Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shart! (Shut Yo Mouth!)

Why Does it Always Rain On Me? - Travis (mp3)
Transformers (Theme) - Lion (mp3)

I recently sharted.

Yes, this confession breaks the first rule of Shart Club, but I had to get it off my chest.

Returning from an off-campus lunch and walking from my car's lovely shaded parking space to my office, I let out what is not an altogether out-of-routine post-lunch fart. It wasn't a big fart, In fact, it was one of those little baby farts so inconsequential in its build-up that you don't even slow down or stop walking. You just fart in-step. It's the fart equivalent of a speed bump that's been worn down so drastically that no one even lets off the gas. (Ha. I amuse myself.)

Except this was no mere fart.

The latest studies from the University of Alabama* suggest that some 98.4% of Americans have, at some point in their lives, sharted. This number excludes acts of "poopy pants" where infants and younger children crap in their pants either because they're too distracted by life to think about the toilet, and it also excludes "incontinence" where elderly people crap in their pants because dammit the egg timer moves a lot faster than it used to, and the bathroom's a long damn way from the living room.

Don't worry. Just because I know you've all sharted doesn't mean I'm going to expose your embarrassing secret to the world. In fact, it's perfectly OK with me if you vehemently deny ever having sharted. (But if you try and deny it too strongly, well, that's just annoying.)

In college, me and my male friends would sit around into the early morning hours sharing shart stories. But college males have little shame and find ways to make the most embarrassing and horrible moments into jokes. As I've mentioned before, I know a frat boy who took a dump on a brother's head, and it was a dude he actually liked. So all bets are off in college, because boundaries are symbolic at best for those of us in the phase of life known as "emerging adulthood."

Besides, sharting in college is hardly a problem because your dorm room or apartment is almost always within spitting distance of wherever you sharted. You scurry back, wash off, change undies, and no one other than maybe your roommate ever even has to know.

But once you hit your late 20s and until you start getting mail from AARP, sharting is an unspeakable act. You don't talk about it. You don't sit and discuss the shart you had at church or at that board meeting over beers with a close friend at a downtown bar or in his living room during the game. You sure as shit don't tell your significant other.

My uncle swears he has never in his life farted in the presence or even remote vicinity of another human being. Not once. And I know there are people like that, who can somehow deny what is a natural urge to expel noxious air from one's body, who can contain it all until that time passes. And I've got to think, if you can somehow avoid farts altogether, then sharts are never going to be a problem for you. Yeah, you might have other issues, but you'll avoid sharts.

I'm sorry to do this to all of you. I know you didn't come here to read about my shit.

I needed to let my guard down for a few minutes and be honest and admit what I've done. And not just this one time, either. I've sharted a few times. In a sense, I've been lucky, because my sharts have come at times when the damage to pride and the opinions of others was kept to a minimum. I've never needed assistance to cover it up, never had to pull someone into my conspiracy of smell and stain. I've done the deed, but I've cleaned it up all by myself.

Whew. I feel like this tremendous burden has been lifted. I feel so much.... ohhhh who am I kidding? Confessing hasn't done anything. I feel awkward as ever. More, really. And not only do I feel weirder, but now all these people who apparently read this damn blog are taking a few extra steps back from me every time I walk by. There I was thinking I was being honest and forthright by coming clean.

Maybe the reason we don't talk about sharts when we get older is because it just doesn't do anyone any good. Just because they're a nigh-unavoidable part of life doesn't mean we all need to go on Oprah for it. Maybe some shit is better left to ourselves.

Shart Club has its rules for a reason. That first rule is there for a purpose. Shame on me for daring to break it.

* -- The University of Alabama has never, that I know of, done any medical studies on sharting. But considering how many people have shown up out of thin air in the last few years wearing Crimson Tide gear and toting around toilet paper on a stick with "Roll Tide" on it, I just assumed some seriously big maroon elephant must have sharted them all out.


Daisy said...

This post gives all new meaning to airing your dirty laundry....

jed said...

bravest post ever...

danmalouf said...

Well told, and funny, too. Everyone, well, almost everyone, including myself, can certainly relate. It's just one of those things we have to laugh about in order to keep from crying.