Every family has a culture and in my little family of four, the main current of our culture is laughter.
We are a funny bunch. Sarcasm and mockery reign supreme in the walls of our home. Slapstick comedy is encouraged. Potty humour is where I draw the line.
I realize this makes me a killjoy at times, but I don’t see the need to discuss bodily functions, particularly at the dinner table; nor do I see the purpose of encouraging gastric noises for the benefit of others in the room.
Just because we all experience gas doesn’t mean I need to celebrate it publicly. Of course, I’m sensitive to potty jokes. When you’ve lived with a lifetime of food intolerance issues, you fail to see the humour for the memory of the countless mad sprints you’ve endured in public locales just to find the restroom.
Also, I did not grow up in a house where someone grabbed the newspaper following a bottom-bomb eruption and fanned the air just to arouse the laughter of those in attendance. And I assure you that any references to toots in my childhood had better have been in regard to trains or car horns, and not to posterior exhalations. And if one of our crazy uncles asked us kids to pull his finger, we looked at him in such a way that suggested we knew how to dial 911 and report his inappropriate behaviour. Freaks.
So recently, when the Carpenter let one rip during post-dinner conversation, I was horrified. The sound erupted with such velocity, I was afraid he’d actually cracked the kitchen chair in half.
“That is disgusting,” I said. “What is the matter with you?”
The kids were silent, unsure if they should laugh or not.
With a grin of mock innocence, the Carpenter replied, “What? I can’t control the volume!”
And with that, they were off, the three members of my family doubled over in a tailspin of laughter beyond anyone’s control.
The first trumpet blast was bad enough, but by the third airspace assault, I was thoroughly grossed out. In my opinion, we had passed the point of excusable and gone straight to deplorable. It’s like the Carpenter was performing as a circus sideshow freak. My insistence that he stop only set the family further into side-splitting laughter – not so much at his behaviour as my reaction to it. There was no stopping the crazy train.
The Carpenter looked almost proud of himself, like he had achieved something great. Like somehow he just went up another rung of the ladder in the world of guy achievements.
You can take a Carpenter out of the construction site, but you can’t take the construction site out of the Carpenter. I was gobsmacked by the incredulous nature of the man I had committed my life to. I was equally mortified that our offspring had followed suit, with the boy child’s gas imitations and the girl burping the alphabet with incredible accuracy.
By the time our eyes met and the Carpenter realized I was genuinely disgusted, I saw that sparkle of mischief in his eyes. My disdain had only fanned the flames of his amusement sky high.
What is it they say? If you can’t beat them, join them? Gross.
Writing has been my passion since I learned how to hold a pencil (which I still cannot do properly). Despite my father’s insistence that I would starve to death in this career, I remain well fed and eager to write more. They say you should do what you love: I love to write.