Where This Meets That
Preface: At my present age and station in life, I do recognize that the appropriate expression for passing gas is, well, “passing gas”. But at the age I was when this story occurred, it was a “fart”. Straight up. So, sorry Christy, I’m gonna tell it like it was!
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When I was a kid, I loved to fart around one of my sisters. It was always a way to disarm her.
Still is, actually.
She warned me countless times through cackling tears that if I didn’t stop farting on purpose, then one day I wouldn’t be able to stop. But I knew better than that. I prided myself on being some kind of farting prodigy, able to turn it on and off at will. I could fart on a dime. In fact, I’m pretty sure I did once.
But one evening, gathered around the dinner table with a visiting uncle sitting next to me, my sister’s warning played out in spades.
I felt it come on and did my best to minimize it. Out of courtesy to my uncle, respect for the family dinner, and personal pride, I tried to regulate it, but fate conspired against me. It escaped. Not too loud, but certainly more audibly than hoped.
My other sister has a rule regarding such circumstances; one should say “excuse me” in direct proportion to the volume of the offense. In this case, maybe that gave me a pass. Maybe my uncle hadn’t heard; he didn’t seem to notice.
Oh, but my “told you so” sister did. I didn’t have to look at her to sense her holding back laughter. The look of shock on my face was probably as funny as the offense itself. She and I tried so hard not to laugh, but my stifled laughter mounted pressure that, well, had to escape from somewhere, and so it did.
It suddenly seemed like a jailbreak of stinky little rats bailing from a sinking, burning ship. A sinking, burning, hilariously humbling ship.
Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever asking to be excused. Maybe it was beyond excusing. Maybe my scarlet face was penance enough. I had certainly learned a lesson: to this day, I don’t think I’ve ever quite trusted another fart.
So there you have it, boys and girls, our wordplay for today: Laughing Gas.