You travesties of flesh and bone. You absolute cretins. You horrible, terrible excuses for humanity. Sit the hell down when your plane is about to take off.
I get it. You have to pee. Your legs need a stretch. I get it. I’ve flown with a 24-hour flu and carved myself a path from my seat to the bathroom every time I needed to vomit. I get it. But if I could keep from violently throwing up while the plane was taxiing to depart, you can wait a few minutes to pee.
On a recent flight I took from Philadelphia to Chicago, our pilot announced that we were seventh in line to depart. It would be about 15 minutes. OK. That’s fine. Fifteen minutes is nothing. It’s an episode of Robot Chicken. It’s the time it takes my very slow arse to run a mile and a half. It’s nothing. It’s fine.
And then someone had to pee.
Do you, Reader, know what happens when one person on a plane stands up to pee when the plane is in line to depart? I’ll tell you what happens. Another person gets up. Then a third. A fourth. The couple with the newborn stands up to rock her to sleep. The bro seated five rows away from the rest of his squad gets up for some dudely back-slapping. Someone takes their overhead luggage down to fish something out. Yet another person gets up to use the bathroom.
Fifteen minutes is not enough time for all of these humans to complete all of these tasks.
All the while, both the pilot and our flight attendants were on the PA, giving us fair warning. “FOLKS, just a reminder, if we are scheduled to depart and you’re still standing, we will be cycled to the back of the line.” “We’d like to remind you again to please sit down. We’re next in line.”
Someone decides at that exact moment that they desperately need to use the bathroom. The cannot wait the five-to-ten more minutes it will take for the plane to depart and hit a reasonable cruising height. They are going right now.
Do you know what happens then? Do you know what happens when you don’t sit the hell down? Our plane—our beautiful plane that has already been sitting on the tarmac, waiting, for the past fifteen minutes—is now cycled to the rear of the line. And instead of seventh, we are now fifteenth.
And I get it. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “well, now we’re sitting here for even longer, so this is the perfect time for me to take all six of my wayward children to the bathroom, one by one!”
DID YOU LEARN NOTHING? NOT A SINGLE THING? THIS IS NOT THE TIME. THIS IS NEVER THE TIME.
My plane was cycled to the rear of the line three times. We sat so long on the tarmac waiting to depart that we could have flown to Chicago in the time we spent waiting for people to sit.
You fools! I understand that emergencies happen, but the period where your plane is taxiing to depart is not the time to undertake menial tasks and have your last “oh, well, just in case” pee. It is the time to sit quietly, texting your husband to lament your eternal air travel woes. It is the time to maybe not chug the rest of that Coke Zero. It is the time to think about literally anything but your bladder until departure.
Why didn’t you go when you were still at the terminal? It’s a far less horrible experience there anyway.
Please. Please. Sit your arse down and wait for your plane to leave the ground before you start making laps of the aisle. You will be fine. You—and other people, God forbid you think of them besides just yourself—might actually arrive at your destination on time.