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.