I don’t remember the year as they have all started to blend together for me. I do remember some of the basics. Here is the story, to the best of my recollection. At least, this is how I normally tell it to everyone that will listen. It is entertaining for those that know Chris and Ted. Complete strangers just don’t get it.
The scene to be was a MCT TechWeek in San Diego. TechWeek, back then, was a great gathering of MCTs and lots of awesome and geeky presentations as well as awesome and geeky discussions outside of the presentations. What normal MCTs did was buy plane tickets and rent rooms in the conference hotel. We, obviously, are not normal MCTs.
Anyways, a few of us less than normal MCTs did some computing and found that it was much cheaper to rent a house boat and a yacht that were docked a few hundred yards from the hotel that was hosting our conference. Since we all decided to enjoy ourselves on this trip (see Chris enjoying himself wearing the infamous pink nightie on the deck of one of the boats), and since Ted Malone, Chris Randall, and I all live somewhat close together, we decided it would be much easier and a little cheaper to lease a plane and have Ted Malone fly us to San Diego. So, traveling in a private plane and staying on yachts. Yep, it was a good plan. Overall, we had a great time smoking great cigars, having wonderful drinks, and spending time with lots of great friends. The trip there, however, did not go according to plans. Da Da DDAAA… Do you feel the tension?
So, Ted, being a really good pilot, made sure he got himself rated on the plane that we wanted to lease for the trip. I am sure it was pretty simple for him. I have flown with Ted before, and he really is a good pilot. I have even flown with him in high winds before. The plane was a nice four-seater with some good cargo room. It was capable of hauling our large bodies and our baggage for the trip. Of course, some of us (Chris) had more baggage (and not just the emotional kind) than the others. Ted had told us all about how many pounds we could take on board with us based on our combined weight and the capacity of the plane. I am pretty sure we had way more than Ted said was safe to bring. I think Chris had a few large lead bars in his bags that he insisted were just socks. I guess it could have been drugs, but I never investigated. In any case, he had several hundred pounds of socks by my estimate.
As a quick side note: As Chris noted in a Facebook post, the picture of us with the plane involved redacting his nipples by using a propeller. Ted pointed out that Facebook is a family site, and we just couldn’t have him and his nipples posted. The nipple discussion is another story completely, especially as it involved the white eKnowlogist shirts that we all owned.
Anyways, back to the story.
We all met at the airport, loaded the plane with our baggage, and we took off without incident. The flight was really wonderful. We skirted around Pikes Peak, and it was really beautiful. The flight let us enjoy some great views of the country side as we flew past. At one point, Ted stuck his camera out of the plane as we flew over the meteor crater in Arizona, and he got a couple of great pictures. Ted spent time explaining how he navigates the plane, and we had some great conversations. At this point, all was well, and we were having a good time. Then… Da Da DDAAA… (tension producing sounds)
A few hours into the flight (it was a slow plane and we had headwinds), Chris Randall says that he needs to pee. Ted and I both look at Chris sitting in the back seat of the plane and point out to him that there are no facilities on the plane and that we can’t just pull over to the side of the road so he can water some bushes along the side of the highway. Chris said there was no way that he could hold it long enough for us to get to San Diego. So, Ted and I noticed that Chris had about six empty water bottles after drinking all of that water (I may be exaggerating a bit). So, duh, of course he had to pee. We, meaning Ted and I, were also able to figure it out and do the math and realized that there was no way that Chris could pee enough to fill up all of the empty water bottles. So we told him to get to filling the bottles. This then lead to a discussion about disposing of the bottles of pee, which to me meant dropping urine bombs out of the plane. Of course, if it were me, I would have just stuck “it” out the window and let it go, which probably would have meant pee all over the side of the plane. Chris, however, probably isn’t as well-endowed as I am, so I could see that being a problem for him.
I guess Chris has a shy bladder or he was afraid that one of us would perv out and watch him peeing into the bottles. I am not saying that I would not have taken pictures, but, we will never know. Anyways, Chris starts complaining and says he won’t pee into a bottle. He actually got a bit angry at us for suggesting/pressuring him to pee in the bottles. He really was getting antsy in the back seat and was obviously needing to go, but we figured we could wait him out and that he would finally break down and use the water bottle(s) as needed. Somehow, Chris wore us down, and Ted decided to divert the plane to Flagstaff, AZ.
As we start getting close to Flagstaff, Ted talks to the control tower and they say that the winds are pretty bad and they didn’t recommend landing if we don’t have to land. Chris was pretty insistent that we land because he had to go so bad, and Ted was willing to give it a shot. I was still trying to figure out why Chris had issues with peeing in bottles. Actually, I think I was more interested in dropping the urine bombs and the possibilities that it presented and was disappointed that I would not get the chance.
OK, back to the approach to Flagstaff. Ted brings the plane around, lines us up perfectly with the landing strip (no, not a stripper’s landing strip) at the airport. Ted brings the plane in, we are on a nice glide path one second, the next second, I hear wheels screeching out loud, then screeching again, and I remember looking out the windshield of the plan and seeing nothing but runway black top. I am sure that at one point, we were perpendicular to the ground. Ted gave the plane lots of gas, we bounced across the runway at least three times, and we were back up in the air. Ted then brought the plane around again for a second try. Again, the same thing happened. Again, my life flashed before my eyes, and I swear we might have even been upside down at one point. Ted flew around once more, and after bouncing a few times, he managed to get us on the ground. I don’t think I have ever been more scared, and I can tell lots of stories of being scared in some harrowing circumstances.
We taxied over to the terminal in complete silence. I think we were all at the same point, thanking some deity for allowing us to live, and cussing Chris for making us land. As we get to the terminal, Chris says, “I really don’t need to go now.” At this point, I feel a strong need to pee. I think that the scare of almost being a smear across the runway made my kidneys run into overdrive.
We all go into the restroom, and then sit down for a few minutes. I guess I should be thankful that there were several urinals in the restroom and we didn’t have to fight about who went first. Anyways, we sit down at the little cafeteria at the airport and I looked over and saw Ted’s hands shaking like a drug addict in need of a good fix. It was clear that he was not ready to take off and fly at that point. I was wondering if we would be staying the night or longer. So, we had lunch.
After a good bit of time to recover, Ted was ready to fly, so we proceeded on our way. Chris was not allowed to have any more fluids for the rest of the trip.
As we started to get close to San Diego International airport, I had visions of us skipping across the runway at a major airport and having to circle a few times to get the landing right. Luckily, San Diego diverted us to a smaller commuter airport. I think it only took two tries to get landed this time.
Anyway, that is the story of Chris Randall needing to pee and almost getting us all killed.