A Stranger Passing Gas

One day at the grocery store, a man and his wife were in my aisle. The man passed gas; it was loud.

The wife, visibly embarrassed, whispered to her man. He turns and looks me straight in the eye and says “I don’t give a fuck!”

I considered his response abrasive, but normal for an inconsiderate Samaritan. I said nothing. I have never felt as loud and proud about my public farts as this guy.

This is just nature at work … nothing to be ashamed of, right? Coincidentally, I was once the stranger passing gas — also in a grocery store.

If you’re anything like me, when you feel nature calling and you are in a public space, a good Samaritan always seeks a secluded space (so as not to spoil our fellow human’s air quality).

On this particular day I found the perfect empty aisle. I entered it and released the silent fury.

At mid-fart, a family with two toddlers turns the corner into my aisle. They were coming toward me.

I was hoping the mom would realize they needed nothing in my aisle and turn around back the way they came. But it wasn’t happening. And its not like I can yell “Leave Now! It’s not safe!”

My heart started to pound. I pretended to look busy, picking up a box of something and reading the ingredients. I felt my face flush from shame. This only comes from people who know their farts are more vile than 90% of the earth’s population.

In an aggressive move, the pungent cloud of death managed to permeate the entire aisle, possibly even spilling into the neighboring aisle.

The family passes me … we’re past each other … the toddler daughter makes an observation and casually alerts Mom and Dad, “Someone farted.”

There was no way in hell I was going to turn around and make eye contact. I just listened nervously, wishing I had eyes in the back of my head. The parents were silent.

Agitated from being ignored, the daughter ramped it up, “Mommy, Daddy … someone farted.”

I turned my head ever so slightly to assess the situation from my peripheral vision. Mom and Dad were laughing hysterically and were, just like in a silent film, giving hand signals to their daughter to shut the hell up.

The hand signals weren’t being received — or interpreted. In a final desperate plea, she yells at the top of her lungs, “Mommy, Daddy, someone farted!”


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