Caption Monkey 31: Bathroom Trouble on the Space Station

Today's Neatorama and Hobotopia's Caption Monkey has a little twist: your task is to do your best to provide the funniest commentary on the recent toilet problem at the International Space Station.

But first, the story. Here's what John Schwartz of The New York Times wrote:

Four words you don’t want to hear in space:

“The toilet is broken.”

The crew aboard the International Space Station is working on a problem with the system for collecting solid and liquid waste, which is a trickier proposition without gravity than it is on the Earth. Space toilets use jets of fan-propelled air to guide waste into the proper container.

A NASA status report noted that last week, while using the toilet system in the Russian-built service module, “the crew heard a loud noise and the fan stopped working.” The solid waste collector is functioning properly, but the system for collecting liquid waste was not.

The crew tried replacing one device, an air/water separator, and then a filter, but nothing seemed to bring the toilet back to full operation. Russian mission control told the crew — Russian Cosmonauts Sergey Volkov and Oleg Kononenko, and Garrett Reisman, a NASA astronaut, to use the toilet on the Soyuz capsule that is attached to the station as a lifeboat. But that system has very limited capacity, and so repairing the system has become an increasingly urgent issue.

As so often happens when there’s a plumbing problem, house guests are on the way: the space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch on Saturday, with seven astronauts aboard. The shuttle, however, has its own toilet.

You can simply come up with a new caption for the speech bubble above (yes, that's my attempt at humor), or imagine a conversation between ISS and ground control, or whatever. Funniest one will win a free drawing by Adam "Ape Lad" Koford (a monkey drawing or any other critter ... your imagination is the limit!).

Good luck!

Update 5/29/08 - Congratulations to trestleboy, who came up with the winning caption of "No. You misheard. The ship didn't hit the fan."

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Newest 5 Comments

Hahaha! Great stuff, guys - Adam has just picked the winner. Congrats to trestleboy who won with this caption: "No. You misheard. The ship didn't hit the fan."
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Space Station: Uh...Ground Control?
Ground Control: Go ahead.
SS: Uhhh...yeah. We have a slight,
GC: What is the nature of the problem? We show no negative readings here, go ahead.
SS: The nature of the problem is that we CAN'T go. IN the head, over.
GC: Say again?
SS: Ground Control, we can't go. As in TO the BATHROOM. Over.
GC: Are the laxative supplements not working, over?
SS: That's not the problem Ground Control. The problem is that the toilet has ceased functioning.
GC: Well ain't that a pisser!
SS: Affirmative, Ground Control. Literally. There was a loud noise and the fan ceased working. There is no way to clear the liquid waste.
(Sounds of snickering from GC)
SS: Ground Control?
GC: Sorry guys...temporary static. You say you are unable to urinate?
SS: No. WE can urinate fine. We just can't flush.
GC: You say this event began with a loud noise?
SS: Affirmative.
GC: Was this "noise" accompanied by any "odor?"
(More snickering)
SS: Negative. Is that laughter we are hearing, Ground Control?
GC: Just atmospheric interference. Sun spots or solar flare or something.
SS: This is serious, Ground Control. What is your recommended course of action?
GC: Hold...
SS: Roger that. We'll hold.
GC: No. Seriously. Hold. As in "Hold it in."
SS: You've GOT to be kidding. For how long?
GC: Long enough the folks at Guinness will be interested. We have to send up a repair crew.
SS: How long will THAT take?
GC: Well, let's see...we'll have to gather a crew, move the shuttle to the launch pad, fuel her up, do system know the usual. I'd say about three or four days.
SS: Say again?
GC: You heard me. Now buck up guys...this can be done. Just collect your, um, by-products as best as you can, and we'll do the rest. You may want to cut down on the liquid intake too.
SS: What should we use to collect the liquid waste?
GC: You'll figure something out. You're astronauts, which is right up there with rocket scientists.
SS: But you guys ARE rocket scientists!
GC: Yeah. Pretty sweet, huh?
(More snickering)
SS: We heard that, Ground Control! You're laughing at us!
GC: Sorry. But it IS pretty funny, you gotta admit.
SS: Yeah, REAL funny.
GC: maybe you could just open the window and...
SS: NOT funny!
SS: Look, we'll do our best. But please get things moving. It could get pretty ugly up here.
GC: Not to mention wet and smelly.
SS: No shit.
GC: Hey...don't invite trouble!
SS: Wha...oh yeah. Right. Let's hope THAT keeps working.
GC: Hope nothing. Pray!
SS: Amen brother. Amen.
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