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Gerard Depardieu reportedly urinates on a plane; are alcohol and the bladder a bad combo?

August 17, 2011|By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
  • French actor Gerard Depardieu addresses the media on his latest sparkling-wine edition at the Paasburg's winery store in Berlin. Depardieu recently outraged fellow passengers by allegedly urinating in the aisle of a plane as it prepared to take off.
French actor Gerard Depardieu addresses the media on his latest sparkling-wine… (Tobias Schwarz / Reuters )

In what could be turning into a nasty trend, French actor Gerard Depardieu reportedly urinated on the cabin floor of an airplane. A passenger interviewed on French radio said that Depardieu, who reportedly did the deed on a Paris-to-Dublin flight after being told by crew members to wait in his seat until after takeoff, appeared to have been drinking.

This isn't the first time an alcohol-laced peeing incident has reportedly taken place on a plane, travel blogger Mary Forgione points out: Just this month, skier Sandy Vietze reportedly urinated on a young girl during a JetBlue flight.

There's certainly a connection between alcohol and bladder control -- as the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says, the bladder has nerves that signal the brain when the bladder is full -- and alcohol may cause those nerves to fail.

It doesn't help that, as the Mayo Clinic points out, alcohol is a diuretic and speeds up the rate of urination. Never mind that alcohol suppresses our normal inhibitions about certain social mores -- possibly including, but not limited to, not going to the bathroom in public.

On the whole, it's probably best to avoid drinking alcohol if there's a chance you won't have a quick and accessible spot to relieve yourself nearby.

But if it's too late for such considerations, and you've got to go, consider this: A recent study in the journal Psychological Science found that exercising bladder control improved people's mental self-control, decreasing their impulsive choices.

Moral of the story? Just hold it. Builds character.

Follow me on Twitter @LAT_aminakhan.

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