Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This Is One Mission That Will Not Go Down The Drain

Space travel can be pretty serious and life threatening stuff. After all, if we had been meant to be space dwellers, we would have been born there. Wow, that may have been the dumbest thing I have ever written. Well, not counting the proposal I turned in at work once that had errors I put in it just to see if they would be found, because that was a whole different kind of dumb, as in I really thought I’d get away with it but didn’t and am lucky to still have a job.

It seems that our interstellar gamble with space travel has come back to bite us (in the rear) again. Yep, while taking Lucy and Ethel to school this morning, the radio reported that the toilet on the international space station has stopped working. I was immediately touched by how difficult dealing with this will be for the unlucky astronauts aboard the space station. Then I realized I could blog about their bodily relievement challenges and felt much better. Seriously though, what a hard time they now face. As anyone who has ever witnessed the failure of public restrooms on a NASCAR race weekend can tell you, non-operational toilets can make things messy real fast.

Not to worry though. As we showed in Apollo 13, nothing is beyond our ability to solve or overcome, even when it is in orbit. In other words, we can flush wipe away fix any problem. And the international space station’s toilet is no different. NASA has a contingency plan and that plan is…(I’m stalling here to let the excitement build, hum the 2001 Space Odyssey Theme or Star Wars or Star Trek or the original Battlestar Gallactica theme, if it helps) plastic bags with sticky openings. While I cannot 100% confirm this, it is my assumption (and remember, an assumption is making a brave speculation with too little information to actually make a speculation with) that the sticky opening of the bags are to help the bag affix to the ass-tronaut so it doesn’t detach while the bag’s user is well, using the bag. Because of that fun, but annoying because it’s not there when you really need it thing called gravity, the space station’s toilet has a fan and sucking type device so that the bodily relievement is drawn toward the appropriate storage device (Cosmic Relievement Assistance Procurer – CRAP. I was literally giddy in bed in the middle of the night last night when I finally thought of that) instead of being released into the space station.

I’m not sure if the astronauts have ever had training time with the sticky bags, but it certainly gives new meaning to the phrase ‘to boldly GO where no man has GONE before.’ Oh come on, you saw that coming the minute you knew this was a potty post. Let’s just hope it all goes smoothly because if the sticky bags prove difficult to master, the interior of the international space station is going to be the exact type of place where we’d see Mike Rowe say ‘and this…is a dirty job.’ Every time something goes wrong aboard the station or an astronaut gets flustered and yells ‘crap,’ all the other astronauts are going to instinctively duck to avoid undesirable floating objects (yes, UFO) aboard the station. Get comfortable, because I’m probably just going to sit here and make bathroom jokes at the poor astronauts’ expense for the rest of this post…

I guess there will be no splash landings aboard the station until the toilet gets fixed. Do you think Mission Control keeps radioing the astronauts to tell them ‘oh boy, urine trouble.’ Perhaps the astronauts are reciting the septic tank owners’ mantra of ‘if it’s brown flush it down, if it’s yellow let it mellow.’ At least I think that’s the septic users’ mantra. I really only know one family that has a septic tank, my aunt and uncle in Maine, and they have that saying needle pointed and framed over their toilet, which makes me think it’s the septic tank owners’ mantra. And let’s face it; if it isn’t then it really deserves to be.

Since Apollo 13 was such a huge hit, do you think this space challenge will be made into a movie if everything ends well? I bet the astronauts involved hope it doesn’t. I seriously doubt that they want to be the butt of a poop load of bathroom jokes. Do they really want all the difficult moments they encountered, like getting the sticky bags stuck to their fingers when trying to open them as they flail their hands around trying to get the bag off? Or how about when they had to use the ‘force’ to overcome the inevitable zero gravity induced constipation? Honestly, I have no idea if zero gravity induces that. I just couldn’t find any other way to work ‘the force’ into this post. Heck, zero gravity probably works on the body in the exact opposite way and makes the digestive system work at warp speed.

All right, I’ve got it all out of my system (that’s what the astronaut said). I’m done now. Thanks for indulging me. Do you think they use stools to reach things in zero gravity? How anal would that be? It’s pretty ass-inine, if you ask me. Ok, now I’m done.

10 comments:

Candace said...

We have a septic tank, but I don't believe in mellowing, yellow or not.

Their toilets really broke? What a pisser. Sounds like more than a wee problem. Are you still flushed with the success of your CRAP acronym? (not that it's a crap acronym, I think it's a great one!) I think it's your duty to suggest that to them.

Alison said...

Ass-tronaut! Ha ha ha!

citizen of the world said...

So, how much of your work time, exactly, do you spend scouting for little news gems like this?

(I had a patient whose doctor was urging herto lose some of her 300 pounds. She said, "I told him if God had wanted us all to be skinny, He'd have made us all skinny." With logic like that, you might as well drop the subject.)

Selma said...

Can you imagine being up in space and not being able to use the loo? I hope those little plastic bags seal properly. How horrible if someone didn't zip up the seal and the contents escaped. At least in space no one can hear you scream.....

CassJustCurious said...

It goes against my nature to look at a solution of a problem without first looking at the root cause of the problem so things I think that should be explored is HOW did the toilet break - Can a vacuum toilet be CLOGGED or did the vacuum just stop.

And then on to the solution....do you think there are try-outs (please do picture cheerleading try outs) for the janitorial staff on the ground at NASA this morning? Will the best plunger go into space?

Patti said...

Stalling!! Ha! I don't even think you meant that one, did you Michael?

I'm feeling a bit flushed after reading this. Tanks.
I mean thanks. Ass-tronaut is very funny.

Like Selma, I would be concerned about the sealing properties of the bags in question.

meleah rebeccah said...

And I thought the Rest Rooms on the NJTPK were an 'issue'.

BTW: The entire opening of this post was hysterical.

FRIGGA said...

Wow, I'd heard about this too. It makes me really really happy I gave up on my dream of becoming an astronaut! 8-)

cmk said...

Having bathroom issues my entire life, I couldn't imagine trying to 'go' in space. I wonder if any of the ass-tronauts are asked 'Did everything come out okay?' when they emerge from the facility? (That was my FIL's favorite line of all time.) :D

magickat said...

HAHAHA! You are SICK! You are a sick sick person! Your legions of fans bow to you and your masterful play on words.