The smell whose name shall not be spoken…

I bought myself some Liquorice blocks today. I used to eat them by the truckload as a kid – back when they were one cent each. We don’t even have one cent pieces anymore. My step-dad would spoil me with twenty cents worth of Liquorice blocks a couple of times a week and even though they don’t quite taste the same as they did back then, they are still my favourite.

But my husband, Jason, hates them. For two reasons.

The first is that he hates the smell of Liquorice. It turns his stomach and almost makes him dry retch. He’d rather I take up smoking than have Liquorice breath. So, I only eat them when I am pretty sure that we won’t be getting romantic later that night.

The second reason, and this is a fact well known to any Liquorice lover – or lover of a Liquorice lover- is that they have a laxative effect. I’m trying to be very polite, which isn’t my style, so those who are offended by discussion of farts should not read any further.

For those of us who find farts hilarious, let’s continue.

After devouring a small packet of Liquorice blocks (8 blocks in all) my wind is so hideous that it could peel paint of the walls. You know that your own farts are really bad when you have to get out of the room because the stench is enough to induce respiratory failure. A particularly bad one seems to vapourise all the available oxygen in an enclosed area, like a tiny nuclear bomb.

We’ve all done it – and had a little giggle about it. Even the people who tried to stop reading in the fourth paragraph because farts offend them. Be honest. There’s nothing more gratifying than making another person’s eyes water after dropping a good one. Farts are funny – especially when the injure people. Jason has forbidden me from eating Pea and Ham soup for exactly that reason. After a can of that I can strip the mucus layer of his nasal passage and give his throat an acid wash. Am I sorry about it? Yes, of course I am. But I have to wait for the hysterics to pass prior to apologising.

I dropped a particularly bad one at work once, after another Liquorice binge. I worked in a hotel, mainly at night to pay my way through University.We were having a Guinness promotion on at the time – and let me tell you, a room full of men drinking pints of Guinness and letting off Guinness bombs all night was an Occupational Health and Safety nightmare. Thank god it was in a tropical location and we had all the windows and doors open, otherwise one lit match and we all would have gone up in smoke.

Anyway, it was like something out of a movie – you know those clever ones that weave numerous stories into one, like Crash or Love Actually. I entered the closed bistro, which seemed like the ideal place to let one go because then no one would be any the wiser and I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. Not five seconds after the release of the noxious gas, my supervisor walked through the room, as did a drunk regular. We all crossed paths at the same time, right inside the fart zone.

Of course, I knew what they were walking in to, but couldn’t let on because then I’d lose my crown as the nice, lady-like staff member. I was blonde and dainty and no one would ever believe that such an abhorrent smell could come out of me. I had a reputation to uphold.

As we all left the fart zone, my supervisor looked at me, waved his hand in front of his face and mimed ‘Phew’ as he jabbed his finger towards the drunk regular. The drunken regular stumbled through the zone and winced at the stench, albeit a bit of a delayed reaction. I nodded to my supervisor in agreeance and pulled a ‘oh my god, get me out of here’ face on the outside, but on the inside I was so relieved because the timings couldn’t have worked out any better. I farted and a guy, who was obliterated on Guiness, got the blame. He was so drunk that he probably thought that he was responsible for the deathly odour.

Farting in public is a no-no because the entire concept of the fart is really disgusting when you think about it – not that you really want to think about it. However, it is a natural occurrence in the body; the gas has to get out, otherwise we would be in pain, bloat and probably explode. But there is a time and a place for everything, so choose it wisely, and if at all possible, blame it on someone else.

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