How To Fart In Public

I was in a store last week, and my stomach was pretty upset. And by “pretty upset” I mean that my farts could clear a room, which is fine at home because I like being alone, but, when I’m out and about, I developed a more refined response to SILENT BUT DEADLY.

The Speed Walk

Whenever a fart comes on, I begin walking up and down aisle as though I’m speed shopping on SupermarketSweep. When I finally putt-putt out, I double-back around to the aisle that actually has anything I need with the hopes that I’ve out-paced the stink.  If I’m with my husband, the speed walk goes a little more like: Hey sweetie, why are you walking away?  I’m following you but where are you HOLYCRAP {gasping for air} He’s a casualty who either runs in the other direction or shops alone.

The Blame Someone Else

I stand my ground post-fart, and once the smell has reached my nose, I place a look of distain on my face, wrinkle my nose twice and say softly: Eew. Then I eye my fellow patrons.  This one used to be called Blame the Baby, but now my children are old enough to deny it loudly and even more sinister, THEY COMPLETELY CALL ME OUT.

The Hold It In

I stand there and look very, very closely at a very, very interesting book while willing my butt to be air-tight. This is the most desperate and dangerous gas plan because, while it has no running or lies or children announcing who dealt it, the Hold It In can lead to noise, and noise is easier to pinpoint than smell. Although with a squeaky shoe or balloon nearby, I’m golden.

The Find Something Stinkier

This is the most versatile fart response because “something stinkier” can be the perfume aisle, the strange man by the camping gear or garlic hummus.  The key to this fart plan is for the THING to smell stronger than my backside.  Some days this is easier than others, but the plan can be CARRIED AROUND IN A PURSE (why else would the Body Shop make the body spritzer bottles so small?) so don’t rule it out.

This post also serves as a public service announcement because if anyone catches me racing down aisles with a look of distain alternating between spritzing Vanilla body spray and clenching my butt muscles, they should leave the store immediately. Whatever they wanted is not worth it when all four fart plans are in play.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents an 2 elementary age children, 4 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

27 thoughts on “How To Fart In Public

  1. Alex, have you heard the Keller Williams tune called “Mama Tooted”? Let’s just say my kids like to point at me and snicker and then break into song. I plead the Fifth.

  2. You are hilarious : ) What a funny, funny post.

    I saw on Jill’s post that you are going to give to a family in need this Thanksgiving and I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love people that make a difference : )

  3. When I was a flight attendant I was educated in “Crop Dusting”. When flying your intestines fill up with air. Up and down up and down up and down…all day long can cause one to feel pretty bloated. SO! Crop Dusting! Walking down the isle at a decent pace while silently letting it all out. By the time any smell hits the noses passengers just assume it’s the big hairy guy they are sitting next to. :o)

  4. You should tour around schools to teach students this valuable life skill! I usually blame it on my husband, but sometimes I’m alone, or with Kid. She always calls me out.

  5. I’m totally a speed walker. In fact, I walk as I fart in hopes that spreading it out will dissipate the stink in any given area. It’s all about physics, you see.

    The “Hold It In” option has never really held in merit with me, as 1.) My face gives me away, and 2.) It often backfires on me and leads to the actual need to poop.

    This is especially true anytime I go antique shopping.

  6. My sister and I had an incident in the cereal aisle of the grocery store maybe 10 years or so ago. I honestly can’t remember which one of us it was. I do remember that it was FOUL, though, and we used the speedwalk technique to escape undetected. So we finished the rest of our grocery shopping, but the hell of it was, we actually needed to buy cereal. When we got back to that aisle, we both automatically stopped at the corner, hesitating. Then my sister said, “Do you think we should send a canary in first?” I love my sister. She’s hilarious.

  7. I hate farting in public. Thanks for the tips! This was almost as helpful as learning how to high-five myself. (I think that has to be the best tutorial ever.)

  8. ok one time? when i was pregnant with eddie? I could NOT hold a fart in during class, so I let it go all silently while I sat at my desk.

    It was SO BAD.

    I did the blame someone else.

    When the horrifyingly offending hit my nose, I asked the students around me if they smelled it.

    They so did.

    So then we tried to figure out who did it.

    I basically blamed a kid in the front row known for his public farting.

    And it was soooo me.

  9. Too funny Alex! I had a colleague describe a few years ago a “too much confidence in a fart incident” in which… I’ll just let you imagine “the rest of the story,” and the post incident laundry! Swear, it was my colleague, and a rather rotund man at that!

  10. I’m supposed to be disgusted by this and yet, I’m laughing in my office and drawing attention to myself.

    My daughters are already experts at this. It drives me crazy.

  11. I have employed the first three methods, and am now going to the Body Shop to get one of those mini spritzer thingies so I can use method number four if needed.

    Thanks for a needed laugh during my cleaning break (which is taking longer than the cleaning itself)!

  12. A long time ago when I was working in a retail environment, one of my co-workers pointed it out to me that one should never attempt to hold in their flatulance, regardless of their location. At a young age, I started taking his advice, and I’m proud to say that I have flatulated on an airplane sitting next to a beautiful woman, in an enclosed train car surrouned by well-dressed business men, in the middle of a church sermon (it was borning anyway), and many other places. The only place I ever attempted to refrain from letting my flatulance fly freely is at funerals, because flatualance at a funeral isn’t funny.

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