Before I begin my witty little post, let me get this out of the way. To all whose sensibilities may be offended by a posting on a subject as offensive as flatulence, please accept my apologies at this time. Mea culpa. So, Mom, please don’t pick up the phone to chastise me. I promise to just replay the tongue-lashings I have received in the past – just as soon as I finish here. I may need to wait a bit so as to have a glass of something to sustain myself during your virtual diatribe.
Hell hath no fury like an offended mother. Well, at least not mine.
Anyhoo, so the power of farting. I’m sorry but I just can’t help writing about this because, well, farting is funny. Oh wait, I think I feel a fart coming on.
Last night my DH and I were giggling over farts (oh, stop it with the eye rolling, you know you’ve done it too!) and I had that wee germ of thought… “Hey, I should write about this…” And then, this morning this little gem ( http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/min/181913550.html) showed up on Reddit.com. It seemed like a sign from the heavens that more discourse on the powers of farting was needed. So, here goes.
The necessary backstory is I am the second of four children. My only brother came along almost 19 years after me, and so there were more years of strict behavior than not. My mother is a right regular paragon of many virtues, the least of which is proper etiquette regarding the utilization of flatulence. As in, it does not happen. Seriously folks, I have a dad who never walked around the house farting or scratching or other such stereotypically manly acts…I had no idea such things occurred. Years later, I would come home and witness such base activities as belching at the table followed by my brother’s recitation of “Pardon me for being rude – wasn’t me, it was my food” and I’d think I had gone to the wrong address. Imagine my amazement that no glares ensued. Of course, as time had gone on, and things such as human expectations and sphincters have relaxed, things are no longer quite as Emily Post-like in my parent’s home. But based on this rather unusual upbringing, I headed off to college and eventually met my future husband.
So there were times when we’d be engaged in some deep conversation about the meaning of life or the latest episode of Star Trek the Next Generation, and suddenly I’d have to leave the room. He says I’d break off in mid-conversation and state that I needed to go check the buds on the trees outdoors, but I think his memory may be a bit flawed on this subject. Anyhoo, there was just no way I was ever going to actually pass gas, break wind, toot, or any other such thing in his presence. I mean really, that just is not done.
He, of course, was raised with no such stringent social expectations and thought I was the biggest dork on the planet. Cute, but definitely a dork.
But he slowly wore me down. Plus, just how many times can you sprint from the room without looking suspicious?
Its been 18 years, but I can still remember the first time I farted in his presence. It took inordinate faith, let me tell you. But, I believed in a basis of fairness, so I warned him of the possible impending doom. “Uh, I think I feel a fart coming on.” It took all the concentration I had to actually allow my poor little sphincter to relax and….yes, you are absolutely right. It was wee little squeaker of a thing.
He laughed for about 10 minutes over that one. “You call that a fart?” he would query. “This is a fart!” and let out an explosion reminiscent of a transformer blowing, and start laughing again. Soon, he was wiping away the tears – thank goodness not because of any sulfuric conditions in the room, but because I’d finally been brave enough to fart in his presence and after all the build-up (literally and figuratively) it was not one to write home about, let me tell you.
Time has passed and with it, much gas. You may hear the refrain, “A family that farts together, stays together” in my home. And since the advent of Shrek, we like to quote, “Better out than in, I always say.” My son will often say, as I’m snuggling with him at bedtime, “Ah mom? I think I feel a fart coming on” and then let me have it. He really is his father’s son. And really, what is the harm? It’s a natural event. You eat, you digest, you make gas, you poop. And, much to my mother’s consternation, farting is funny. Even babies think farting is funny. In fact, I don’t think there is a single person who, aside from those permanently scarred by Puritanical virtues such as my mother, don’t think farting is a least a bit funny.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have raised my children to at least think about the social propriety of acceptable farting situations. Bathroom, good; dinner table, not good. Park, very good; elevator, very bad. Saying grace with your family, fine; saying a prepared speech before a crowd of thousands while wearing a lapel-mike, not so fine.
The humor and the appropriateness of farting is directly connected to three things (not including the presence of others): sound, smell, and the possibility of escaping detection. Let out a silent, smell-less little toot and not a soul is going to mind. Rip out a wallpaper peeler and you are no one’s friend…at least until the cloud dissipates. I figure if humans just emitted methane without evidence, everyone would be farting all the time. And if a cloud of green gas rose from your buttocks with each fart, no one would fart – ever. Unless they were all alone.
So I leave you with this thought. If you feel a fart coming on, just how long do you think about whether or not to fart…some think nothing of it at, regardless of the situation. People like me, we rage an internal debate for as long as our sphincters can hold on or the need passes.
Regardless, there is nothing like a good fart to break the wind, er, the ice in a social situation. Keep that in mind the next party you attend. Enjoy!