October 6, 2020 – Who cut the cheese?

Some of you might think I’m referring to actual cheese. You know, types like gorgonzola, brie, cheddar, provolone, pepper jack and the like. The rest of you know exactly what I’m talking about. You likely do what I tend to do when a particular song by the Cranberries comes on the radio, crack a smile and try not to burst out laughing. Who the hell came up with that song title anyway? “Let it Linger.” I think they must have a pretty sick sense of humor! Ok, ok, I’ll stop beating around the bush and be direct with you. Today’s topic is all about farts. I come from a very large family with 5 brothers that had no problem whatsoever engaging in that ‘practice’, so it’s not surprising that this left an indelible image in my brain and I find myself compelled to discuss it with you today.

Farting was a source of entertainment and amusement in our household. If one person did it, it was almost like a challenge to the rest. One person expelling gas would then lead to another and yet another, each one longer or louder, until someone was crowned champion. “Who cut the cheese?” was a daily saying in our home. There are so many ways to refer to it. Breaking Wind, Poot, Toot, Crop Dusting, Barking Spider and might I also add, Silent but Deadly. Have to ask. Was Katy Perry aware of the meaning when she critiqued one of the contestants on American Idol and referred to him as ‘Silent but Deadly’?! When it happened, I looked over at my husband and said, “Did she really just say that? She just insulted that guy by referring to him as the worst, most insidious, smelly fart known to man!” I just about fell off my chair! I wonder what that poor guy was thinking at the time? He didn’t let on that he knew, but maybe he’s able to compose himself better than most. By the way, I cannot recall his name but he sang really great.

Back to my family. I would love to say it was only my brothers that engaged in this daily activity and that they came up with it all on their own, but that would exclude my mom from this whole story, and I have to give credit where credit is due. By that, I mean, my mom was the QUEEN when it came to farts! That woman could/can fart like no other person on this planet. She can fart longer than most people can hold their breath underwater, and I’m not even kidding about this. How this is possible is beyond explanation. Of course, she does enjoy having lots of fibrous vegetables with her meals and that probably doesn’t help. I have learned through trial and error to avoid serving her anything that contains broccoli or cabbage as it will ultimately lead to a fart-fest. As much as I enjoy laughing at her expense, at a point it just becomes downright gross and embarrassing.

When we’ve gone out shopping after dining together, nothing is more off-putting than when I’m looking through a clothes rack and there are people nearby, and my mom decides to let out one of her award-winning farts. I have become an expert at making myself scarce as a result of this. Would you want to associate yourself with that? Sorry, not me. Anyway, I just don’t understand it. It’s like a scientific anomaly. Even more astounding is that she can carry on a conversation while engaging in this activity! Several years ago, my husband and I stayed with her while in-between houses. My mother asked if we’d enjoy some hot tea, which we readily agreed. And ‘it’ started and ‘it’ continued and ‘it’ lasted from the time that she reached for the mugs that were located on top of the refrigerator, set them down on the counter and filled both up to the brim WHILE carrying on a conversation at the same time.

How can this be???!!! My poor husband had to leave the room. When I glanced over at him as he stood in the room adjacent, he was doubled over laughing, tears rolling down his cheeks. I stayed put but that just about finished me off. Farting and talking at the same time? That is almost death defying! You have to have some serious skills!! That’s like having a conversation with the guy on the track beside you while you’re sprinting the 100 meter dash. I just have to shake my head. Anyway, Mom, if you’re reading this, I apologize. I doubt that’s the legacy you want to leave behind. But isn’t it better to be remembered for something that made people laugh rather than the alternative?

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