Today is Cami’s 24th birthday, and you should probably see what she’s wearing today. That right there is the embodiment of the spirit that we spend years trying to instill in our children and in ourselves, that it doesn’t matter one whit what anyone else thinks. Put on that ridiculous dress because life is fucking beautiful and no one gets to tell you otherwise.

One small Cami-related anecdote: Chuck is friendly with everyone who walks through the front door, at least for the first two minutes. Then he disappears for hours at a time to write potions and scratch holes in any uncovered, valuable cushion. But there are certain women he cannot leave alone, women he will follow around quietly and loyally. Cami is one one of them, and whenever she visits he will eagerly wait for her to sit down so that he can delicately rest his face in her lap and bat his eyelashes as if something that charming is going to make me forget about the giant hole he dug into the couch THAT ASSHOLE.

Last week I had given him a stick of string cheese because I temporarily lost my mind and forgot that any treat gives him a case of gas so bad that I could just aim his butt at a brick wall to knock it down.

Cami had been at the house for a few hours, and she and I were sitting at opposite ends of the couch in the living room. Chuck suddenly wandered in and walked right over to her, sat down next to her crossed legs and waited for a pause in our conversation. He then seized that pause to express a pocket of gas so large that it rose slowly like a thought bubble out from under his tail. It said, “Ffffffrrrrreeeeee!!!!”

Cami couldn’t see for a couple of seconds and then she stumbled through the stench to a chair across the room. Chuck followed her loyally and sat down next to her again.

“WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING?!” she screamed.

“Cami,” I said, my voice hushed and reverent. “He gave you his fart. He gave you his fart.