"How long have we been stuck here?" young Nellie Erusserp asked her mom. "I gotta pee."
"An hour and thirty-five minutes," Ben Erusserp, her dad, said. "Nope make that
an hour and thirty-six minutes."
"I'm not sure what we can do," Ellen Erusserp, her mom, said. "The nearest
bathroom is at the end of this cable and it isn't moving."
"Stupid gondola ride," Nellie complained using her high pitched frustrated
tone. "I never should'a come in the first place. And I gotta pee."
Her dad peered out one of the narrow slide-down windows in the door. "I
could hold you up here and you could pee out the window."
"Jeez, Dad. I'm a girl. I can't do that."
Her Dad picked up her empty Big Gulp cup and said, "You could pee into this."
Her Mom laughed. "The people in the next gondola will watch. I cannot
imagine anything so embarrassing."
"But dear. You're wearing that full skirt. Can't you spread it to make
"Dad!" Nellie yelled. "You'll see and so will the firemen up there." She
pointed up hill at the fire trucks all lined up, their lights flashing,
firemen standing around talking among themselves.
"Tell you what," her Dad said. "It must be the roaring water below
that's making you want to pee. Lay down on the bench and look up at
the bridge. That will take the edge off."
Her Mom made a harrumph sound.
Nellie didn't think it was such a strange idea. "Okay," she said.
She laid down on the bench, her arms crossed behind her head.
She looked up at the concrete bridge and distant blue sky.
"Yeah," she said. "I think this might help."
The gondola gave a lurch. Then another. Then began to move.
People on the shore cheered. Her parents cheered.
Nellie felt her bladder release. She looked up at her dad.
"Sorry," she said.
But her dad was paying no attention. He and her mom were dancing with
Nellie smiled, then closed her eyes and enjoyed the ride back. That is
until her mom said, "Good God Nellie."