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“My God Brandy, what did you eat?” came the plaintiff cry from the living room.

I rushed from the kitchen to find the Contrarian cringing on the corner of the sofa, desperately pressing a corner of the afghan to his nose, looking at the dog with horror.

“She’s worse than a buzzard, you know that,” I offer. “A buzzard has some discrimination in what it will eat. She has none. Probably deer poop.”

Then it hits me too, and I back away. “That’s not bad breath. . . it’s. . .it’s. . . ,” we both chime in unison “A FART!!!!”

We jump into action. “Get outside!” Brandy observes this all with calm and her usual joyous reaction–wagging of the tail.” “GET OUT!” we scream.

The Contrarian whimpers, still pressing the synthetic fibers of cheap yarn to his nose, “turn on the fan!”

We are not entirely sure if one can survive a Brandy attack. The fart molecules from her butt seem to capture every last oxygen atom and smother it. We have seen small animals commit suicide rather than take a breath, nay their very lungs refused to trigger an inhale reflex. IT IS JUST THAT BAD.

Bear, meanwhile, continues to sleep peaceably a few feet away. Although he is not one to pass the gas, as they say, he has no such alarm at the fumes that envelope the living room. Dogs apparently stick together in what they consider perfume. And, after all, he never misses an opportunity to stick his cold nose as close to a cat butt as possible when they pass him by.

Farting is a time-honored activity here in the meadow. I was not so advised before I came, and with good reason. Women do not fart–not publicly at least. We are civilized, and save such delicate bodily activity for the privacy (read that with a British pronunciation please) of our boudoir where such things should be done. Read ALONE!

I’m fairly certain that all living creatures which have an entrance and exit body part, fart. Butterflies undoubtedly do, and penguins too. Fish do, one only has to look over a body of water and see the bubbles to know this. 

Eskimos do it, and giggle when they do. Germans make mean-faces. The British do it and swear they didn’t. Royalty doesn’t of course, it’s in their contract of employment. The French, do it only around foreigners, and then do it with their nose in the air, avoiding the pungent aroma. Italians do it and claim it’s romantic, which it most definitely is not.

God made us to not be offended at our own fart odors, in fact we almost like them. This seems backward to me, but probably is meant to encourage us to engage in the practice ALONE. It has the bad effect of making us think that our chit don’t, errrr, smell like cooked cabbage and old fish which has been on the counter for three days.

Children think it’s fun to fart, and do it often. I recall one fine summer’s night up north, when my cousin and I, both pre-teen engaged in a contest of sorts, after having been put to bed. “Bombs over Tokyo!” we whispered in glee, with each masterful phffft. “Put on all gas masks!” the other retorted. Our parents soon put an end to our fun, but I think I recall a giggle from the other room in retelling the tale of our game.

The Contrarian is a master farter, able to pull off both the audible version and the silent. They are used for different purposes. “Never suppress,” he argues, “it’s bad for your health!” More an excuse than anything, I’ve had occasion to remove the debris from the couch a time or two, sure that one of his masterpieces has left a smoking hole in the couch where his cheeks squeezed one off.

After such a violent and noisy explosion, he tends to look over at me, grinning slightly, as if I’m sitting there with a decibel reader and a stop watch. Instead he sees a woman with a most pained expression. He’s taken to uttering, “OOPS,” on such occasions, as if they are inadvertent. They, of course are not.

The silent expulsion is reserved for bed. There we are, lying in repose, me half-lidded as I listen to the melodious and humorous tones of Jon Stewart wafting from the TV. Suddenly, my eye lids retract at lightening speed, causing skid marks across my irises. My eyes bulge, my neck snaps in an unhealthy backward motion, and I slam the blankets between us, desperate to confine the horror under the covers.

He starts to giggle, trying that “oops” thing again, while I rage on in agony. This is certainly not funny. I’ve had to start wearing goggles and a neck brace to bed for protection.

He of course, tries to defend himself, and has the nerve to claim that I too, in my sleep mind you! also express flatulence. He claims to have run scrambling from the bed, eyes streaming tears, running out into the snow to gasp for fresh air.

As I said, ladies do no such thing. And, even if I did, the scent is anything but malodorous, it has no fetid properties at all. I should know, I checked.