Allow me to be all at once bold and competitive: I’ve got the worst gas of anyone you’ve ever met. If society was somehow different, and my … gift, let’s call it, was better valued, I would be your Queen of Farts. I would command attention, take down armies. I would redraw the lines of femininity. I would be worshiped and adored. None of this is likely to happen, though, is it? So here I am, in this world, in this society, in which (I dislike the words “gassy” and “farty”) a gastrointestinally-challenged woman has a tough row to hoe. Consider the sheer, exhausting effort that goes into covering up your scent. My plight: I’ve got an ass like a machine gun, people. And it’s on a mission to ruin my life.
As for The Why – why am I the way I am? – does it matter? Arguably not, but just for context’s sake, I’ll mention I think it’s the genes. I think my dad’s to blame. My mom’s normal enough – digging into a bowl of broccoli or brussels sprouts has its negative effects, but otherwise, she’s sitting pretty. But my dad and brother are beset in a manner similar to mine. Care for anecdotal proof? Not a problem: My dad and I did a father/daughter road trip two years back, and I can tell you – hand to God – we both farted so much over the course of the trip, that farting simultaneously became a more frequent occurrence than making a pit stop: It happened once every few hours. As for my brother, his wife’s favored accessory is the fashionable scarf. And that’s because he farts so much and so vilely, she needs a piece of fabric at the ready to cover her nose and mouth.
Thing is, though, that between my dad and my brother and me, I’m the only one shouldering the burden of being gastrointestinally-challenged and female. I’m supposed to shower daily, shave, smell of … if not roses, then at least something other than curdled milk and rotting fish. Here, I offer unto you the most common types of farts that e’re I have endured. Perhaps one of these has befallen you at some point. But take heed and give pity. For they’ve all befallen me in, like, a week … every week.
1. The Laughter Fart. I was in bed with a guy I’d been dating for a month or thereabouts, when he decided a tickle-fest might be an effective bit of foreplay. “DON’T TICKLE ME!” I shouted. “BAD IDEA!” He ignored me, however, and it was to his great detriment. I am highly ticklish, and so unable to control my sphincter when laughing hysterically, and so did I accidentally let fly a stink bomb. It brought tears to his eyes. “Don’t you feel like that brought us closer?” I asked. “NO!” he choked out. “That sit burns like you’re slicing onions down here!” This farting during laughing is a constant thing for me, and it’s a real tragedy. Laughing is supposed to be fun, you know? For me, though, it’s always being undercut (pun intended!) with a fear I’ll clear the room. And I’ve cleared rooms, believe me: A bar in San Francisco, a Starbucks on New York’s Upper West Side. Heed the warning anyone who dares make me laugh.
2. The Sex Fart. I was in bed with this same lucky gent mentioned above, and he went down on me and … actually, no: He was going down on me, and I ripped it. Loud. Loud enough to foster the illogical hope that maybe – just maybe! – he’d be momentarily confused and think some third party had snuck into my room and smashed her fist down on some massive piece of bubble wrap. Alas, this did not happen. In the short term: We both stopped what we were doing. In the long term: We found it hard to look each other in the eye. Which, of course, did not help us stay together. A variation on this theme has happened more times than I care to count. And in the broadest sense, the situation’s left me with the impression that I am but a Fart Cinderella seeking her Prince. “Where is he?” I ask. “The one who won’t mind?”
3. Silent And Not Smelly. The acronym, SANS, appropriately means “without” in French. Anyway, I luck out with these bad boys on occasion. Like once, I made the idiotic choice to grab a bite at Chipotle before heading to this experimental classical music concert of a friend of a friend of a friend. As an activity, I don’t recommend this; there’s a lot of dead air in which you’re challenged not to fall asleep or fart. Well, I might have made it through without falling asleep, but sure as the sun sets in the west, I would indeed be farting; it was only a matter of when. I had to work really hard to position my body such that I didn’t look like I was farting, and such that I didn’t make a sound. On this one lucky occasion, I did, in fact, succeed. However, my larger point is this: It could just as easily have proved dangerous. If you share in my struggles even the littlest bit, do NOT eat Chipotle pre-classical concert. Do not eat Chipotle at all, as a matter of fact, if you’re heading anywhere other than home.
4. Silent But Deadly. I was in bed with the same guy from before (a lucky guy indeed!), and there we were enjoying a post-coital tete-a-tete, when I felt a familiar cramping. I was now faced with a choice. I could either a) handle the pain, which, as it got worse, was visibly distending my stomach, or b) let it fly, and pray for SANS. I went with the latter option, but oh: It was not SANS; it was SBD, the oft-referenced Silent But Deadly. Deadly like a diabetic foot wrapped in week-old beef carpaccio is deadly. And so even though it was winter, I threw open the window, claiming, “I need some air.” And then: “Oh my god! It smells awful outside!” And then: “Oh my god! The awful outside smell seems somehow to have gotten in the bedroom! What in the gosh-darn world could smell so bad?!” Let me just say that the number of acting jobs of this variety I’ve performed over the years could win this gal an Oscar. My “What is that?”s and “Who, me?”s are simply not to be bested.
5. The Dance Floor Freedom March. I fart on a dance floor like I fart if I’m home alone in my apartment. What’s great is that there are usually a lot of people around, and they’re usually moving a lot. This is good for distribution. Distribution means you’re less likely to be pegged the culprit. So do I spend the better part of any wedding, bat/bar mitzvah, birthday party, anniversary party, wheeling around that slick-finished, freshly-waxed bit of heaven like my feet are on fire: I don’t particularly like the exercise or the attention. I’m just a half-hour out of eating a steak and, perchance, a bowl of ice cream, and I’m farting like a madwoman and I need to not be blamed. This, by the way, is why I’m such a swift RSVPer. It’s not that I’m excited by the event, it’s that I’m excited to fart happily, comfortably, blamelessly in public. These occasions are few and far between, and, as a result, they must be duly relished.