I want to talk about gas. Not the petroleum kind that fuels your lawn mower, your weed whacker, and your car. I want to talk about the gas that comes out of the human body. You know, flatulence. Everyone does it, although most of us don’t admit to it. It is a bodily function so vile that it does not deserve discussion. Yet, I think it does.
I will admit that growing up I was not a very gaseous person. I do not know if it was because my diet was healthier than it is at present or if I had an incredibly healthy digestive system. Maybe it was the fact that I was terrified of humiliating myself by farting in public; I actually spent the majority of my teens and twenties squeezing my anus so that nothing would escape. Whatever the reason, I found those who passed gas disgusting and those who talked about it and joked about it depraved. Why was the term “breaking wind” funny? Why did grown men ask little children to pull their fingers? Why did a room full of boys laugh when someone “cut the cheese”? Was it really true, “He who smelt it, dealt it?” I found these jokes to be repulsive, and the offenders as immature beasts.
However, once I got married, I learned to live with it. My husband, like all men– swallows too much oxygen, eats too much meat, and has the inability to process nitrogen– thus, he creates too many gases within his intestines. Although I found it fowl, he informed me that it was not by choice or because of a twisted sense of humor. His body released gasses because it had to do it. How could I argue with his body’s needs? Besides for the one time when we were cuddled in bed and he literally farted on me, (I could feel the vibration), I got used to it. He was never very loud or very smelly, so if it was an intestinal GI track issue, I was going to have to accept it because he was the man I loved.
Then in 1999, I got pregnant and my body composition changed. Something about feeding two people and needing to expel the waste of two people made my gastrointestinal track alter. For all intense purposes, I myself became a farter.
I suddenly became very aware of my surroundings and with whom I was socializing. In public, I spent the majority of my day squeezing my anal muscles so that I would not embarrass myself. Nonetheless, alone in a restroom or driving home in my car, my body would relax, and on certain days, I do believe I actually may have levitated. Ever since, I have developed an affinity for my body’s need to and ability to release gas.
At times, I even think it is funny.
- When walking in from work at the end of a long, hard day, sometimes, one of the girls meets me in the kitchen with a question. Bending over to place my book bag on the floor, my body answers with a fart, that’s funny!
- When Lizzie wakes in the morning and has a sneezing fit, sometimes she sneezes so firmly that she actually snarts— sneezes and farts at the same time.
- When any of us do it and immediately turn to the dog and say in a disapproving tone, “Linus!”
- When Tom threatens sitting on the girls to let one rip (although he never would, but the threat makes the girls crazy).
- Seemingly the only time it is not funny is when it really does come out of Linus. He likes to cuddle close in the evenings, and when he lets one fly, we literally have to clear the room. We call it “crop dusting”.
- I take that back, Linus crop dusts Carson all the time, and we actually do think that is funny.
Yes, the body’s ability to make noise and create smell were disgusting to me for the first thirty years of my life, but I have come full circle. I find it comforting to know that flatulence is a natural function necessary to the body. It is a way for the intestines to release toxins and gasses from its system so that it can function properly.
So, I say to my fellow-man, it is okay that our bodies create gas and it is okay to release said gas. In the right circumstances, in the proper mix of people, it might actually be entertaining. You may want to keep it out of the boardroom or the courtroom, but by all means, when you are in the locker room talking about the Big Game this weekend, let one rip– you deserve it!