If you’re honest, you’ll have to admit that passing gas can be pretty funny. Oh sure, it’s rude and bad manners and all of that, but even as an adult, in the right circumstances, you know it still makes you snicker.
In a house full of boys it’s an art form.
When I was in college, I dated a girl whose high school boyfriend transferred into our school after we started going out. I’ll never understand what she saw in me after seeing him. He was built like Mr. Universe and had a humility and shyness that was apparently irresistible. Every girl on the campus swooned when he walked by; they weren’t even subtle about it.
Once it became clear that he wasn’t interested in using all those muscles to destroy me for going out with his girl, we actually got to be pretty good friends. We attended the same campus youth group. As the year went by I discovered that he was a great guy with a heart of gold, deservedly well-known and well respected.
I also discovered that he and his roommate had been tape-recording every fart they produced in their dorm room for the entire year.
They apparently had quite an impressive collection.
I never actually got to hear the tape, but we both knew that my discovery left this guy completely at my mercy. You see, a fascination with flatulence is an understood part of being a guy, but we all knew that girls didn’t share our enthusiasm. If I were to leak my discovery to the wrong folks, he could be ruined.
That’s why, when I became a dad to three sons, I knew I had to set some guidelines. As aspiring men, they needed to be aware of the “unwritten rules” governing these matters in polite society (i.e. around girls). But, I also didn’t want to dampen their enthusiasm for what could be a lifelong source of fun and entertainment!
So we agreed to some conditions.
If mom is in the house, we don’t burp or pass gas. When she leaves, all bets are off.
This policy has worked well for over 20 years. In fact, it even had unintended benefits in the early years. Instead of crying and begging their mommy not to leave, the Burke boys were often found ushering her out the door. When she asked why we were so anxious for her to leave, we just traded conspiratorial looks and told her we wanted her to go out and have a good time.
We knew we were going to. :-)
originally published 9/5/11| next post Donut Day