Panic Over the Broccoli

A three hour flight doesn’t seem too long to me except for when about one hour into the flight panic hits.  This is the sort of thing that I’ve had nightmares about for a long time and it finally happened again.  Small beads of sweat begin to form on my brow as the rumble in my tummy becomes more powerful.  The GPS said 1:55 to go to Kisangani.  That was no good.  I looked out the windows and saw nothing but “broccoli” (jungle) and there was no airport that could take a 1900 nearby. 

About a thousand scenarios ran through my head and light speed.  The sweat continued to build up and then I remembered something that could possibly save me: a small bottle with Kirkland brand anti-diarrhea pills in it.  I told my copilot that I wasn’t feeling well and that I was going to get something from the back.  She could see the desperation in my eyes and assured me that she would be ok without me for a while. 

I unbuckled my seat belt and carefully slid my seat all the way back and climbed out.  It’s never a good thing to see the pilot walking back through the plane while it’s in the air, especially when he looks concerned about something as I clearly was.  Several of them asked me if there was anything wrong.  I tried to assure them that everything was OK and that I just needed to get something from the back.  I am not sure if they believed me when I said it, but I didn’t really have time to do a lot of explaining. 

One passenger was sleeping across the bench seat in the back of the plane so I had to wake him up.  I folded the seat down, climbed into the luggage area, which was thankfully not completely full.  My bag was all the way back as far as you could go and still be in the plane.  Climbing over everyone’s luggage with an angry stomach was not good times.  I cursed the previous night’s pizza and pili-pili that I suspected as the culprit with every bag that I climbed over.  I managed to find my bag and the glorious pills that were inside.

As I made my way back to the front, I had to reassure all of the passengers that everything was fine and that there was not a problem.  I just needed to get something from my bag.  I grabbed the water bottle that I keep next to my seat swallowed two pills and prayed that they would act quickly as the conditions behind my bellybutton were deteriorating. 

They worked faster than I expected them to, but not as fast as I wanted them to.  Luckily disaster was averted again and operations aboard “Air Serv 09” returned to normal.  I felt relieved and tired like I had just completed some sort of major Olympic event.  I think my beloved Kirkland pills will reside a lot closer to me in future flights. 


6 Responses to “Panic Over the Broccoli”

  1. mormor Says:

    Patrick, as I started to read your blog I got more worried by each word I read!!! thinking it was the plane that had problems!!! As I kept reading it became clear what the problem was!!! I have “been there”- in Africa- thought not in the same kind of “vehicle”!! Good thing there was enough bushes around!!!! Keep Kirkland close!!! mormor

  2. Nikolas Says:

    hi patrick. hurry home. everyone misses you. come back. we should play ghost recon again. kristina’s typing this for me because i type slow. glad you didn’t poo in the cockpit. bye.

  3. Matthew Says:

    Glad you didn’t duece. I was with you when you bought those pills, good thing the lines weren’t bad at Costco that day…

  4. Alex Says:

    2 weeks I wait for a new post and this is what I get!!!!!!! I’m sitting here expecting to hear about rocket propelled gernades blazing past the airplane and your mastery of the aircraft saving the day. Instead I hear about kirkland taking care of business! Well, all I can say is, good call on the pills, if you need some more, just let me know! be safe, later!

  5. Auntie Says:

    I don’t know if you can get them there, but I just saw an advertisement for Imodium Chews. They are fast acting, maybe faster than your Kirkland pills that take longer to dissolve. Let me know if you want me to send you some! Also munch on bananas, rice and bread-they tend to slow down your digestive system, if you know what I mean…

  6. Alfred Says:

    Hey Patrick!!!

    I totally understand what you have gone through!!! Been there.. done that… but am glad atleast yours was a good ending!!!!

    I watched the “War Dance” documentary, about the primary-middle school children from Patongo war camp, competing for the National Music Festival at Kampala… It gave me a chance to look at the areas where you have been ( well, kind of)…

    Stay strong my friend!!!!
    Praying for you,

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