The Trip Ends on a Foul Note. Really, Really Foul.

307, 316, 246, 602, 524: The hotel rooms I've occupied over the past month. It got to the point where I was confusing one for the next. A waitress at breakfast would ask me for my room number and I would just start spewing numbers at her like Rain Man. 16! 316! No, 224! Yeah, that's it! No wait...

It was time to be home. Where I am now. Huzzah! Huzzah!


Not without a minor detour.

Thursday, the day we were due to head back to New York from Raleigh-Durham, I was instead routed to Orlando for an impromptu client meeting. Poor Nate had to fly home alone with the now shrieking baby. And the golf clubs. And the stroller carrying case. And the backpack. And the diaper bag. And the 35-pound suitcase. And the 75-pound suitcase. Let's just say that we've now decided to will 50% of our estate upon our deaths to the person who invented curbside check-in.

I wasn't happy about the diversion, but I found the silver lining: 2.5 uninterrupted hours in a nice, air-conditioned, employer-paid business class airplane seat on the way home. After all, I had just come off of three weeks of absolute work madness, followed by one of those "I need a vacation from my vacation" vacations, straight into client meetings, a client dinner, a few hours of sleep, and client meetings again. The nap would do a body good, to say nothing of the cocktails.

The Delta jet still had that new plane smell--I half expected to peek into the cockpit and find one of those little green trees hanging from a control knob. I settled into my lovely bulkhead seat, stretched out my legs, took a few sips of deliciously mediocre white wine and shut my eyes. Bliss.

I had fallen asleep maybe five minutes when suddenly...what's that smell? Oh GOD the smell.

"I don't get paid enough for this," I hear a flight attendant mutter under her breath as she tears past me towards the coach cabin. I glance around and the entire cabinet is wincing at the fetid odor that's hanging in the air like August humidity. Two more flight attendants race up the aisle, one wearing a surgical face mask, the other snapping on a pair of rubber gloves. They each clutch wads of napkins in their hands.

Just then I remember...

The dogs. The therapy dogs in training. Two of them. First row of coach as we boarded the plane.

Oh dear lord, that odor can only be one thing: Canine intestinal distress. Doggie diarrhea. Stinkin', rancid German Shepard shit. On the plane. The plane with dozens of windows, not one of them able to open.

Two-and-a-half hours.

"Well," Nate said. "At least it happened to a writer."

"A writer with a blog," I said.


Blogger Mother Bumper said...

I just read this one outloud to Bump Daddy and we both went "Ewwwwwwwww". So sorry it happened to you but at least you got a good post out of it (I don't know how many times a day I say "ohh ohh I got to write this in the blog").

6/10/06, 6:41 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Yes, but a writer of a blog with lots of readers who will all raise our virtual voices with a collective "Eeewwww".

Thanks for the laugh. Sorry it had to be at the expensive of your olfactory nerve.

6/10/06, 6:55 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I will admit to being relieved that the "foul note" was only that and not some larger disaster! I had visions of parental discord, family blow-ups, mechanical difficulties...

6/10/06, 7:28 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

This happened to me. Only it was my car, coming back from my sister in-law's wedding in Maine, with my own dog who had, unbeknownst to me, gotten into the garbage.

My husband was driving in a separate car with his own dog and dismissed my cell phone call asking him to stop at the first rest stop because Madeline was acting funny. After we passed the ramp to the stop she let loose from BOTH ENDS.

I was so mad when I called him back, I couldn't speak real words. It was more like: Snapr dasher fractulist. Friggen stil pist ARRRRGH.

The next rest stop was 23 miles away.

6/10/06, 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Chase said...

Ooooooooh, no!

I do believe I owe you a 'laughing at your expense'....so I'll take this one right now and say HAHAHA!!

I feel for ya - but damn, that's funny!

6/10/06, 7:47 PM  
Anonymous dear wife said...

Oh there is nothing worse than when a smell fills an airplane you cannot get off of and the recirculated air keeps recirculated air. I had a really bad exsperience with this when the kid behind me started throwing up all over the seat. Not good, add in my fear of vomit and lests just say I did not fly for a yeat after that. I am sorry this happened to you.

6/10/06, 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Ashley said...

Another Eeewwwww here. But such great material. Thanks for sharing.

6/10/06, 8:18 PM  
Blogger Mary-LUE said...

Oh, oh, oh. That is so horrid. I feel sorry for you and I also feel sorry for the poor dogs. Our late, dearly departed pooch (Bob), after a 3 day road trip, proceeded to wake us up one morning with a splash. Yes. Splash. Pure liquid waste. Thank goodness we were able to clean it up immediately and not have to "live" with it for a few hours. Glad you survived it!

6/10/06, 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Motherhood Uncensored said...

Oh Jeezzuss.

I have to say that stinky dogs are no therapy.

However, maybe you got a comp for business class on your blogher trip.

6/10/06, 8:41 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Oh the HORROR! Seriously. You should have had your ticket comped.

*btw re. your comment on my blog: yes, our babies--or should I say soon-to-be-toddlers (*sob* they grow up so quickly!)--are just about the same age I think. My little guy was born June 28th 2005.*

6/10/06, 9:17 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Unf***ingbelievable. Canine gastrointestinal distress is the worst. Worse than cat spew even. I think. I only know from cat spew, and so am only imagining dog effluent. (I do know baby shits, but that's pretty ordinary by now.)

But - remarkable how soothing it can be to murmur blogfodderblogfodderblogfodder to yourself, repeatedly, no?

6/10/06, 9:56 PM  
Blogger kfk said...

Yuck, yuck, yuck. The poor dogs, the poor people.

6/10/06, 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Chantal said...

This would only happen to someone so deserving of 2.5 hours peace and quiet!

6/10/06, 10:43 PM  
Blogger Stephanie T. said...

Oh, no! My sympathy to you and the other passengers and the flight attendants and the dogs! But definitely good blog fodder. ;)

6/10/06, 11:48 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Oh YUCK. Didja hafta use the air sickness bag?

Flight attendants are overworked and underappreciated on a good day, let alone when they are faced with dog shit.

6/11/06, 12:21 AM  
Blogger Robin said...


6/11/06, 12:22 AM  
Anonymous chelle said...

Oh that is so seriously gross. I am so sorry!

6/11/06, 1:53 AM  
Blogger something blue said...

I bet you wished you had a cold and had a stuffed up nose. Ever since having my first child, I have a super strength sense of smell. I would have been gagging the whole way home.

6/11/06, 1:59 AM  
Anonymous Nila said...

That sucks (for lack of anything better to say). I truly feel for flight attendants. I work for the company most of the airlines call when someone is sick in flight. Guess what they do when someone dies? Nothing, they keep on going and the flight attendanat has to deal with all that. And I thought my job sucked!

6/11/06, 2:28 AM  
Blogger Lena said...

You should've kept holding your stomach when anyone walked by and repeatedly apologized. And saying, "Maybe it was the nuts?"

6/11/06, 2:44 AM  
Blogger Blog-o-licious said...

I would have written sooner but I jut got over my gag reflex....blech

6/11/06, 8:01 AM  
Blogger Mega Mom said...

I can't even find the words.

6/11/06, 8:43 AM  
Blogger R. Sherman said...

Wow. I thought my own experiences with Delta were bad.


6/11/06, 12:07 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Oh, God. The horror. My brother is a pilot for Continental. Never again will I tell him he has a great, easy life. Wow. My eyes water just thinking about it.

6/11/06, 12:26 PM  
Blogger T. said...

The plane ride from hell. I wish I could sympathize but I am too busy giggling.

6/11/06, 12:40 PM  
Anonymous michele said...

Oh eeeeewwwwwww. And stuck. In a plane. With recycled air. and the motion. Eeeewwwww. I'm so sorry. Well. I'm giggling - but I AM sorry!

6/11/06, 12:46 PM  
Blogger J's Mommy said...

Great story, even though living through it probably sucked!!

6/11/06, 1:42 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

EWWWWWW indeed. you should TOTALLY get bumped to first class next time you fly!!

6/11/06, 2:37 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I'm surprised that disgusting smell didn't add other disgusting smells by way of residual vomit.

6/11/06, 4:25 PM  
Blogger Fidget said...

oh, oh god.. oh I just heaved... and heaved.. at least it's dry

DAMN IT you were here and I didnt even know! next time you are back Otown way, we must,must , must have a sit down.

6/11/06, 4:28 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Trapped in a tin can, with doggie doo doo.

That is a trip straight into hell.

You have my sympathies. Even if I am laughing my arse off!

6/11/06, 5:46 PM  
Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

Being someone who hates to fly and is completely paranoid, I thought at first you were going to say there was a FIRE on the plane. So, I guess I was a little relieved (no pun intended) when you mentioned Doggie Diarrhea. (Oh, I'm just so half-glass-full today.)

6/11/06, 6:45 PM  
Blogger J said...

Oh My GOD. You poor thing, and poor EVERYONE on the flight, including the scared, smelly dogs. Way too gross.

6/11/06, 8:24 PM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

Oh my. Yep, that's a bad day. My sympathies to you. You described it so well I can almost smell it. P.U.

6/11/06, 9:22 PM  
Anonymous krista said...

That is torture. Ew. Like being starving with nothin but plastic fruit around.

Stink and windows, that can't open. Damn.

6/11/06, 9:53 PM  
Blogger PI said...

Sometimes I'm quite glad we don't fly anymore.

6/12/06, 10:17 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ugh and double ugh. Add that to the reasons I don't like to fly.

6/12/06, 2:12 PM  
Blogger Mama Kelly said...

OMGs ---

i have to agree you should've had your ticket comped or rec'd some kind of reimbursement

2.5 hours trapped with the odor of doggy diarrhea

seriously its like something out of a bad sitcom

6/13/06, 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Oh YUK. I am sorry your beach vacation had to wrap up in that way!

6/14/06, 7:14 PM  

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