have helped. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But yes, that’s one of the reasons dogs need to be … somewhere else.

  4. Well, now. That’s certainly a ditty worth sharing. (Love the imagery of the chunks on the throttle levers.) So, did you eventually seek revenge on the errant fool? Perhaps distribute some flyers with his mugshot and a fair warning to fellow pilots: “Do not let this jerk on your plane. Ever.”

    1. It was definitely a chunky moment – I had fears of a group vomit. Some chain reactions just can’t be stopped.
      I would have loved some mugshot flyers, but that wasn’t really necessary. His reputation spread like a pool of pre-owned breakfast. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Oh my, that’s a helluva story. And so sorry for you that it was true ๐Ÿ˜ฎ. Love the way you told it. I’m not very good with any kind of bodily fluid, human, dog or otherwise. One of my worst experiences was driving a rescue dog to his placement. The dog was SO poorly. There was more sick than dog, as you said, hard to imagine where it all came from. He was in a cage for travelling but had also chewed through his slip lead, so it was near impossible to clean him up as I couldn’t risk opening the cage much as I had no way to hold on to or secure the dog. I had to throw all the bedding away! Thankyou for the laugh. And glad you at least had some caring, pro-active passengers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Thank you – glad you enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ™‚
      They were really great, and just so calm about it all, in spite of the utter stench.
      That poor dog – I hope he found a good life, sick free. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I am always suspicious of those dogs (and also sometimes of the people who have them. Some people do need them, but I think there may be some exaggeration creeping in …) and ever hopeful that they stay accident-free.

  6. Oh my goodness! I am at a loss for words. I think I would have ended up like your co-pilot!

    I’m glad it came out all right in the end, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

    xoxox โค

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