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://jody2ms.com/ jody2ms

    LOLOLOL!!!

    I laughed so hard I farted! ;*) Then I shared this post with my husband, with whom I only share the internet nuggets of gold!

  • Ellen

    Ha ha ha!
    I deem you worthy to share the titles bestowed upon me by my partner.
    1. Foghorn Bum – A title arned after letting one very unexpectedly loud one go while his parents – who live overseas – were in the next room. Still cringing now.
    2. Trumpet Trousers – when the oh-so musical ones come out, reminiscent of a jazz trumpet.

  • arushingmd

    too. much. laughter. can’t breathe.

  • Suzipoop

    laughing so hard at work, i could not anwser the phone…..thank you for your consistent use of bodily functions to amuse me…

    and who doesnt fart at the gym? is that not impossible? squeezing one out while bearing down on weights….i challenge you. :)

  • http://www.notforsheep.org oldmusic5902

    Thank you for the laugh. Between this and “painful pooper goes to the ER” story… well, you’re the best.

    (I read medical records daily, and I am having a great time imagining what the med staff wrote in the chart for your cousin’s visit.)

    I say that one of these days you have to visit Constipation Ridge in Tennesee… which, I’m informed by the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association Journal, is located on Farfrompoopen Rd. And then you have to write a story about it. Or, at least take pictures of it.

    By the way, don’t you ever have problems with the, uh, other end? Like being a compulsive burper? Or something? Just wondering…

  • http://crazymadmomma.blogspot.com DDM

    *Snort!* I just peed a little I was laughing so hard. You KILL me with the funny!!!!!!!!

  • MissKitty

    Hahahahaha. This reminds me of my friend Louise, who finally managed to score a date with the hottest guy in her office. During dinner, he told her a joke or said something funny, and she laughed so hard that she farted. As soon as she realized that he’d heard it, she started to cry. They live together now. :) I don’t know what’s funnier – the farting, or the crying.

  • http://spiritspeaks.blogspot.com sravana

    OH. MY. GOD.

    Heather, this is why I lurrrrve you!
    Just try eating dinner while reading that.

    hahahaha!

  • http://tseliot@whatthethundersaid tseliot

    I am lol-ing.
    I nearly choked to my death
    on a Hot Tamale.
    Worth it, though. My near death for this P. F. story.

  • David

    During the summer, the univeristy I attended hosted many summer programs. A couple of us walked to the cafetieria for lunch and our friend let out a loud rip as we crossed in front of a bunch of elementary-aged children. Of course they laughed uproariously. Then another friend in our group yelled, “Careful kids she’s a public farter!” Needless to say it took a while for her to live that down. If she ever has. But we loved her all the more.

  • http://givingmommy.typepad.com/giving_mommy katem9579

    Oh my. That is so hilarious. I also had a laugh just then that I havent had in many many months. Thank you. I totally get what you mean about Jon laughing. The farting we all have been there and done the same thing. Crunchies or any activity with your butt in that position enables the farting process and will blow anyone nearby to shreds. Its ok we have all been there and done that and no matter how many times it happens it is equally embarrasing every time!

  • http://brewedstrongdaily.blogspot.com espressobean04

    Hysterical. Thank you so much for the laugh.

    My worst public farting experience was actually way back when I was a freshman in college, and I went to visit my friend at Michigan State. We drank lots of Zima that night, which I can’t believe we didn’t consider too putrid to ingest, but I digress. I’ve since learned that malt liquor in general makes me fart. Loud. So you know how it is when people live in dorms. Everyone stays in the same room, because that’s just what you do. So this guy I was dating stayed too. And in this room with about 6 people in it, I fell asleep and farted so loudly that it woke me up. And when I woke up, I realized without too much trouble what woke me up because the whole room was laughing. This repeated a good three or four times, and then I was too mortified to relax so I sat up all night quelching farts.

  • http://leftygrrrl.com leftygrrrl

    I’m just recovering from a brutal migraine and in my vicodin-induced haze, that was the funniest thing ever. A blood vessel in my frontal lobe may have burst from the explosive laughter.

  • just jill

    You just made my whole day… I haven’t laughed like that in days!

  • susies

    Nothing undoes me like a good fart story. Nothing. I am exhausted. I haven’t laughed that hard in years, I swear. I want to read it again, but my nose is running, my stomach muscles hurt and I’m coughing up a lung – you know how you do that after an incredibly deep, long, cleansing laugh? You’re like a lung emetic. Thanks!

  • http://www.thedrisin.blogspot.com dre

    I went to a beginning pilates class awhile back, someone let one rip, I busted up laughing and the teacher looked at ME like I had done something wrong. It’s a sad world when people stop laughing at farts!! Who thinks farts aren’t funny!?

  • Lora

    I can’t even tell you how much I love your blog. This entry made me laugh out loud and reminded me of the woman who works out right behind me in an exercise class. At least once every two weeks she lets one rip that can probably be heard on the other side of the gym. Always during our ab routine. It makes me laugh silently every time, trying to keep going as if nothing happened, and not embarrass her any further. And having a 4 year old son, farts around our house are something to be proud of. He gets immense joy out of hearing his mom fart, so I indulge him every chance I get!

  • http://www.auntyjaney.blogspot.com Jane-Marie

    Hysterical!! I’m always worried that will happen to me when I go for my brazillian!

  • http://www.journeyingthroughit.squarespace.com Beverlee

    Heather if you ever stop, THAT’S when you’ll have to start worrying!

  • JustDerek

    The thing I relate most to is that paradoxical moment – profound personal embarrassment counterbalanced by the delight of pure, undeniable hilarity, even at your own expense. That kind of stalemate happens to me more often than I’d care to admit.

    Similar predicament: I’m in physical therapy for a back injury sustained in a car accident. Lately I’ve found that it sucks to be unable to enjoy the massage therapy portion of the appointment because I’m concentrating too hard on suppressing a gaseous blast from my ass.

    That’s it – let the fartecdotes continue.

  • http://www.youlikeashley.com Ashley

    This? This is why the Internet exists. Thank you.

  • Michelle

    OH CRAP!!!! That is such a great story. Every word woven to perfection. Tears of laughter have soiled my cheeks…………..too funny, Heather. Farts are an unspoken fact of life. We all have are moments. There are the proud farters, the secret and ashamed farters, and then the liars that say they “do not” fart.

    I personally am a mix between proud and ashamed. It depends on the company.

    Thanks for making me laugh today!

  • http://jezewhiz.blogspot.com Jezer

    Oh Holy Hell that was funny. You poor thing.

  • Heather

    LOL ohh nooo! ok seriously Heather, and anyone else that loves Britney and her boobs, please go to pinkisthenewblog.com – he posts Brit everyday and its hilar…never mind the fact that some of his comments are really true and funny

  • Deer Luv

    Whatever. I totally queefed so loud in yoga class that I wished it had been a fart.

    True story. :)

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/kristenco Kristen in Colorado

    Ok, GIGANTIC GYM GAS aside, why is it that husbands have to giggle over farts like they’re little children? When I fart, there’s nothing funny about it… it just is what it is. When my husband farts, it’s repulsive. Yet, these two events can make a grown man giggle like a little girl.

  • schadenfreudette

    this is the main reason i quit working with a personal trainer. he made me do pelvic thrusts and i actually farted on him. it was memorable to say the least.

  • http://www.blissfulreminders.blogspot.com/ katbliss

    This is my worst nightmare. Thanks for the laugh.

  • http://www.chocklate.blogspot.com Meepers

    Oh Heather!

    Anyone who gets 100 + comments for Public Flatulence: Pretty darn funny in my book. I recently had a similar experience, to wit:

    How to Embarass Yourself for the Better Portion of the Evening:

    Accidentally, ummm.. poot, aloud within earshot of not one, but TWO Italian guys* and your husband**. Outside. Loudly.

    *Who could only be described in ringing adjectives like “Multo benne!” and “Con piacere!” and “Ohh la-la!” Sorry, that is not Italin at all, but… Aforementioned people are conversing at elevated volumes with each other and a third party (on the phone), in beautiful, melliflous Italian. You will never, ever see them again in your life, and they are gorgeous, HOTT and European. And we all know Euro = Automatically Classy. Right?

    **Shouldn’t that be in reverse order? Actually, I think not, because anyone who has held your hair back for, ahem, hygenic reasons… Can not be totally appalled by a stray toot.

    You’re not alone – as you can see. poooot!

  • http://www.ill-noise.com Pete

    Don’t you hate when you try to muffle a fart by coughing, but you mistime it horribly, so when you fart, the cough comes a half-second too late? So it’s like: “FAAAART,cough!”

    Not cool.

  • http://kimbanelson.blogspot.com/ dancingnancy

    HIL.AR.IOUS.

  • jaroenke47

    I love your posts!
    I knew I would marry my husband when I realized he wasn’t embarassed by my tooting with every step while went running together along the Potomic. We are a fart friendly household.
    Thank you for keeping this Navy wife sane. I am so glad I caught my fiance (now hubby)cracking up at your site 2 years ago! I’ve been hooked ever since.

  • Dirty Librarian

    So, we recently had a gala party at work for the bigwigs. We peons were all required to attend and share in the hostly duties. I was, to put it mildly, a bit gassy that evening. Several times over the course of the evening I surreptitiously backed into a large potted plant to let loose a silent chemical attack. I swear, I watched that plant wither under the onslaught. I was thankful not only for the miraculously unusual silence, but also for my innocent face. Everyone around knew what happened, but no one pinned the deed on me. And that plant has never been the same since. Thank you, and goodnight.

  • Renae

    Oh my goodness, that was hilarious!

    Two fart stories:

    When I was about Leta’s age when ever my dad was holding me in a crowded room I’d wait until no one was looking at me and then I’d let out a loud fart or burp, then I’d say in a scandalized voice “Daddy!”. No one ever believed that such a sweet, angelic looking little girl could make such noises.

    One night when I was at my boyfriend’s place I excused my self to go to the bathroom. It was really quite in the appartment, the roommate wasn’t home, the tv was off, no background noise whatsoever. So of course, right as I was about to stand up I farted directly in to the toilet which served as an echo chamber, making what was quite possibly the loudest fart of my life even louder. This was followed by about 3 seconds of ringing silence before he started cracking up. He still gets the giggles sometimes remembering it.

  • http://www.flummel.com/ee Karan

    I always worry that I’ll fart in my doctor’s face just as she’s giving me a pap smear.

  • mm

    OMG, that was a great entry today! You cracked me up. I know the people in my office must think I am crazy! First your entry was so funny, but then the comments have been quite entertaining as well.

    Thanks for a wonderful blog! I read it everyday, and have told so many people about it. Keep up the great work. Have fun at the convention.

  • Lindsey

    Heather… that was a fantastic post. I laughed so hard, then sighed at how sweet you and Jon are, and then read the comments, and laughed more.
    I used to be a silent farter, and I have now evolved into my mother, meaning I can alternate between stepping on a duck, or the trumbone farts… It’s all in the delivery.

  • http://jenniam.com jennIam

    Tears are rolling down my face. Laughter. It hurts!

  • http://jennnster.blogspot.com jennster

    BWAHAHHAHA- good lord woman, i should not be allowed to laugh this fucking hard at work! HAHAHAH! stop farting in public!

  • http://biggaysam.com Sam Merrill

    Everyone here at work laughed really really hard. Thanks, we needed that. :P

  • elle

    I can’t count the number of times I have burst out laughing while sitting at my desk reading your posts! Thank you so much for that.

    You and your husband are so lucky to have each other. I am thankful for my wonderful husband every day – I only wish I could express it as well as you do.

    BTW, I am happy you can support yourself with this blog! Shame on anyone who tries to make you feel bad for making a living with your writing.

  • http://www.mymothersfault.com mymothersfault

    Yeah, this basically happened to me EVERY SINGLE DAY in gym class throughout middle school. At least until I started faking injuries to get out of gym class.

  • brandy

    Atleast it smelled like roses….

  • http://www.momonawire.com mom on a wire

    I love that your farts reveal his soul in a magical way. There is something very MARRIED about that.

  • kcbelles

    Too funny! And I can relate – one of the treasures imparted upon me by my parental units is excessive flatuance. My SO is always teasing me that I come with sound effects.

    I like to think that the good Lord has a wicked sense of humor – She has to have, in order to have thought of farting – lol!

  • Chloe

    Lawyerish, you are so on the money. First marriage, husband and I never farted in front of one another. Six months after the divorce was final, I met the man who became my second husband, and he farted from day one. I eventually caved and now hold the record in our house for the longest fart duration (about 20 seconds – he was so impressed – the Energizer bunny fart). My favorite trick is to fart in a grocery store aisle while shopping with him and then making a quick getaway so everyone thinks it was him.

  • http://www.locura.etsy.com Dilara

    Have you ever gone to yoga? Fart City.

  • http://vaguelyurban.typepad.com Demery Ryan

    If stuff like that happened at my gym, I’d go a lot more often! Gyms just aren’t funny.

  • heather j

    Most of the posters here missed the deep, meaningful intent of your post. That being; you connected with Jon on an intense, primeval level– and that making him laugh is one of the joys of your life and the primary reason for your existence.

    Am I close?

  • Nat W.

    That was great. Thank you.

    Once in 3rd grade, on my last day of school there (we moved a month before the end of the school year) I totally let one rip. Everyone looks around like, “Who was that??” And then my best friend goes, “It was Natalie!!” Yeah, thanks, man. At least I didn’t have to go and face them the next day…