Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Poot Too Far

Deep down, who doesn't like farts? The sheer variety of toots that can be emitted from the single instrument is a credit to our creativity. It's all about pressure, volume, and embouchure, but you can't discount practice. I myself have so much affection for the subject that I can still recall individual productions. As a mail carrier, I was accustomed to being on my own, which is helpful if you have performance anxiety. A few stand out.

There was the day I was stuck in an otherwise empty apartment mailroom with sweet old Mrs. Gilbride and a bellyful of burrito. She could not be persuaded to flee the impending blast. Finally I realized she was nearly stone deaf and I cut loose with a mighty boom. Mrs. Gilbride's arms sprang out and she jolted visibly and quacked "What the hell was that?"

In my defense, I believe she did not hear it, but was caught in the concussion.

At the other end of the spectrum was the gentle raindrop plup I emitted one fine day, followed by another, and then the dawning realization that I had enough ammunition in the chamber to plup my way plup plup all the way to the next delivery, one plup by one, and no witnesses in sight, plup plup plup; a discovery that made me so happy I parceled them out plup one per footstep plup with enough in reserve to finish with a slide-whistle flourish plup plup peee-oooooooo-wiiiip! right at the destination mail slot. Where the meter reader stepped out from behind the shrubbery. Damn cheerful fellow, he was.

Then there was the time I got in the elevator in a small apartment building to deliver a package. This apartment was filled with working folk and I rarely saw anyone in there in the daytime. I entered the elevator and filled it with confidence and reminiscences of my most recent lunch. "Other people's farts are disgusting," I remember a comic observing once, "but your own are always kind of interesting."

Mine was. Notes of fennel, garlic-forward, with a structure of pork sausage, and a smooth navy-bean finish.

Ding.

No one is ever home at that apartment building. Nevertheless the elevator slowed and the door opened and a handsome young man entered with his Labrador retriever. He smiled, moved to the back, and turned toward the door, following protocol. His nose wrinkled.

"Oh, man, I'm sorry. Duke, bad boy!"

"It happens," I smiled, vowing to buy a lottery ticket later.

But I am only a grade-B flatulist in comparison with Dave, the Maestro of Methane. Ever tuneful and creative, with an impressive repertoire, he is also capable of a world-class eruption when sound asleep, a titanic airhorn blast, causing zoo elephants across town to ripple their ears in solidarity, railroad crossing gates to close, and schoolchildren for miles around to file outside and wait for the all-clear. Startled house guests fret, once their heart rates come back down, that he must have injured himself, but they underestimate his stamina and years of training. What does your husband do? acquaintances query, and this is always the first thing that comes to mind.

Also, he's a great cook.

35 comments:

  1. Our daughter got us one of those Amazon things you can talk to for Christmas. She will play music and answer questions. She will also, if requested, make fart noises. She seems to have quite a repertoire. We haven't yet heard the same poot twice.

    My own most memorable occasion was while seated on a wood gymnasium floor along with all of the other 7th and 8th grade girls. Highly polished gym floors are marvelous amplifiers. It was only second or third in the list of most mortifying things to happen to me as a kid.

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    1. When I say "she" in the first paragraph, I mean the Amazon lady, not my daughter. Although I am sure my daughter can make some excellent fart noises, too.

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    2. The amazon lady had to have heard it from someone, right? I'm just pleased you asked it to. When we first got internet and had no idea what to do with it, we'd go to farts.com and play the Fart Of The Day. All the world's knowledge at our fingertips, and...

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  2. A juvenile boy must live inside me. I never not laugh at farts. Ever.

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    1. I want a needlepoint for our cabin: No Inaudible Farting.

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  3. A young friend of mine was at his parents house for the holidays. He dad farted and his mother in all seriousness said, "What did you say?" They will never life it down.

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  4. My most memorable happened a couple of years ago. The chorus (Sweet Adelines) attends a Competition every year, "competing against ourselves" to see how we've improved, where we could be better, etc. It's a Big Deal, and The Big Day starts out with a Big Breakfast. I'm not much of a breakfast eater, but I always participate in this ritual. By the time we were assembled early that afternoon for the pre-performance vocal warm-ups, lacquered in makeup/hairspray and bound tight with body shapers and girdles, I was feeling uncomfortably bloated and extremely nervous that I wouldn't be able to excuse myself if Nature called. Well, She called, and in hopes of relieving a little of the pressure before I made a panicked dash out the nearest door, I tried to let a little one slide. It was like taking a balloon and pulling the neck taut, only picture a balloon the size of a Good Year blimp. Naturally the room erupted in laughter (25 grown women, also lacquered and gowned--you can dress us up...), and the woman next to me exclaimed, "Carolyn!!!" (there aren't enough exclamation points to encompass her shocked tone). It was my best friend in the chorus who saved (?) the day by asking loudly, "It that our pitch?"

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    1. I was SO hoping everyone would show up and tell their favorite fart stories! Thanks!

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    2. Now if you could only go in and change the pen-pen-penultimate word in my response to "Is...?" I'm a Virgo and a grammarian (and a Baritone, but only other Sweet Adelines would "get" that) and that typo is driving me crazy!

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    3. Eight months later, and this blog entry STILL makes me laugh so hard I'm crying.

      These days when anyone in the house lets one go, I'll say, "That Fucking Idiot just sent us a tweet."

      Working my way toward the present!

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  5. Oh I love the original post AND the Sweet Adeline comment! Too funny!

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  6. I have to add that many of husband's and my most memorable farts happen as we sleep; you know how you wake up partially and realize you have to let one go... well, our dog, after almost 7 years, for some reason has started to react badly to these nocturnal emissions. Out of a sound sleep, at the sound of a fart, she will wake up in alarm and jump off the bed! Then we have to get up and coax her back on because otherwise she'll start barking because she's no longer on the bed (she isn't all that bright). We don't know why she suddenly developed this reaction but it means we try to muffle our farts in the middle of the night, often without great success.

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    1. Friend of mine used to have a dog that was terrified of farts. If you made a fart noise at him you could back him right out of the house.

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  7. One of the funniest moments when I was dating my old boyfriend back in the 70s was when we were saying goodnight at the front door and my father, from the upstairs bedroom, let one rip that was so loud we both burst out laughing.

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  8. I was working in an office building doing office work and wearing a business suit when my biker buddy came by to take me out to lunch. The elevator filled, and he solicitiously shifted me toward the front. I should have suspected something. Just before we got off, he let rip with a veritable trumpet blast, then turned and looked at me in astonishment as if I had fired it off. And, damnit, I blushed as if guilty.

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  9. The only thing I wish to say about this subject is that it's not "fart", it's "fa-a-aht"!! (and said in a whisper)

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  10. Oh my. I started chuckling at "As a mail carrier, I was accustomed to being alone..." and didn't stop, all the way through the comments. Recall one morning when I was looking out the foyer window at the feeders when a blast issued from the downstairs BR that was loud enough to startle a flock of 20 mourning doves into thundering flight. It was awesome.

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  11. Giggled all the way through this. My dear husband was at the urinal in a posh restaurant when a well-dressed businessman rushed into a cubicle, closed the door, and emitted "Squeeeeeeeekkk." Then he went back to the dining room.

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    1. Dave assures me that in normal male company, when any untoward sound is emitted from a closed stall, the poopetrator says "hoo boy." I mean, gotta own it.

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  12. My inner 10 year old laughed herself silly at this post.

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  13. Love the post and the comments, farts are always good for a giggle. Sadly, I don't have a story to add, either I don't notice my farts, or I just don't fart very often. I probably let them go in my sleep.

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    1. Used to be, I got the big boomers out first thing in the morning. Sort of a nice fanfare to start the day.

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    1. I am visualizing you in the Macy's Parade.

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  15. I was at bonfire the night before the last day of my senior year of high school. I had siezed the moment and was nervously confessing my feelings to a boy that I'd had a crush on for 5 years. Then... I farted.

    Mortified, I said, "ha... I guess that's the way this had to happen right?" And he laughed and I forced a laugh--and he said we'd always be friends.

    And when I didn't die From embarrassment, I realized nervous farts are probably for the best.

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    1. There's no such thing as nervous farts. Please tell me there's no such thing as nervous farts.

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