When a repressed urge becomes the worst case scenario

One afternoon last week Jon and I got to go to the gym together, something we rarely get to do anymore because someone has to stay home and prevent the kid from wrapping every surface in the house with toilet paper. When we do workout together I view Jon’s company as a valuable motivator particularly if we score two elliptical trainers next to each other. When I lived in Los Angeles I often worked out with a gay friend who would choose the highest level on the elliptical trainer, and he was so in shape he would often talk in whole paragraphs throughout the entire workout. He set the standard, and no matter how many days a week I exercised or trained I couldn’t ever keep up with him. My body just wasn’t cut out to be a chatty gay man.

Jon and I are equally fit, but even if we do the same program on the elliptical trainer — the same run of hills at the same difficulty level for the same amount of time — he always burns at least 70 more calories than I do. I know that the machine is taking into account the fact that he is 70 pounds heavier, but it doesn’t seem fair especially since he always walks in the door after a workout, heads straight to the refrigerator and pours a half a cup of caramel topping into his mouth. As a woman I can barely handle such an act of blasphemy. The Lord gave him 70 bonus calories and he has the audacity to just pour them down his throat. It shows a complete lack of reverence toward the thousands of women in this country who carefully meter out every calorie they put into their bodies, and he should be punished by having those 70 calories cut straight out of his thigh.

After our aerobic exercise we always stretch out on the mats and then do several sets of sit-ups on the crunch machine. During this specific workout Jon was standing about ten feet away lifting weights as I churned through my first set of 30 crunches. At about crunch 13 I was overcome with a sudden urge but didn’t think much of it because I was concentrating on making it to crunch 14. The crunch machine at our gym requires that you lie on your back with your feet in the air tucked behind a set of bars, and there I was on my back, my feet elevated so that they were parallel with my head, my butt perched at the end of the vinyl seat like a little prairie dog poking its head out of a burrow.

As my arms came up over my head to complete the 14th crunch the urge that I had tragically ignored gave way to The World’s Loudest Fart, an expulsion of air so quick and violent that it ricocheted off the vinyl seat and shook two 40 lb weights hanging behind Jon’s head. It was so loud that I could hear it over the music on my iPod playing in my ears. I’ll never forget the look on Jon’s face as his arms collapsed to his side, as his body almost crumbled beneath him from laughter. It was a strange set of emotions I then experienced because on the one hand I just wanted to stop existing. I couldn’t turn my head or move my body in any way because I might make eye contact with someone who had heard it and that would be more than I could possibly bear. I didn’t want to be confronted with the reality that someone other than an immediate family member, that a stranger had heard me fart. That’s a sacred song you don’t share with just anyone.

On the other hand I was delighted that I had made Jon laugh so hard, so hard in fact that he had to walk it off and muffle the noise because he was bringing even more attention to the fact that his wife just farted loudly in public. One of my greatest joys in life is witnessing something that makes Jon laugh. Things are funnier when he laughs maybe because I’ve shared certain experiences with him that inform his sense of humor, and I can see the angle at which something hits him. It reveals his soul in such a magical way. I imagined him standing there with two 15 lb weights in each of his hands, his arms straining to hold them straight out from his sides when his wife who is positioned so that her body is shaped like a rocket launcher rips a trombone fart so suddenly, so authoritatively — Behold, This is My Fart — that the immediate shock of it feels like a cannon ball has been shot into his chest.

That’s when the weights dropped, that’s when his legs went wobbly because every part of his brain was trying to process the impossible. And then he saw how paralyzed I was, that my body had stopped moving, that I had sealed my eyes shut in an attempt to will my body into dust. And he knew that no matter how hard I tried to withdraw from what had just happened, no matter the distance I tried to put between myself and that gash I had just torn in the fabric of our lives, that I would never be able to reverse the fact that he knew that he was married to a Public Farter.

  • http://misspriss.org becky

    you’re. killing. me. thankfully, i’m the only one around right now, so i can laugh out loud (instead of causing an aneurism by holding it in).

    is that your new superhero name? the public farter: louder than a locomotive, able to take down entire towns with the smell!

  • mmoxxie

    I tell everyone that will listen about your site because of hysterical (and aptly written) posts like this one.

  • http://lifevegasstyle.blogspot.com Amanda

    Oh, this made me laugh, especially after my visit to the gyno yesterday where I promptly farted as soon as the doctor stuck his face in my hoo-ha. Talk about humiliating! And I really like this doctor. It sucks I may have to find another one since I do not believe I can show my…uh…face in that office again.

  • http://dooce.migrantroo.com minxlj

    Why do you always post these kind of stories when I’m at work?!!! Now I’m sitting here looking like a madwoman trying to restrain my laughter, my whole body shaking with it, and tears streaming down my face. As always, your fart stories are the best, although now my boss probably thinks I’ve completely lost it. Cool!! :-)

    I would be completely and utterly MORTIFIED if I ever did that in the gym, in front of my fiance. I just don’t have the strength to become a public farter.

  • Sunni

    HA! This had me laughing so hard. Thanks so much for your honesty. I can’t tell you how many times I have to cut my treadmill walk short because I feel the urge to fart. I am always so afraid to keep walking for fear of it slipping out.

    You are hilarious and your writing is superb. I always feel like I am right there next to you, experiencing the situation.

    Thanks for my daily distraction!

  • http://stillbaking.blogspot.com suze

    that was hilarious. however, now my coworkers are all wanting to know what it is that has made me chortle so exuberently thus creating a very distracting, public coughing fit. perhaps i must save your funniest stuff for when i’m no longer sick ;)

  • leigh

    i’m in the military, and being a female surrounded by a bunch of men, it can get pretty stinky.
    one guy lets them rip so badly that we swear he has to go whip himself afterwords!
    the nickname ‘poo-nami’ came into affect

  • Gretchie

    Ya know, you managed to turn your public humilation into a tribute of love to your husband. This archetype of romantic love needs to find it’s way into more love scenes in romance novels. “They walked the streets of Paris, hand in hand, neither saying anything as the soft spring air carresed their bare skin. As Pamela approached the Eiffel Tower, she passed the loudest gas of her life – the abrupt air kissing her buns. And as the sound reverberated through the streets of Paris, Rene lovingly took a step back, stumbled to his knees with mouth gaping and tears in his eyes, and proceeded to laugh like a redneck at a rodeo clown. Pamela blushed delicately….”

  • Marialoo

    Just last night I was watching MythBusters and they were experimenting with “flatus” (as they had decided not to be so crude as to use the word “fart” the whole segment). They actually designed a contraption to catch the fart bubbles while sitting in a tub of water, then analyzed the contents to see if it was possible to kill onesself (experimentally) by farting too much in a confined space. You can’t. Luckily.

  • A thinker

    That is HILARIOUS.

  • KatDjuric

    Heather!! I love your site!! I was on the floor laughing today. Girl, you are SO crazy!

  • Jennifer Schutz

    Several years ago, I was in church with my Mom and my two brothers. The three of us hated going to church, but we had made a commitment to go for one whole year before we gave up on God and resigned ourselves to eternal damnation in exchange for sleeping in on Sunday mornings, and Mom was making us honor it. On this particular day, during the period of silence when the last people were going up to receive communion, my mom let out a hugely loud fart, which reverberated throughout the whole church. We tried out best not to fall to the floor laughing and everyone around us was making a Christian effort not to turn and stare. Then we heard a mom in the row behind us say “shush!!” to her daughter. And the daughter, very loudly replied, “But mom, that lady FARTED!” We didn’t have to go to church any more after that.

  • Teeny225

    I’m another one who just sprayed her keyboard with coffee…! For the first few months of my relationship with my fiance I waited till he left the room before I let rip. Unfortunately I wasn’t fooling him as I also suffer from digestive discomfort (to put it mildly) and the odours had too much staying power for him not to notice when he came back…. He told me years later that he knew what I’d been up to, and did I never wonder why he always opened the window when he came back from the kitchen?!! We now congratulate each other on our efforts.

  • http://zoomaru.blog.com pagalina

    Oh man! Read this for a SECOND time and it made me laugh outloud again. I think it was the sacred song part. I wonder if people know that i find fart stories funny?

  • http://www.shanntastic.com/ shanntastic

    I know what you mean about being thrilled to see your SO laugh. My husband loves Ron Huebel on Best Week Ever and I have to save it on el Tivo because I just have to see his reaction. Also, taunting is more bearable because of his utter glee about it. Good stuff. I’m an Austinite, and while meeting up with you guys would be fun, I have to be at the workplace. Also, I prefer to stalk you online rather than live and in person. Good luck with the speaking engagement. That’s tres exciting!

  • Hets

    Honestly, I love when your posts make me laugh out loud! This is one of the best yet!

  • http://www.hamiltonfamilycircus.blogspot.com Heather

    OMG!! I’m laughing so hard I may need to leave my desk and go to the bathroom before I wet myself!! Glad to see Jon could get such a kick out of your public humiliation!! :-)

  • http://www.digitalpretzel.com fred

    my 4 year old son is a public farter.. and proud. He will own up to them and tell complete strangers about the fart, and the meal he had for dinner the night before that produced it.

  • Erica

    I thought that I would share my public farting story. I just feel that comfortable around here.

    When I was in sixth grade, all of the classes were on one hall. In the mornings all of the students sat on the floor outside of their homeroom until the first bell rang and the teacher unlocked her door and let us in.

    One morning I was talking and laughing with my friends. It was nearing the time for the morning bell, so most of the students were in the hall by this time. I was sitting cross-legged on the floor, and suddenly felt the urge to sneeze. Well, sneeze I did, along with letting out on of the loudest farts in the history of the world.

    No, seriously, the thing echoed up and down the hall of now silent sixth graders. Of course the silence only lasted moments, as everyone then burst out laughing at me just as the morning bell rang.

    Not necessarily the best way to start a morning. It has now been approximately 12 years since that morning, and I still remember it very clearly. I am just hoping no one else does. I would hate to be the person that they are telling their children about when their child comes home embarassed.

  • MeeA

    been reading you a week or two now, and am loving it.
    looking forward to lots more.

  • tknocks

    What a fantastic story. My eye makeup is running down my face. This is exactly why I have yoga fear.

  • http://so.verycontrary.com/ Mary Craig

    Ha. I have no public farting stories. I’m not sayin I’ve never done it, but I must have repressed the memories, due to the shame and all.

    I think my way is better, really.

  • http://amytigger.blogspot.com AmyEtta

    You know what the next step is, don’t you?? Farting on Chuck! Sounds cruel, I know, but the hilarity of it all… it just boggles the mind.

  • Sue

    No matter what else may happen in life, a fart is ALWAYS funny. You should never be embarrassed. After all, if you didn’t fart, you’d explode, and that would not be pretty! My grandfather used to tell me of a Welsh headstone that said “Where’er you be, let the wind blow free, for the lack of wind was the death of me.”

  • http://www.kerrianne.org kerri

    My little sister once dated a guy for over three years before farting in front of him. To me, that’s just plain crazy. Gym or no gym, farting is freedom. ;)

  • beenie

    Oh, I’m a Public Farter from way back. I distinctly remember a physical fitness test we had to take in elementary school – I was probably in 2nd or 3rd grade, and they had some of the 6th graders helping out by holding our feet flat on the ground while we did situps. We were all supposed to do 10, but I farted a little on each one, and the “upperclassman” sent me on my way after 4. Oops! Though I think I’d be more mortified if I did it now. Just another reason not to use my gym membership.

  • http://shutthefuqup.blogspot.com/ TigerLambGirl

    Omg, I have to share the funniest fart story in our family:

    We went on a trip to visit the grandparents in Zimbabwe with our two small children. One morning we were all getting ready to go on an all day picnic. I was getting our baby dressed while my toddler was in the next bedroom with her grandmother (my mother in law) and their two labrador dogs, Jet and Jock, respectively.

    I heard my MIL (mother in law) and my daughter chattering away to each other. Then a deathly silence fell. The next thing I heard was this tentative little voice saying, “Granny, did you just fart”?

    As I sat their cringing – afterall, this was my mother-in-law, you know the sort, the kind-who-thinks-noone-is-good-enough-for-her-son – I heard my MIL reply every so cooly, “No dear, that was Jock.”

    “Oh, okay”, says my gullible little five year old…….as my husband and I slammed pillows to our faces and peed ourselves laughing.

    It was hard to look her in the eye the rest of the day without laughing.

    Ah….fond family memories like these just makes life worth living, eh.

  • dodgemedlin

    After I read your hysterical post, I was flipping through the newspaper. I came to a headline that said, “Senator proposes testing flat tax in nation’s capital.” Except that for one brief, shining moment, I read it as “flatulence tax.” It’d raise billions, I tell you.

    And yeah, thanks for turning on comments. Fart stories are comedy gold.

  • http://gavintiegirl.typepad.com/my_weblog/ gavintiegirl

    I can appreciate how you feel about watching Jon laugh. I feel the same way about my husband. Something happens to my innards when he has a hearty, nose flaring laugh. Watching him laugh makes my heart sing and to make him laugh, would be like my heart singing Opera.

  • :::BINARY:::

    So the only thing that could make this post funnier is if BLURBOMAT posts his version of the event.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/thexica thexica

    I farted pretty loudly once during a quiet yoga class. Somehow I was able to laugh with everyone else and no one suspected it was me.

  • http://hasg.blogspot.com/ Heather G.

    LOL
    This post made me nostalgic for the days when you spoke of little else but your boobs and constipation!!!
    THANKS for returning to bodily functions.

    and THANKS for opening up comments. Never have I read so many stories about farting!!

    and THANKS ALWAYS for providing comic relief to all of your devoted following!! Do you ever get tired of hearing that?

  • thrusher

    God, great story. Thanks for the laugh!

  • Gombi

    As a professional trumpet player, public farting is part of my everyday life. And Yep, after 10 years, I still wish I could hide underneath that carpet…

    Thanks for the insanely everyday laughs ! You rock !

  • http://miss-priss.net Erin

    Heather, you are the funniest woman alive.

  • Gooly

    Thanks for inspiring a laughing fit so violent that I nearly slung my laptop across the room.

    You’d think I would have gotten wise after enjoying dooce-isms for a few months now… at the risk of becoming another gushing fan, I LOVE the site! Don’t you want the World Tour to include a stop in Chapel Hill?

  • http://lepistol.org kristen

    Haha, I’m so glad it’s not just me who has these urges to just let one go at the gym. I mean like.. I’m clentching so hard while on a machine that it’s a work out all on it’s own.

    And the first time I didn’t clentch my ass hard enough and let one out, I was mortified. leave-the-gym-and-never-come-back mortified. I tried to play it off by coughing loudly and sneezing. No, it did not work. haha, I waited a week to go back and just prayed to the gym gods that nobody actually heard, smelled, or saw all this going on.

  • http://godempressofcool.blogspot.com Vegas Vixen

    Oh geez a lou, dooce! I was laughing out loud reading this, and am equally emabarrassed for you at the same time! How mortifying! But what an eloquant way you have of describing how you love to watch Jon laugh! My dear, you are so lucky to have found this kind of love. Both of you. God Bless you all….including that adroable munchkin of yours!

  • http://kristied.blogspot.com KristieD

    Too funny! Welcome to the elite club of public farters…You should feel special to a part of such a wonderful club.

  • http://www.chaithere.blogspot.com AndreaBT

    Comments! Are they really “back”?? Yeehaw!

    My favorite line was the “sacred song” one. That, I believe, is when I actually snorted.

  • AutmnDreams

    I hope I never see the day that I stop thinking farts are funny. My husband, on the other hand, can’t wait for that day to come.

  • http://thehoneybunny.blogspot.com honey bunny

    that’s an excellent story. i laughed while reading it. my husband said “what are you reading?” and i said “oh, nothing” because he just doesn’t get the humor in farts. especially PUBLIC farts.

    i think the last time my husband laughed (or farted) was the last day of school 1980. after that, he realized he was entering high school and therefore could NEVER be so uncool as to laugh, fart, burp, or do anything that would make him out to be just your average 14 year old. he suddenly had this Mr Suave/Ladies Man image to uphold.

    as for me, i let ‘em rip all the live long day and laugh about it, too.

  • Dana Lynn

    Only half a cup of caramel topping? At least he exercises some restraint.

  • Kelly Williams

    Do you know how insanely hard I had to fight the bodily impusles to shout out with laughter so as not to wake my mom just now?

    I’m suprised I didn’t force a whole damn intestine out of my arse.

    I’ve been reading your blog for a loooong time, got my mom hooked and link to you on my site. Thanks for always giving me a good laugh or smile (thanks, usually to the lovely Leta)…you rock.

  • http://cassandralz.livejournal.com Cassie

    thank you Heather :) I definitely needed the laugh

  • jamie

    This is HILARIOUS!

    My life has been riddled with fart memories. I am a farter. There is NO getting around it. In fact some of my fondest memories have farts in them. The most important fart memory I have is my first dtae with my husband. We went fishing. I was very. very. bored. So for a laugh, I sat down on his lap and farted. I thought for sure he would take me home and drop me off but he just laughed and continued to fish and then asked me to take a walk in the woods with him. We have been in love ever since.

    And another is with an old high school boyfriend. We were home alone, and fooling around in the KITCHEN. We were making out and he lifted me onto the counter and when he plopped me down on the countertop, I farted so loud that he dropped to the floor in laughter. I was SOOOOOOOO embarrassed, I just grabbed what I needed to grab and left.

    And, out of the 3 memories I have of going to Disney World when I was 4, was me and my 2 brothers in the back seat of the Pontiac and my oldest brother ripping a winner on the vinyl part of the seat and my dad telling us we couldn’t roll down the windows because it was raining.
    Ahh… childhood memories…..pffffffftttt…. oops.

  • pretty_paranoia

    Oh My Gosh!!! I had to contain my laughter as I’m at work and it was really, really difficult!!

    This story takes me back to the first time I farted in front of my boyfriend, we had only been dating for a few months and I always found an excuse to leave the room whenever I felt the urge to fart.

    This particular time we were in bed having just made sweet, sweet love and we were joking about something or other when he made me laugh so hard a gigantic fart came careering out of my body and straight onto his leg.

    I thought I would DIE if this every happened but I just couldn’t stop laughing for about half an hour afterwards as I just kept replaying that moment in my mind, but it didn’t really seem to phase him and were still together 3 years later so I can safely say I can now fart in front of him whenever I feel the urge.

    The End.

  • http://www.postednote.com eddeaux

    OMW. that was awesome.

  • Heidi

    This is fartastic! Thanks for the BIG laugh!

    So, now we all know that you are a public-farter (even if it was involuntary). But, have you ever queefed (flatus vaginalis) in public? After I gave birth to my son, I went back to my regular yoga class. I totally expected that my body might react differently getting into certain positions since his birth, but I thought it would be along the lines of lack of strength or loss of flexibility. It wasn’t. Apparently, my body hadn’t gone back to normal “down there” and it had the uncanny ability to suck up air while in certain positions. The moment it happened I knew I was screwed – it was going to come out the moment I exerted myself. I tried to queef as quietly as possible. Let me tell you, when you try to queef quietly it doesn’t work that way. Instead it was a series of short loud queefs followed by one long loud one. Just the thing a new mom wants to do to feel good about herself.

  • http://redplaidduckies.livejournal.com laurellz

    hardest i’ve laughed all day, not that its too special to you the ways john’s is, but this was hilarious.