The scene of some odiferous crimes
Say what you will about taking a bullet for your beloved or walking through flames for your paramour; I say: Can you fart in front of each other?
When Bjorn and I first started dating, we actually had a conversation about this topic. Or rather, he said, “Let’s never fart in front of each other.” About three days later, he broke this convention — LOUDLY.
Since then, the emission of pernicious fumes in front of each other has been free and a continued source of humor and occasional gagging.
I have been known to emit gases so unpleasant that one unfortunate sniffer said with sincere horror, “It smells like death.” Not that Bjorn is any better. With him, it’s more than just “breaking wind”- it’s breaking your face, maybe even the ecosystem within a one-mile radius.
So we’re a terrible tooting team, but it’s been OK as most of the funk releasing has been contained to private spaces (mostly the bed, after which there is vigorous flapping of the sheets; or the car, after which there is loud and exaggerated protests and dramatic rolling down of windows). Any public flatulence is reserved for wide-open, sparsely populated, well-ventilated spaces.
We were eating dinner in my break room. The break room is fairly large, and traffic through the room is occasional; it’s rare to have more than 2 people in the room at the same time. Lingering time is minimal; most people pick up a snack or microwave something and are out the door in less than 5 minutes.
I don’t know what it was—maybe the sandwich I’d had earlier, the four cookies, something in the quinoa we were now eating—but I released a fart so foul it actually brought tears to the eyes.
Bjorn and I laughed about it and did the requisite fake vomiting noises. But before we could begin to flap the odor away, disaster struck: Someone I knew came in and started talking to us.
Had the air cleared yet? Was the smell still lingering? I tried to surreptitiously shift more weight onto my bottom, hoping to contain any leaks. Bjorn and I kept our game faces on and tried to hold a normal conversation, but without any eye contact lest we break into peals of hysterical laughter.
The conversation seemed to be going smoothly. Maybe my co-worker didn’t smell anything. Maybe the stench had dissipated. I started to relax…until someone else walked into the room and then promptly opened the sliding doors to go stand outside while microwaving his food.
Bjorn, the smooth operator that he is, stood up, and in doing so subtly led the person we were talking to away from the stench.
He’s a good man.
But I still say the real act of true love would have been for him to openly address the odiferant offense — and then claim it as his own.
Jammie Karlman is the entertainment editor for the Chico Enterprise-Record. Contact her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @JammieKarlman