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Toilet breaks are for sissies
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Toilet breaks are for sissies

The current US Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, currently going through confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, has observed tradition and toughed out the often gruelling…

The current US Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, currently going through confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, has observed tradition and toughed out the often gruelling sessions by not asking to go to the toilet.

This is despite the fact that on 15 June, General David Petraeus, recently appointed as the Commander General of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, collapsed with dehydration while testifying before a Senate hearing. CBS news reporter Bob Fuss suggested that Petraeus collapsed because "he made the logical if unhealthy choice to not eat or drink before the hearing because he knew he wouldn't be offered a toilet break".

Now, if Petraeus, a four star general and recipient of numerous military medals for bravery, collapses during Congressional hearing, it tells you that they must be pretty brutal.

Amazingly, Petraeus' collapse was before he heard the news that General Stanley McChrystal, the former head of military operations in Afghanistan, was relieved of his duties after insulting vice-president Biden, President Obama and the former Bush administration in front of a journalist from Rolling Stone magazine. With these revelations, what chance does he now have of lasting the distance at future hearings as the newly anointed top military man in Afghanistan?

In hindsight, Folklaw thinks that Petraeus might have launched a pre-emptive strike, to borrow a phrase from the US military lexicon, and collapsed in shock when he heard that the aforementioned Rolling Stone article would be appearing in an edition that had an almost nude Lady Gaga appearing on the cover, holding nothing more than two rifles.

Folklaw also commends the editors at Rolling Stone for sticking to their guns (no pun intended), and keeping the Gaga story as the cover story, while relegating the revelations that brought down a four star general in America's longest ever running war to the margins.

Such shenanigans remind Folklaw that in the interests of health and national security, when you gotta go, you gotta go. Just as the rugby league forward Don McKinnon did famously on national television when playing for the Manly Sea Eagles against the Brisbane Broncos at Lang Park in 1988.

And just in case you think it is just meat head footy players who indulge in such vulgarities, the twinkle toed Hugh Jackman once famously peed his pants when "relaxing certain muscles" to hit a high note during a performance of Beauty & The Beast in November 2008.

Folklaw implores the US Congress leaders to let Kagan go to the toilet on compassionate grounds, to spare us the indignity of a Petraeus, McKinnon or Jackman moment. Unless, of course, American authorities are using her confirmation hearing as a test-ground for future interrogation methods at Guantanamo Bay.

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