Tuesday, January 30, 2007

that inner warmth

On some level, we worry about social faux pas. I remember once eating dinner with my buddy Steve at his folks' place-- this was back in junior high or high school-- and while I was saying something to Steve's mother, a chunk of food flew out of my mouth and landed almost in the middle of the table. That was about the only thing I could remember about the evening, so embarrassed was I.

I've also blogged before about flecks of spit and the occasional random booger flying out of my orifices during class. These problems seem to occur with increasing frequency as I get older.

But I had never before committed a faux pas quite like the one I made this evening. I was walking back from dinner at a restaurant near campus, and had entered Smoo's underground parking garage. The garage is the final stretch before my particular building, and I only rarely encounter people walking in the opposite direction. Not seeing anyone before me, I decided to cut a massive fart. It billowed comfortably upward inside my Michelin Man-style black winter coat, radically altering my infrared signature.

About halfway through my walk, a woman popped out of a side entrance and arrowed purposefully toward me. I recognized her as a certain Dr. Yang, a woman who had constantly badgered a former coworker of mine for proofreading assistance. Dr. Yang marched right up to me and asked whether I would be willing to take over my coworker's proofreading job. I kept my poker face on and replied in a grave and sober manner to her questions and remarks, conscious all the while of the billowing nimbus of fart gas escaping through my coat's collar. Dr. Yang, for her part, either noticed nothing or tastefully chose not to react to this disagreeable olfactory stimulus. We concluded our negotiations and I walked on, trailing more gas behind me.

I fervently hope that the fart gas was instrumental in Dr. Yang's acceptance of my rate quote for proofreading. I wonder what she was thinking. Probably something along the lines of, Foreigners can fart with their heads?


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