Originally published December 28, 2010
There is something inherently funny about farts. Insert the sound of someone passing gas into just about any situation and BAM! You’ve got instant comic relief. The perpetrator doesn’t even need to be a person. The other day I was sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper. I was scanning the obituaries, which is by no means a funny section, when from beneath the table came that unmistakable combination squeaking-hissing sound. It struck me so funny that I laughed out loud. It was of course, the dog, Pudge, passing gas. Yes, even the best dog in the whole entire universe passes gas, which is a perfect segue into a point I am compelled to make.
Everybody passes gas. Whether your preferred name for it is to pass gas, break wind, poot, toot, fart, cut the cheese, let ‘er rip, or whatever, it’s all the same. Shakespeare said it best, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” Yes indeed, that which we call a fart. By any other name would still stink. Everybody farts and everybody’s farts stink.
No one is above farting. There is not a creature alive on this earth who is too sophisticated or refined to fart. If you eat, you poop. If you poop, you fart. Period. And another thing, don’t go around acting all high and mighty like your farts don’t stink, because they do. As previously established, farts stink, and yours are no exception. So stop acting all disgusted and just admit it. Farts are funny. They smell. Everybody farts.
And now, I have a confession. I like to pass gas between the sheets. My husband and I just celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, and while my better-half might argue otherwise, I firmly believe my habit of passing gas between the sheets has been the key to our happy and successful marriage. You might think this is odd so let me explain. It is said the happiest couples are those who laugh together. Passing gas makes me laugh and there is nothing in this world that makes me laugh harder than slipping into bed beside my husband and passing gas between the sheets because it’s his absolute pet peeve and he tries his best to prohibit it from happening in our home.
The idea of people passing gas between the sheets bothers my husband so much that if it were up to him, farting in bed would be a felony. Way? He has this bizarre theory that by passing gas in bed, all of the fart molecules become trapped under the covers and it is difficult for them to escape. No, we do not sleep under plastic and our bed linens are not impervious, but according to my hubby, when fart molecules are confined under the covers they “cling” to objects that share their confines thereby creating fart “smell stains” on said objects.
He further claims that by passing gas and trapping it between the sheets, our bedding and worse, anything or anyone under the covers falls prey to being completely shrouded in fart smell stains. He believes that if I pass gas between the sheets, his body will be stained with a lingering fart smell throughout the following day. In other words, he will smell like a fart. Apparently no amount of showering can rid a person of a fart smell stain either. It just has to wear off on its own.
I absolutely am not kidding about this. It’s my opinion that this entire line of thinking is ludicrous. I certainly am NOT one of THOSE people who believes her farts don’t stink, but smell stains? Please. When I attempt to point out the ridiculousness of the theory, my husband tries to trump me with medical science, as if his being a doctor gives him more credibility on matters of bodily function. Okay, so maybe it does, but seriously, am I the only one who thinks that with respect to farting, what happens between the sheets, does not in fact stay between the sheets?
Anyway, there’s no winning this argument for me. For one thing, the only time the topic ever comes up is pursuant to my passing gas when we’re in bed. This means I’m already a little silly, which also means it is difficult for me to think rationally enough to come up with a good rebuttal. To make matters worse, my husband’s reaction to my passing gas between the sheets is something I find hysterically funny. He grabs hold of the bed covers and rips them off of me shouting, “You broke the rule! Five minute penalty for farting under the covers!” This makes me laugh harder which makes me fart again which makes me laugh even harder, and so on. It turns into an uncontrolable, self-propagating fart-laugh-fart-laugh cycle.
This type of thing is contagious and eventually my husband starts laughing too. Please do not be mistaken. This is not because he thinks passing gas between the sheets is funny. No, no, it’s because he realizes that he is married to a lunatic. No matter how it comes to pass, a family that laughs together stays together. Hence, my passing gas between the sheets has been the key to our happy and successful marriage.
The most amazing thing is that even when I take the furtive approach and try to sneak a silent one past him, he can sniff out an infraction. He is on constant fart patrol and can rouse himself from the depths of sleep just to rip the covers off of me and impose the five-minute penalty, which is really more about getting the sheets pulled back so fart molecules don’t cling to him than it is about punishing me. It’s a phenomenon, this uncanny ability he has to know always, and I mean ALWAYS, when I have passed gas between the sheets. I call it Night Fart Radar.
The uncontrolable, self-propagating fart-laugh cycle never fails to render me completely helpless. It is no wonder I can never argue. So, I resign myself to enduring a lifetime of five-minute-fart-penalties because I am guaranteed to break the no-farting-under-the-covers-rule every single night until death do us part.
You’d think I would have surrendered by now and stopped passing gas between the sheets, but I can’t. I just can’t because somewhere deep in my soul lives the hope that one of these days, I just might slip one by him.