Ladies, What Do You Do With Your Farts?

April 25, 2012  |  

 

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This past summer my family and I were in California for my cousin’s wedding. We were all riding in my uncle’s mini van when my youngest cousin, who was about 6 at the time, let one rip. And it wasn’t odorless. It was foul. I asked her, “Christy…” (We’ll call her Christy to protect the innocent.) “…did you pass gas?” She said yes, with a slight giggle. She chuckled but she wasn’t embarrassed. I told her, “Christy, you have to hold that.” That’s when my aunt, her mother, turned around and said, “I teach her to let it out because gas can be really painful.”

Well, isn’t that something? While I appreciated that my aunt came to her baby girl’s defense, because gas can truly be unbearable, I didn’t appreciate having to ride along, surrounded by her foulness. I thought that was inconsiderate.

I’m one of those people who farts in public. Quite often honestly. Farting in public is a birthright in my family. My grandmother, who farted in public all the time, had a little rhyme she used to tell us when we were kids. “Let it be free wherever you be, for that was the death of poor Mary Lee.” I asked my grandmother what happened to Mary Lee and she told me Mary Lee exploded because she didn’t release her gas. (I still chuckle thinking about that story.) I internalized that message and applied it to my own life. Farting in public has become a delightful challenge for me.

So why was I tripping about my little cousin passing gas? It was because she had done so, so carelessly. There was no art behind it. She was not yet a master like myself because she neglected to follow the rules of public farting. What are the rules, you ask? Take a gander:

  1. No farting in closed spaces (i.e. elevators) when other people are around.
  2. No farting when I know I really have to go to the bathroom.
  3. No farting when I’ve had something that would produce a foul smell (i.e. broccoli).
  4. No lying about farting, when someone has caught me red handed.

These rules have served me well for the past two decades and some, I can’t remember a time someone caught me farting in public. I thought I was alone in my mastery of discreet gas passing. That was until my co-worker, a man, let us know that sometimes when he’s engrossed in his work, he doesn’t have the time to get up and leave the room, he just has to let it go. Well, I was surprised. I sit pretty close to this guy, his back is toward mine, and I had never smelled anything from him. Was he a master as well? Then it occurred to me, maybe no one really “holds it” anymore. Maybe everyone is a master, like myself.

Here’s the part where you join in on the conversation. What do you do with your farts? Do you hold them until you’re by yourself or do you let them out into the world, hoping that no one will be bothered by their presence? Let us know your strategy and your farting rules in the comments section.

 

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