Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tales from the Airborne I: You Gotta Go When You Gotta Go

Imagine yourself a paratrooper. Strapped in on a C-130, 141, or 17, wearing a heavy parachute, an ill-placed reserve parachute, your rucksack across your thighs, your weapon under your left armpit, and your NVGs uncomfortably around your neck. The paratrooper to your left and right are seated next to you so tightly, you can tell if they have a tattoo on their shoulder just from the friction. All of this, and there's no bathroom.

Well, I take that back... there's a bathroom for the air crew.

When flying tactically, you're usually at Nap of the Earth, the air conditioning is off (purportedly to save power), and everybody needs to puke, much less take a piss. And, to make matters worse, I tend to overhydrate in order to avoid leg cramps. Which means I've got to go... and badly. It's going to be okay, I think, it's almost time to jump. I can piss when I hit the dropzone.

The command to stand up. Yes! The command to hook up. Yes! Check static line. Yes, yes! Check equipment. Oh, fuck yeah. Stand by for equipment check. Still with ya! Sound off for equipment check. Okay, okay, okay! All jumpers okay, jumpmaster! Door jumper, stand in the door! HURRY THE FUCK UP!

And then we wait.

And then I just decide to let it all go and piss down my leg. Pulling my pant leg out of my boot, I enjoy the sense of relief as it trickles to the floor.

Now, were the jump safety familiar with me, he wouldn't have said anything, but he wasn't, so he calmly walked up to me and asked if I was okay, and how many jumps I had. I replied, "Plenty. I just had to piss."

He nodded and smiled. We both sort of glanced at the Air Force loadmaster who was going to have to mop my fluids up later. Unspoken joke, as it were. Fuck the Air Force, right?

The safety went back to his position, the green light came on, and out my chalk went.

Lucky for me, the prop blast tends to dry one off real quick.


  1. Jeff,
    I don't think I ever hit Geronimo DZ with dry britches!

    Posted by R. Ojeda on August 29, 2008 - Friday - 9:13 PM

  2. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. thats why i never drank too much...i just hate when you do have to piss and then your canteens would drive up into your kidneys when you hit the ground. then you piss blood too. god i miss those days... lol

    Posted by Josh on July 31, 2008 - Thursday - 1:42 PM

  3. Good story, but ewwww.

    Posted by Jessica Lynn on July 30, 2008 - Wednesday - 1:51 PM

  4. :)!!!!!!!!!!!!! You know this made me laugh.

    Who would guess you would dry off so quickly?