Gaslight district

Photo on 8-12-14 at 8.35 AM

Woke up groggy again. Little Rock, Arkansas. Wyndham. $89 for the night.

There are good things about traveling with people who aren’t your wife, and bad things about traveling with people who aren’t your wife.

One of the toughest: When can you pass gas?

Serious point. The wife doesn’t enjoy when I fart, but—lord knows—she’s certainly used to it by now. My traveling companion (the lovely and distinguished Robyn Furman) has been a friend for more than 20 years. We’ve hung out together hundreds of times. We’ve spent late nights laying out newspapers, arguing over politics, talking life and death and highs and lows.

But now I have gas, and I’m not quite sure what to do.

I can go into the hallway and pretend to fetch a newspaper. I can wait until she’s in the shower. I can make a loud noise (“HOLY COW! THAT JOHN TUDOR COULD REALLY THROW A SLIDER!”) that muzzles the ol’ anal flap. Many strategies exist, yet all come with holes and flaws and questions.

Were I to call home right now, and ask this question to my kids, they’d surely have different solutions. Casey, my 11-year-old daughter, would laugh and laugh and laugh and tell me to distract her with oddball antics. Emmett, the 7-year-old boy, would take the dilemma more seriously. In his mind, he’d invent a tube that takes the gas out your anal cavity and through the nearest window, sans sound. “It would work, Dad,” he’d say.

Alas, here I sit.

Bewildered.

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