There are two types of families in this world:
Those who celebrate farts, and those who don't.
I come from the former. I don't know why, or how it started. I don't imagine bad gas was a useful tool in escaping the Nazis during WWII, but in my family's coat of arms, the unmistakable waves lines of cartoon gas would figure prominently.
Perhaps it's that I have two brothers. Older SlackBrother J. could fart at will, and sadly used that talent for evil. I was thankful when younger slackbrother j. was born, as it created a new victim.
There was the one-cheek move, the silent-but-deadly, the option (where the farter is too lazy to aim their gas, so instead 'grabs' the air and 'throws' the fart at the victim. But I don't know why Older Slackbrother J. called it this since the option is traditionally a running-based offense. But I digress.)
It's not that our family was devoid of the societal pleasantries that rule modern manners. For example, I once got in trouble for saying the words pubic hair at the dinner table, as in, um, there's a public hair in the mashed potatoes. What I learned that day is that it's okay for a teenager to scratch his junk at the dinner table and then reach into a plate of food. It's just not okay to point it out.
(However, at my house the rule is no junk around the food. Thankfully it's been pretty easy to enforce, although now that you've read this I fear my next party.)
My marriage hasn't been ruled by farting. unless you're talking about the dog. Pit bulls fart. A lot. This has a tendency to break the farting ice in a relationship, and although it's totally normal and natural and all that jazz, I still opt to wander off into another room when I have to let one fly. It wasn't in my wedding vows, but sparing my partner the mating sounds of my digestive system is just one of those ways I choose to say I love you on a daily basis.
Of course, occasionally one squeaks out, sneaking up in an unplanned gas attack. There's the was that...? followed by whoops! and ending with uncontrollable giggling. Because farts are funny.
When you can escape them.
Last Saturday found Will and I on Virgin Airlines Flight 781 to Seattle for my friend Amy's wedding. We'd never flown Virgin before, and were entranced by the mini-computers in every seat back. We played video games and watched TV and ordered a fruit and cheese plate. Soon we noticed that there was a chat function - you could create a screenname and chat with other seats!
Even though we were sitting next to each other, we're nerds. Will set up his screen name, the clever twent two, as he was sitting in 22B. I chose stumpy, which was my first username back in 1992.
As I sat hunched over my small QWERTY keyboard, I sensed the air around me getting warmer, with an unmistakable sour stench. I looked over at Will and wrinkled my nose.
Someone farted, I whispered.
I know! I expected him to say. But instead he stared down at his feet.
I'm sorry! he whispered back. I had to!
We're in an enclosed area! I reminded him. You couldn't go to the bathroom? Now we're trapped with your fart! We're a prisoner of gas for the next two hours!
He shrugged and turned red. I turned back to our chat screen and typed:
He turned to his chat screen and typed back:
Except that while he was typing it, his system froze. (Notice my chat doesn't come up in his window.)
Um, honey? Will tapped at his keyboard, he pressed at the touch screen, trying to shock the system out of its frozen state. He turned the screen on and off.
Call the flight attendant, I told him.
I can't call the flight attendant! he said with a look of panic in his eye. He pointed at the frozen screen:
I shrugged. He sighed and switched the screen off and moved one seat to the right.
I imagine he was silently thankful that the plane was nearly empty that morning.
And learned that there's no way to escape the Tell-Tale Fart.
More farting + marriage tales at Jessica Gottlieb's blog.
And yes, we're live tomorrow night!