Bob’s Banter

By Robert Clements

Peegate and Its Repercussions..!

 With three distasteful incidents of fellow countrymen peeing on their fellow passengers while flying, I should have been a little more prepared before I ventured on my air travel. The determination the airlines now have in controlling the uncontrolled bladders of Indians while airborne, was not something I’d been warned about.

The wife was the first to wave me goodbye with just one hand, the other carried a parting gift for me. “You know I can’t take any eats onboard!” I said good humoredly, while hugging her for her sudden show of love. “It’s not eats!” she hissed, “But diapers!”

I accepted the packet hastily, and ran to my waiting car, where I found the driver had not put on the air-conditioner yet, “What’s with you?” I asked angrily, “You know I like a cool interior when I step in?”

“Not when you’re flying sir,” said the driver and looking at me sincerely, “it increases the urge to go to the bathroom! And if you do what that Mishra fellow did, you will lose your job, and I also won’t have a job! In fact, please tell pilot sahib to put off the AC in the aircraft!”

I didn’t say anything as I clutched my bag of pampers, and it didn’t help matters when while getting off at the airport, I intentionally left the packet in the car, but as I reached the security at the entrance heard the distinct, horrible nasal tone of my driver, shouting just behind me, “Sir, your pampers sir!”

The man at the gate spoke into his phone while looking at me and telltale packet, and I knew intuitively I was a marked man.

“Sir,” said the pretty lady at the counter, scowling while she looked at me, “If you are carrying your certificate with you then you can skip the test!”

“What certificate, what test?” I squealed, looking at my watch.

“It’s a mandatory eye test sir, to see whether you can differentiate between a toilet and a passenger!”

“Of course I can,” I said, “You think I’m blind?”
“Sir, there’s no need to be rude. It’s just to see that others next to you are not inconvenienced during the flight. Step this way sir!”

“What is this?” asked a man who suddenly appeared, sitting next to her.

“I don’t understand,” I said.

“See, a potential flying hazard!” said the pretty girl at the counter, “That sir, is a man, and in the plane a man or woman could be your co-passenger!”

“I am not your toilet!” said the same man.

“Ofcourse I know that!” I said, “You don’t look anything like a toilet!”

The girl at the check-in counter and the man masquerading as a toilet, nodded and told me I could board the flight. I heaved a sigh of relief, and thanked my lucky stars my eyesight was good enough to make out differences between a human being and a toilet. I decided to phone my ophthalmologist and congratulate him on keeping my eyes in perfect condition. I pulled out my phone, when I heard a voice next to me saying, “Don’t!”

“Why?” I asked the man next to me in the waiting area.

“That little bit of radiation from your phone could excite your bladder!”

I nodded at his wisdom, and kept the phone back in my pocket, my sympathies now with three men who had emptied themselves, realizing in all probability they had been in situations beyond their control that had put them innocently into the act of unbuttoning themselves in a non-peeing area, “Maybe it was radiation not the liquor!” I thought to myself.

The cabins were dimly lit as the other passengers and I were herded into the aircraft. I glanced happily at the liquor cabinet on my way to my seat, which glance was duly noted by the grim airhostess at the counter.

“Hello!” I said to the American lady next to my seat, who let out a scream, one, which made the pilot and copilot rush out of the cockpit down the aisle and pin me to my seat, “Did he?” asked the co-pilot.

“I’m not sure,” said the lady, touching her seat.

“Look,” I said, trying to get out of the pilot’s firm grasp, “All I said was hello!”

“Can I call your wife on your phone?” asked the pilot.

“Sure,” I said, dialing her number and giving the phone to him. “Hello!” said the pilot, “This is the pilot speaking. “Is everything alright?” asked my wife, “I hope he is using the pampers I gave him. Please don’t arrest him sir, he’s a good man, and doesn’t normally do things like this!”

“Aha!” said the pilot as he switched off the phone and looked at me, “are you wearing the pampers?”

“I don’t need them!” I shouted shrilly, “She was just being silly by telling me to wear them on the flight. I don’t even know how to wear them!”

“And, where are they?” asked the pilot.

I checked them in with my baggage!” I said looking at my feet.

“We’ll have to offload you and your baggage!” said the pilot, “Ladies and gentleman, we have managed to nip another Peegate in it’s bud, I am sure you all won’t mind the small delay!” I heard the people clap, and the lady who I was supposed to sit next to say, “Better safe than sorry!”

The family was at the door, when I reached home, “No dad, they are not filing a case, because you hadn’t yet committed the crime! But can you imagine if you had, we would all have had to go into hiding. I would have lost my job!”

“Why was I targeted?” I yelled in utter dismay cursing my three countrymen who couldn’t hold their drinks and bladder and then laugh bitterly as I hear actor Satish Shah retort to the racists in Heathrow airport, who had whispered, “how can they afford 1st class?”

“Because we are Indians”, replied Shah, “because we are Indians”

“True!” I say bitterly, “Very true!”

I shake my head in shame as I heard my wife ask, “You think we should buy these pampers wholesale? Now that you’ve been blacklisted, the train journeys are much longer. You may need more of them..!”

 (The Author conducts an Online Writers Course. For more details contact him on WhatsApp 9892572883).   

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