Where Does THAT go?

A little boy about five came to the front of the airplane and after a little encouragement from his mom asked “Where does the stuff go?”  What stuff, little man? “The poop, where does the poop go? In the sky? Does the poop go in the sky?” He turned and left in a fit of giggles before either of us could answer him.  Of course he did. Poop is probably one of the funniest things on the planet. Poop falling from the sky is an order of magnitude funnier.

A very long time ago when airliners were not pressurized you could actually see the ground through the “semi-flushing” toilet. There was no tank or anything, the poo n’ stuff just sailed right out there. That was a simpler time and the country was less populated. Most people were too busy barfing to really worry about it much.

Then came the days of giant pressurized airliners. This arrangement started in the  1940’s before jets. The new modern design brought the first “holding tanks”.  There was usually a tank for each toilet that could be emptied from the outside. Flushed with “blue water”, that was recycled from the tank with each flush,  these really didn’t change much for about 50 years or so. The water didn’t stay so blue for very long.

Current “next generation” jets generally have a common tank for multiple toilets. A combination of clean water and compressed air whisk all the poo n’ stuff away with a startling ka-whoosh. For some reason people still pee all over the floor.

Then what? In theory upon arrival our valued co-workers responsible for this sort of thing hook up a “lavatory service cart” to empty the tank.  Others “mop” the lavatory, which is a nice word for spread the pee around so it is thinner. I think it is great that this is about the only example of the word “lavatory” in common usage of American English.  

A little research would probably show that one of the airlines started using the word after WW II and it caught on since it sounds a lot better than shit-house and has fewer letters. 

The “Lav Cart” is then carted away to an approved location where it is connected to a sewer and dumped out in an approved and non-gross manner. They never seem to do anything at all with the mops that have been in airline use since 1937.

What could possibly go wrong?

In the old days an innocent person could have been smacked with an intact turd from a passing plane. This is one of the very few examples of the airline industry taking advantage of an available technology before the worst case scenario played out. If there was ever a documented turd strike it was hushed up since there appears to be no record of such an incident.

There have however been some tragic poo n’ stuff events in spite of the modern improved system since the  “just let one fly” days. This is why we have the “next generation” system.

Jets (as you know if you are a regular reader) fly at high altitude where the air is thin, smooth and cold.  About fifty degrees below zero. A small leak from the filler connection of a poo n’ stuff holding tank can result in a sizable chunk of poo n’ stuff ice forming on the outside of the plane.  These things can easily weigh thirty or forty pounds.

When the airplane descends to warmer air the giant frozen poo n’ stuff  ball becomes detached and hurtles to the ground usually coming apart or falling harmlessly to earth in an unpopulated area.

There was a family having breakfast one morning as a  jet airliner flew over on approach to a nearby international airport. An enormous frozen blue poo n’ stuff ball crashed through their roof and exploded in the center of the kitchen.

As I recall there were no injuries reported but I’ll bet they got to stay home from school.

Happy Landings. 


I think this is a bug on the window but it could be . . . . . .

3 Responses to “Where Does THAT go?”

  1. Honestly if that happened in my house I’d actually not want to have to stay home from school.

  2. All five of my kiddos enjoyed this one. The predominant questions of the bunch were:

    1) Why blue and not some other color? Who’s job was it to pick the color?

    2) Did it stink or is there a way to make it not smell when it falls from the sky?

  3. luckyjet1 Says:

    I suppose that important scientists chose the color after extensive research. These might have been the more junior researchers at Los Alamos.

    There was an event in the news a few years ago from near DFW airport. Some people had a large chunk of “blue green organic matter” in their back yard. They were just sure it came from a UFO or something. Lab testing identified it as poo n’ stuff a few days later. There was no mention of the smell but I’m sure it was a lot like an airplane lavatory.

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