A Talent for Stepping on Ducks
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 98 15:17:17 -0800
Subject: A Talent for Stepping on Ducks
Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Forwarded-by: "John P. Kole" <email@example.com>
I'm what's known, in technical terms, as a fartmonger. I'm a regular
pneumaticist. A sea captain plying the waters of life with my jib filled
by the nether zephyr. The one of whom they speak when it is said, "he who
smelt it dealt it." What can I say? It's a gift. Some people are great
at doing long division. I have a talent for stepping on ducks.
My wife, on the other hand, does not share my enthusiasm for the "sweet
silence of booting" (a term coined by Pierce Egan and later bastardized to
apply to boxing). I don't remember exactly at what point in our courtship
I first broke wind in her presence. Probably on the second date. I think
she cried -- and not the happy, "aw, look, they made Schindler a ring from
their gold fillings to show their appreciation" kind of cry, either. In
point of fact, My Fair Lady has maintained for years that she herself does
not flatulate. Having no evidence to the contrary, I believed her.
That all changed exactly one month ago. My Fair Lady and I were wrestling
on the living-room floor. It was a best-of-three-falls, no-holds-barred
contest. She had fronted the professional-wrestling alliance known as the
New World Order, and I was showing her just how ill-advised a move that was
on her part, putting the old triple-suflex death leg lock on her, waiting
for her to take it back, when she farted. Just like that.
Normally I'd spare you these details, but because it was such a remarkable
event, such a pivotal moment in our relationship, I will say that her
outburst sounded something like: Pheelpre.
We abruptly stopped wrestling. I looked at her in disbelief.
"You farted," I said.
"Did not," she said.
But she knew she had been caught. From the second the shot rang out, it
was clear from whence it had come. No possibility of a second shooter on
"Oh yes you did, too," I said. "I distinctly heard it. You, Ma'am, are
now a convicted farter. This will go down on your permanent record."
And the evidence grew more damning as we sat there on the living-room floor.
We pneumaticists analyze such events with something called the Ideal Gas
Equation, which is PV=nRT, where P is pressure, V is volume, n is the number
of gas molecules, R is a constant (the Ideal Gas Constant), and T is
temperature (in Kelvin, by the way). You'll agree with me when I say that
this is one heuristically powerful equation.
But so anyway, I plugged some of My Fair Lady's data into the Ideal Gas
Equation and discovered that her pheelpre flat out stank -- as in, to high
heaven. You're familiar with the expression "crazy as a shit-house rat"?
Hers was the odor that sane rats fear.
And the thing is, My Fair Lady's first fart (on record, anyway -- I now have
my doubts) seems to have signaled the opening of her sluice gate. That
pheelpre was the sound of her stay-fresh seal coming off, her pop top
popping. She's been at it ever since, chasing down barking spiders with a
zeal and conviction seldom seen in the extermination business.
Now she just announces it. I came home from work the other day. "Hello,
baby," I said. "I just farted," she said. Then she handed me a press
For immediate release:
DALLAS -- My Fair Lady is pleased to announce that she just farted.
Right here. In the living room. The flatulence occurred at
approximately 7:32 p.m. Its aftermath is expected to last until
7:35 p.m. Said My Fair Lady, "whew, I feel a lot better." No
additional farts are scheduled for this evening, but that is subject
to change. For more information, contact your local authorities.
Now, some husbands might despair at witnessing this gastrointestinal shift,
figuring that unabashed farting from their betrothed means the love is gone.
They hear a pheelpre, and, to those husbands, it is the sound of the
trumpets bringing down the walls of their marriage.
Not me. I see My Fair Lady's new found peristaltic prowess as a sign of
great things to come. I love her today even more than I did when I proposed
to her. Our future together is truly open-ended.
© 1998 Peter Langston