Bad Manners

Bad Manners


I think I need to add a disclaimer here.  This post will not be for everyone. 

If you offend easily by the mere mention of bodily functions then you might want to consider  just moving along and catch me the next time around . 

However, if you were the burping champion of your elementary school and you think fart machines are freaking hysterical then do stay. We’re going to get down and dirty.

Recently my grandson was playing with his Uncle Alex. They were chatting along about something when Alex let out a big burp. This conversation ensued:

Riley: What do you say?

Alex: Good one?

Riley: You should say excuse me.  It’s not that hard.

Clearly his mother is doing a better job of teaching manners than I did.  I was maybe a little too lax in that department when my kids were growing up.  I mean, they definitely know how to say please and thank you but Alex’s response was actually pretty typical for our household. We thought burping was funny.  My daughter once belched loudly in a dark theater just as the movie was about to begin. She turned to her husband and said “That’s gross Tony” leaving the entire theater convinced he was the offender. For years in our family when someone would let a really good burp go we would all cheer and give it a score like an Olympic event.  My great grandmother was known for her dish rattling emissions and I grew up thinking a long windy one after a good meal was a compliment to the chef.

Let me just say however that I am not nearly as enamored with sounds emanating from the other end of the body.  I was married to a man for 18 years whose idea of fun was standing next to me in public, letting a big one rip and then running off before anyone could pin it on him.  The man had a problem.  I once had a coworker call me and beg me to stop feeding him whatever I was feeding him because it was causing problems at work. People were suffering.

People find bathroom humor hysterical. Give a kid a fart machine and you’ll entertain him for hours.  Hell, I know a few grownups that lose it when one of those is around.  What is it that we find so funny? Is it because farting and burping and poop talk are socially unacceptable so it’s a little bit naughty?  Have you ever been around a parent trying to potty train a toddler?  Poop is all they talk about.  Suddenly their house is filled with books called “Everyone Poops” and “Once Upon A Potty.”  Seeing poop in the potty becomes an obsession.

Years ago I read “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris.  This is perhaps one of the funniest books I have ever read and a chapter titled Big Boy still cracks me up every time I think about it.  He recalls an Easter dinner at the home of a friend.

“Everyone had taken their places when I excused myself to visit the bathroom, and there, in the toilet, was the absolute biggest piece of work I have ever seen in my life–no toilet paper or anything, just this long and coiled specimen, as thick as a burrito. I flushed the toilet, and the big boy roused around. It shifted position, but that was it. This thing wasn't going anywhere. I thought briefly of leaving it behind for someone else to take care of, but it was too late for that–before leaving the table, I'd stupidly told everyone where I was going. "I'll be back in a minute," I'd said. "I'm just going to run to the bathroom." My whereabouts were public knowledge. I should have said I was going to make a phone call. I'd planned to pee and maybe run a little water over my face, but now I had this to deal with. “

He goes on to hysterically describe his efforts to resolve this unfortunate situation.  Who among us hasn’t experienced something similar?  The idea for this blog entry sprouted from an experience I had at work. We have very small staff bathrooms, only two stalls. One day I walked in and was immediately hit with an offensive odor.  Apparently the cafeteria was serving something for lunch that wasn’t sitting too well if you get my drift. I went in to a panic because I thought “The next person who comes in here is going to think I’m responsible for this.”  I told myself that if someone came in to use the other stall I would just go home at lunch time and change my shoes so I couldn’t be identified.  I practiced putting my feet up on the door but then realized that someone would think the stall was empty. I concluded that the best course of action was to take care of business and get out of there as quickly as possible. 

Thankfully it worked out for me that day and I learned a few valuable lessons.  I am going to put that spare pair of shoes in the car anyway, you never know when you’ll need to quick change your identity. And most importantly, I will keep my liquid intake to a minimum on Beef Nachos day.  Ole!



To read the entire “Big Boy” article, follow this link.






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