In Passing…

…gas that is, I’ve come to the conclusion that every time I let one rip I’m adding yet another X on my carbon footprint. CRAP! That’s why I never attend those ‘green’ conferences. Without a doubt I’d be the one walking around with the big neon sign hovering near my ass that say’s “guilty, guilty, guilty”. I’ve tried to do my part for the environment.  I’ve been pretty diligent about changing my light bulbs and unplugging appliances, but this internal gas thing it seems is completely out of my control now.

Age tends to load us up with lots of aches and pains, and from my experience, after you let cheek-flapping farts loose, many of those aches and pains disappear. I swear to God, ninety-nine percent of the time I’m spot on. I’ve always been a big believer that everything that ails you boils down to gas.

My kids tell me their stomach’s hurts.

“Once you fart you’ll feel better”, I say. “Let her rip.”

“But Mom!”

“I think I have appendicitis.”

“Fart, you’ll feel better. Trust me.”

“But Mom!”

“I think I broke my arm”.

Just fart…oh…wait…maybe we should see the doctor.”

I hate it when they throw a wrench in the engine.

Okay, sometimes it’s not gas and you actually have to do something to cure what ails them, but for the most part, it’s a pattern they follow as they reach for attention.

In mid-life I’ve come to the conclusion that gas is one of life’s perks as you age. It’s a glorious thing too! We can write off nearly everything that’s going on in our body as gas related. Who wants to think of the alternative? Yes, I tend to live in the mind-set where ‘ignorance is bliss’.

When we were kids, we never thought too much about it, we just let it go whenever. We didn’t care who heard it. As a matter of fact, the grosser we made it sound the better we felt. It became a job well done! Oh yeah, if you could press your butt against something solid, something that would enable the noise to become this thunderous crescendo, whoo hoo!

We used it as a tool to gross out our friends. We did it in the classroom because we knew no one could escape from the foul air.

We did it in the car when we knew our parents had the safety locks on the windows so none of us could accidentally fall out of the moving vehicle. We waited patiently for the aroma to waft forward from the backseat waiting for signs of recognition on our parents face, and then we waited with great anticipation for that age-old question of ‘WHO FARTED’?

“Not me”.

“Not me”.

“Not me”.

“Not me”.

It was a game we all played very well.

It was always a giggle inducer as my sisters and I sat piled on top of one another watching as my mother secretly surveyed my fathers face out of the corner of her eye to see if she could detect any signs that he was the culprit. Even if she did suspect him she’d never say anything because it was never good to embarrass the husband in front of the children. She’d just crack the window a little and maintain her presumption that it was one of us kids. Why is that father’s don’t need an excuse for this kind of behavior? They just do as they please and expect everyone to ignore it?

Fortunately, or unfortunately, somewhere along the way we developed this sense of  pride and that took all the fun out of it. If we got gas we’d undo a button, let a zipper open an inch or two to help relieve the pressure, or we’d suck back some kind of bubbly drink hoping it would diffuse the bubbles in our belly without having to let them pass naturally. We suffered through countless seconds, minutes, or hours until we could find a private place to let our suffering go. We had reached the age where it just wasn’t polite to fart in public anymore because we knew we would suffer ridicule if we got busted. It didn’t matter how bad you felt holding it in, you just sucked up, squeezed your butt-cheeks together and waited until an appropriate time and place arrived where we could undo the evil that lurked within.

On a recent visit to my local grocery store, the one that offers seniors shopping day every Friday, I was inexplicably possessed with joining my elders in their unpretentious symphony of sound. I showed up at the store with that awful gurgling feeling in my gut. I tried to wait it out at home but realized I was running out of time to get all my errands done so off I went. I knew the evil was lurking and ready to go but pride was fighting me tooth and nail. I sucked up, walked up and down the aisles squeezing my cheeks together like I was doing some kind of cardio-muscular exercise to improve the look of my butt.

But try as I might, there was no doubt in my mind that there was no holding this one back. I started to become desperate because there were more people in the store than usual, and most of them seemed to be around my age. I began searching for that ‘golden aisle’, the one that had a couple of senior citizens ambling along. BINGO!

“Hello shoppers, we’ve got two old farts on isle ten.”

I think by this point there was even a tear in my eye as I approached them. I’m not sure if it was relief or disbelief that I was going to blow and let them take the fall. The fact was, I didn’t care at this point. I managed to manouver myself between the two of them. I reached up and grabbed a can of something from the shelf in order to maintain my position. I felt ‘it’ move and prepared myself for release. Ahhhhhhh! There was no sound, thank God, but it took longer than anticipated.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see one of the seniors slowly approaching my position. Unfortunately, just beyond her was this very handsome guy also making his way towards ground zero. “Oh no”, I thought to myself. I knew I had to bust a move so I set the can down and headed directly towards the two of them. If I could get next to that old gal then I’d be home free. Like most things in life, timing is everything.

I got next to her, and because my nose is very sensitive, I knew that foul odor had followed me. I took two steps beyond her, which put me about five feet from the handsome guy. He looked my way and I reverted to my old acting chops. I grimaced. I pointed my thumb towards the old lady and then appropriately waved my fingers under my nose. Then I made that ‘whew’ expression and kept on moving. It was going to be okay.

In the check out line, I stood there waiting for them to slide everything over the scanner. Low and behold both the old gal and the handsome guy got into the same line as me. I tried to ignore them but suddenly found the front of her cart bumping into my hip. When I turned to look at her in protest of this physical intrusion I couldn’t help but notice this odd look on her face.

Girl, you should take something for that,” she says to me. “Jesus Christ, you just about bloody killed me back there.”

The handsome guy of course is privy to this dialogue and starts to laugh uncontrollably.

I left the store vowing that I will never, ever again, pass gas at the grocery store no matter how old I get!

2 thoughts on “In Passing…

  1. From Vibrant Nation Reader:

    jula said to jbwritergirl 2 weeks ago
    What a hoot….I needed a good laugh this morning. Your no nonsense, matter of fact approach to a natural and normal part of life was refreshing. We are all so up tight about this subject. Especially since more healthy diets sing the praises of legumes and other high fiber foods…end result is more gas. Complicate that with age and look out. My DH wouldn’t eat a bean if his life depended on it. I love them. Conscious control has proven pretty effective….I must confess I do worry a bit about what happens when I fall asleep. I guess all bets are off.


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