There is very little in life more acutely embarassing that an accidental fart in polite company, for example, when one squeaks out at work, when people are in earshot.

Admit it, it’s happened to you. It’s happened to everyone. It’s happened to me in recent memory. At the very moment of impact, the immediate concern is what to do about it. You have but a split second to decide before it becomes just awkward. Do you acknowledge it? “Oh, man, I’m sorry. Gotta remember not to have egg salad for lunch.”, or do you minimize it? “Excuse me.” Do you simply ignore it and hope no one heard even though you know someone did? Or do you desperately wiggle in your chair, hoping to produce a chair-noise similar enough to the sound of the evil deed to make your colleague think that maybe they heard the chair and not your butt? In any case, there is always an awkward silence until there is something legitimate to talk about.

Or what about the SBDs? The silent-but-deadly? The one that eases out soundlessly but sends nose-hair curling essence of ass to the furthest reaches of the room? Those are a little easier to pass the buck on, you can always blame something, or someone, else. It’s the noisy ones that are most disconcerting. Harder to blame a passerby without making it look worse for the culprit.

Our dog has a serious gas problem. One morning, I was getting dressed, and I could hear Jack from the other room, “Oh, gross!! Basil just farted!!”. And he is 5, so this is a most delightful occurrence. More often than not, the dog’s butt is audible. It’s scary, and alarmingly frequent. She sleeps locked out of our room, and not just because she snores.

Aimee is the gas queen in our house. It is amazing to hear what huge, rude noises come out of that sweet little girl. We have a little friend who lets out alarmingly huge burps, but no kid rivals Aimee for pure volume from the back end. For some bizarre reason, fart humour appeals to my family, even the generations that came before me (or should I say especially the generations that came before me?). I have family members who take great pride in their talent, and a disproportionately large amount of time has been spent on exactly what makes a fart funny. Or noisy. Or stinky. Take your pick. My sister’s ex-boyfriend once commented, years into their relationship during which he attended Sunday dinner with the family pretty much every week, that he had never been to a meal with my family were bodily functions were not discussed in some way, shape, or form.

But still, work is not the place to fart. Not a good scene. Nurses deal with eau de butt for legitimate reasons often enough, they don’t need it from their colleagues. In very few other workplaces would employees experience such intimate contact with bodily functions. Somehow, polite company in our society deems bodily functions to be the realm of the home. Behind closed doors. The way belly buttons and women’s knees used to be. Maybe the evolution of “polite” means a move is afoot to bring the fart out into the opn. Where other people can enjoy them, too (as my father would say).

Remember that episode of Roseanne where Becky got up in front of the student council to make a big speech and farted by accident? We all know how she felt. It’s why that one was so damn funny. But as much as I enjoy a good ripper, I think I’ll keep mine to myself, at least at work. And in church (if I ever went), and in line at the Driver’s License office, and while getting a massage. My colleagues will appreciate it, I’m sure. Just like I’d appreciate their cheek-clenching efforts when the cramps hit them. Keep it at home, folks, if you can.


About therapeuticrambling

I am a wife, a mom, a nurse, a writer. I enjoy laughing.
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One Response to Farts

  1. Anonymous says:

    The passing of gas is inherent in human nature and comes as a right of passage for the hunter and gatherer. It provides a great deal of entertainment, as it is hard to imagine something so really insignificant providing as much entertainment as it does. We have come to accept the noise created as funny, and the odour as gross, but everyone does it. I often imagine the Queen or the Pope in the privacy of their own chambers and having them “let one rip” and what they might think of “that one”. I once had a close encounter with what can only be called the grand-daddy of all flatulence. I was in the washroom of the former Eatons store and some unfortunate person was either trying to force out the remnants of the biggest entrapment of gas the human body can retain, or was trying (in vain) to keep the biggest entrapment of gas the human body can retain from erupting. The volume of gas that is retained is significant when observing the size of the container (small people often have extraordinary capacity to store enormous volumes – where, I don’t know). I also was witness to an incident involving a university exam where we were well into the writing of our exam when the complete silence was broken by a very audible expulsion, followed by ten minutes of uncontrollable laughter. Once everything calmed down, the remainder of the exam silence was broken intermittently by snickering which would bring out three or four minutes of laughter again. At least this eased the tension of the exam. I guess what I am trying to say is that passing gas is a somewhat normal activity that does not always provide the privacy that it should have, and the fact that others can be alerted to this act, provides the great entertainment that it does. We are all interested in knowing – How is he/she going to explain this one? Until we can figure it out, keep up the good work.

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