I have a little problem (or so I am told). You see, the moment I start consuming ANYTHING, I start building up wind in (what feels like) my diaphragm cavity. It has been so bad – especially after a good, late Sunday braai – that I twist and turn in my bed at night, thinking that my ticket has expired and the wolves have come to fetch me to spend an eternity far away in the bright light up in the sky. I usually slip silently out of bed and jump up and down in the bathroom to relieve a huge belch, which echoes through the structure of my house, waking my wife and sending the dogs outside to look for shelter.
My doctor advised me to ease a bit on the garlic, onions, cabbage and all the other good stuff in life, if I didn’t want to become a puffer (As in puffer fish – hugely bloated when agitated). Needless to say, I didn’t follow his advice because I know I have to just chew a little longer, take care to get the oxygen and alcohol mixture right when ingesting my favourite beverage and basically breathe like I used to do while running the elusive three hour marathon (rhythmic stuff which I could teach after helping to bring two children into daylight, bringing a few loved ones to the peak of thrill or swinging an axe for an hour or two, which I do not want to bore you with…).
Somehow, during my adolescence, I became very interested in the life and times of Herr Adolf Hitler. Maybe it was the way he managed to swing a people into believing his BS or maybe just because the people could be swung by a psycho coke sniffer, fact is – I was interested. While reading a biography, it was stated that this guy suffered from “gross flatulence” – well, bowl me over with a soggy cricket ball – no wonder it took them so long to root out the little Brazilian cut moustached Corporal of WW1. He was full of wind and made as if it was another substance altogether! The same (I found) could be related to Miss Britney Spears. It seems Britney was diagnosed with Flatulencia Explotatta, a “deadly flatulence disease”, which seems to be uncontrollable and can “surface” anytime - even on stage. Hence Brrrritney’s hit “Toxic” in 2004…
Now when we were youngish, us bored boys would get together and wonder what to do next, or where to ride the bicycles to next, or which teacher’s house to pester next. We’d sit around in one guy’s parent’s living room and come up with the “fart lighting” trick. While three blue flames among six boys brought laughter and burned underpants (and some bum fluff), the other three felt a bit dejected because their methane mixture was not susceptible to ignition. It stood to reason (then already) that the real humming release of wind was the potent, flammable one.
Enter my nemesis. My dearly beloved, respected, spectacled and (sometimes) feared mother of all in-laws. As we exchanged pleasantries in the kitchen, we each took a bowl of salad and our drinks, and headed out back toward the centre of the Sunday attraction: chicken on the Weber. Being still of sober mind (excluding body), I let her have the lead as the custom prescribes, through the passage, when my ma let rip – not once, not twice but THREE times. If I had a cigarette lit my home would have been ruins in three major explosions. Man! – Hitler, Britney, my youth and Armageddon flashed before my eyes!
This is a god fearing woman who sits (albeit on a cushion of air) in church every Sunday, managing to clutch a sphincter of 74 years of age to prevent any accidental leakage of the expulsion of flatus, comfortably bombarding my home with highly flammable toxins, and does not even bat an eye?
There is hope in this story. It goes out to anyone who regards themselves as “old farts”. You may be older than me, you may have issues I have not caught up to yet but one thing is for sure – there is no beating my ma when it comes to flatulence. Except maybe for a miner from Ermelo – “silly old fart” is just a concept all on its own.
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