This Is Your Captain Speaking

“We’re sorry for the delay,” said the voice over the loud speaker on the plane. “We are having a small maintenance issue and should be taking off momentarily.”

I was seated two rows back from the cabin door and had a good view as the door was opened and a slew of maintenance workers rushed to the front of the plane. While we waited, the attendants gathered by the cabin door.

“What’s going on?” asked the last attendant to arrive.

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I leaned forward to hear the response. Another attendant snorted.

“The first officer is locked in the bathroom.”

All the flight attendants cracked up.

My parents were also on the plane, seated toward the back, and not the world’s calmest fliers. I thought it would be a good idea to let them know what was going on so they didn’t think the worst. We were not allowed out of our seats, though, so I decided to text my mom.

“Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with the plane,” I texted her. “The first officer is stuck in the bathroom.”

“What?” I heard her exclaim loudly from the back of the plane. “Tracy says the first officer is stuck in the bathroom.” I heard a chorus of chuckles from the back.

“Mom, keep your voice down. You don’t need the whole plane to know,” I replied by text.

“Why is the first officer stuck in the bathroom?” she said out loud. “Is he out of toilet paper?”

More chuckles from the other passengers.

“I don’t know,” I texted. “But I don’t think that’s the issue. Could you please stop talking and text me?”

“Is he constipated?” she yelled out to me.

Big laughs from the back of the plane.

“Sshh!” I texted her. “I don’t know, but I don’t think that’s the problem, either. The lock on the door broke.”

“My daughter says the first officer is not constipated,” she announced to the back of the plane. “He’s stuck in the bathroom because the lock on the door broke.”

I smacked my forehead with my palm. I’m sure the first officer was going to be thrilled that the entire plane now knew that he was not suffering any regularity problems.

I thought I might have better luck with my dad.

“Dad,” I texted him. “Can you please get mom to stop shouting about the first officer?”

“OK,” he texted back. “But Mom says we can’t take off because he’s out of toilet paper.”


Then I heard my dad exclaim, “Carol, the first officer is NOT OUT OF TOILET PAPER!”

“I know!” she shouted back. “HE’S LOCKED IN THE BATHROOM!”

Howls of laughter from the back of the plane.

I sighed and decided not to continue this conversation. Clearly, my mother could not be trusted with sensitive information. But just as I was about to put my phone away, it buzzed.

“Are you near the front of the plane?” my mother texted.

“Yeah. Why?” I replied.

“Tell the first officer I hope everything comes out OK.”

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The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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