Wednesday, October 11, 2006

When it's your time to go...

Meet Ansel, the only other male to live in our house (I have a wife and 2 daughters, haven't made a decision for myself in 30 years and Ansel...the other castrated...but I digress). Each and every morning my wife or I (or someone sitting the house when we are gone) get out his leash and, to his great joy, take him for a walk. During this activity he does his business, several times, and he does it where ever he pleases, thus bringing us to today's delicate topic (remember, I'm a doctor).

We may go a lot slower, but we share a common problem with long distance truck drivers and astronauts stuck in a capsule while orbiting the earth. All of us have limited micturitional opportunities (read: we have no place or time to urinate). I know at least one of the early astronauts, while being held on the pad for launch, finally just did the deed in his space suit and shorted out a whole bunch of circuits being monitored.

The old train engineers used to use a "motorman's pal", a condom with a tube to a bag strapped on their legs. Some truckers carry tin cans, or the like, and then throw the contents out their window (think about that next time you pass a semi on the interstate).

Kayak texts, bless their good intentions, show all sorts of ways to hang over the edge of a boat or to how to play London bridges between two boats while relieving yourself.

And, let's face it, that constant sound of water, especially if it is flowing, doesn't help.

Some take the pragmatic approach and do it in their farmer John's (why does that sound like it should make sense?). This has a two-fold benefit: relief and an amazingly warm feeling. It also has a big time down side: the suit smells really ripe for a long time.

Finally, some (works for men) do it into the cockpit and then rinse the boat out by pumping water in (to dilute) and then pumping it out. Nice, huh? Not exactly the precise flush one gets used to in civilized society. Besides, with men living longer and developing larger prostrates, this problem can only get worse. Wake up, my friends.

In this day of tiles that fall off space ships and cars that get recalled by the tens of thousands, I don't know if any engineers are working on our little problem. I don't know, either, why ARwKY (pronounced R-Key), the Association for the Rights of Women Kayakers, hasn't offered a grant to solve this annoying and never to go away problem.

But there it is, out on the table, out in the open for all to ponder. What is it with a group of people who will spend hundreds of dollars on a paddle, spend hours padding out and customizing their boats, spend money and time attaining and attaching all sorts of tows, flares and other equipment, but have not figured out a way to take care of the most basic of human needs. It's like building a mansion with no bathrooms. Well, at least we can...

Paddle safe...



derrick said...

yeah, but what about the extra calorie burn from holding it in??

Silbs said...

I don't even know how to calculate that:)