I stood waiting anxiously for the cashier to get off the phone and ring up my purchase while she gave me an apologizing look accompanied by rolling her eyes indicating that the person on the other end of the phone was wasting both of our time. Normally waiting is never a problem, I was raised to be polite, courteous and wait my turn with patience, but there was a situation brewing and I just didn’t have the time to give her.
I’ve never been one for potty humour, and don’t actually like the word fart (it just isn’t lady like), but there was no denying it, very soon people who wanted to shop in this store would need to do so wearing hazmat suits! Accompanying the cancer medication has been a whole new level of toxicity I never fathomed possible, its to the point that I believe I shouldn’t be allowed leave the house without wearing a shirt flashing WHIMS warning symbols: Hazardous, Compressed Gas, Flammable Material, Bio-hazardous!
This wasn’t the first flatulent disaster I’d experienced that was medically induced and am mortified to admit the colon blowin’ stories from the past year and a half are endless;
from hot boxing my bestie in her car,
to having to suppress butt tubas with towels in friend’s bathrooms and emptying cans of air freshener,
to getting them trapped in my tights and attempting to walk normally all while discretely shaking my leg in order to work them out of the bottom of my pant leg desperate to escape the evidence.
It just isn’t right!!
Even if I try to suppress them Elena, my niece, likes to announce “Auntie toots” so that we are all clear who the culprit is. Once she announced that “Gracie stinks” which put my sister-in-law into instant ninja diaper change mode, forcing me to have to admit, “no dear, that was just your Auntie.” It’s been one embarrassing sulfur cloud after another.
Because of all the experience I’d already had accosting the noses of those around me, when I felt the thunder down under in that line, I knew the inevitable disgraceful outcome. Then I realized that joy of all joys, I was the only person in the store (besides the poor unsuspecting cashier). Sensing that pinching and praying were losing their ability to suppress the evil any longer I knew the only option at this point was to ensure that if it was going to be deadly, I needed to make myself a cliché and at least make it silent. I’ve learned that if it’s silent I can pretend I have no idea what it is or where it came from and join those around me as we all desperately cover our noses, wipe tears from our eyes and assume we are just standing over a leaking sewage bed.
The love puff slowly crept out of me and instantly announced its arrival with an insufferable aroma that took over the store; it was extra special. Normally something this vile would have me quickly, yet nonchalantly, leaving so I can make space for air to move in and escape the torture myself. But just as I turned to go AWOL abandoning my purchase, I found myself looking into the eyes of a mother standing beside her teenage daughter right behind me. Where in tarnation did they come from? I was trapped.
I stood frozen in the haze of my own witches brew knowing full well that it was accosting the ladies behind me as I watched their noses twitch and desperately trying not to retch. Then the cashier painfully smiled and invited me forward taking what felt like an eternity to ring me through. I desperately dug through my wallet for cash to make the transaction go faster, but alas, it was the slow dial-up Interac for me. All of my power went into not gagging as the fragrance danced freely around me and I could see pity on the cashiers face as she wondered if anyone had ever had the grade 9 talk with me about the proper way to bathe.
With my package in hand I fled the scene of the crime smiling as I remembered a Robert Munch book I was once given in University as a joke from a friend who thought it amazing that the ‘F’ word growing up in my family was ‘fart’. In Good Families Don’t, a little girl discovers that sometimes, good girls have farts after all.
There was no real lesson for me with this one, but there is a great one for those who are friends of a cancer patient… if we flee in the middle of a conversation, run, don’t walk in the complete opposite direction.