An Open Letter To the Publicly Flatulent

All who know me know that I have the uncanny ability to attract the gassiest sonsabitches within a 100km radius of wherever I am standing. It’s not a ‘talent’ I recommend anyone have. Doubt me? Okay, come shopping with me for a day and see what happens.

Innumerable new gentleman callers in my life have experienced this. First date, oh yeah. Waiting for a table at a restaurant, the inevitable (to me) grey-green fog wafts MY way. Then I would get the held breath, the shocked, sidelong glance. The unspoken “Did you just shit?” look. Me, so busy pretending I don’t notice the choking scent or the glance, hustles up and does the over talking thing, where you hope they don’t think it’s you. That just made me look guiltier. A lot of those men never called again. I think that’s why I didn’t get married until I was 36.

Even the hubby (brave soul). Once when we were newly dating, we had the luck of being in a line up with someone who was dying of gutrot. I don’t know if that’s a real disease, but it smells like one. That beautiful bastard didn’t even flinch. In fact, he smiled at me! Either he was blinded by his good fortune to be with me or he actually did it, but I admired his cool in an oxygen deprived situation.

I have a friend, Heidi and when we lived in the same city and were young and dumb, we used to go on epic shopping trips to the mall, refreshed with lunches, laughs, and many beer stops. We made a lot of bad purchases, but anyway. One boxing day, we met for bargains in the morning.

The saleslady in the store was middle-aged, had probably spent all of christmas running her ass of for an ungrateful family and she was just fucking pissed about being at work. I’m kind of a nice person and I thought if I asked for her help, maybe we’d chat, and I could cheer her up. I asked. She gave me the eye roll, a sigh and a glare, that yes, I would come to know as the “stink eye”. She came up to me and shit herself. I immediately stopped breathing and tried to appear nonchalant. She, however, decided to stand closer to me and linger, just to let me bask in all her hate/shit. At this point, H. showed up.

H. is a petite babe who was raised with a brood and consequently can have a very loud voice.

Come on, are you ready to go? JESUS CHRIST! WHAT IS THAT SMELL? WAS THAT YOU?” I grabbed her arm and we took off, me trying to convince her that no, it was not me. I glanced back at the lady and she was smirking. I guess I did cheer her up after all!

So, I ask you: do I scare the shit out of people? Or do they just feel suddenly relaxed in the presence of my glory and pass wind in celebration? Should I feel ‘special’?

The son is old enough now to notice and comment. “Mummy, did you just fart?” No.(shut  up!) “Ewwwwww! It’s stinky here!”

It’s so uncomfortable for me that I have literally stopped farting. Alright, not true, but I wait until I’m asleep and I don’t have to know about it.

Yes, I have been scarred by this.

To all you shitters out there – QUIT IT! You are in public, for chrissake! And no, it’s not funny that everyone thinks it’s me! (If you have a medical condition, I’ll give you a pass, but maybe you could try those new charcoal filter underwear that take the smell away? Or wear a sign, like a big button that says “Don’t walk behind me’? Thanks.)

I made a new friend. Lovely woman. After a week she sat down and said,”I just farted.”

Oh course you did, sweetheart. Of course you did.