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Friday, May 3, 2013

Farting is funny

My mom hated farting.  My mom wouldn't let us use the word fart.  If we laughed when dad farted, mom would say, "then you can sit in the bathroom next time your dad is taking a crap." 

Yes, that was my mom.  She never farted.  Well, she did, we just never heard it.  Dad farted.  That's how you knew dad was up in the morning: you'd hear that loud fart.  And we'd try to fart like that too, but our little bodies couldn't produce such a loud noise.  Maybe that's why it was so funny to us.

I remember staying up late at night when I'd sleep with my brothers in their rooms, and we'd be giggling so hard because we were all farting.  We'd be up half the night because our tummies would hurt so bad from farting. 

Now that I'm an adult my kids think the same about my farts as I did about my dads.  The first thing in the morning I fart, mainly because dad did it and it was cool then.  Like my mom, my wife frowns on this, although she's not as hard up against it as my mom.  Yes, believe it or not, my wife farts too, and it's okay when she does it.

Oh, and did I tell you my mom hated the word fart.  We had to call it "passing gas."  That seems so dull, but it's how it was.  Dad did not fart, he passed gas.  Now it's okay to say fart.  My kids say fart all the time.  Fart was one of the first words my two year old son learned.  Even he laughs. 

And, yes, we fart in the hospital too. Many times I walk into a patient's room and toot, so many times I can't remember them all (who'd want to).  I've heard nurses and patients fart too. But nurses want patients to fart, so it's okay.  Nurses love farting more than anyone in the world.  Only to nurses farting isn't so funny.  It's not funny because it's part of the job.

Nurses are perhaps the people in the world who become apathetic to farts, and the smell.  Well, I supposed nurses aides also get used to that smell.  They smell it so often they don't even notice it; or at least they don't acknowledge noticing it. Many times I've walked down a stinky hall, and I wince and plug my nose, but the nurses and aides are just sitting there going about their business.  It's like they don't even notice the stink  It has to be because they are apathetic to it; they smell it so often they don't even notice it.  Or, better yet, they develop a tolerance to it; nurses are fart tolerant.

So you toot and then you squeeze your cheeks to prevent any more gas from escaping, and you continue along as though no one heard you.  But you know they did.  Sometimes if you figure you were obvious enough, you might apologize and excuse yourself from the room.  But mostly you just keep going as though nothing happened, hoping no one noticed -- but you know they did.

Yeah, and everyone else does the same thing.  And sometimes I fart silently in a room with a ventilator, and then I snicker at the nurses station as I watch the nurses turning the patient to change his britches.  And then I snicker louder as the nurses find nothing.  They never catch on.  They never catch on unless I think they can take a joke and then I tell them.  Then we all laugh until our tummies ache. 

Yes, farting is normal. It's nothing to be embarrassed about.  It's not something to pretend doesn't exist.  So it's something to be laughed at.  Farting is funny.  (The Happy Hospitalist thinks farting is funny too).

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