So I’m standing there in the shower yesterday and I got to thinking about 7th grade. 1983-1984. I ran with a group of guys who were quite obnoxious, as many 7th grade boys tend to be. I was equally obnoxious, too. For example, one day our 7th grade English teacher Mrs. Moynihan handed out spelling tests to all of us. After about two minutes when all the paper shuffling and test instructions were finished, people settled in for the test and things quieted down. I then saw my chance – my hand shot up, she called on me and I asked: “does spelling count?” Yeah, that was me in a microcosm.
I’m proud to say I wasn’t the most obnoxious, though. Guys like Tom Winant would have been most likely to take home the blue ribbon if “obnoxiousness awards” had been given. One day in gym class he took off his sweatshirt during a gym-class game to reveal a homemade shirt in which he had written on the front “Home of the Whopper” with an arrow pointing down to his nether regions. Then there was Mark Rico, who had actually gone to Burger King and gotten some kind of Happy Meal equivalent where the “prize” was a king’s crown. He made some crafty adjustments to the crown and by the time he was finished with it, he was walking around the halls, proudly wearing a king’s crown with several penis’s as the points in the crown. In 7th grade!
So anyway, 7th grade boys (at least us) were content to be total idiots. That said, we would take jokes or actions and just repeat them endlessly. No matter how often we did or said it, we’d laugh uproarously, while the rest of the people would have heard it or seen it 500 times and be totally sick of it. One of these action was arm farts. Let me tell you something about arm farts – we perfected the art. I mean, we were the Mozarts of arm farts. I knew where exactly to shift my hand to produce different kinds of farts – and there were many, as you might imagine. It was priceless. And it NEVER failed to make us laugh incredibly hard. One story comes to mind:
There was a group of us who sat in the back of social studies class in the 7th grade, taught by an aging farmer named Mr. Graves. The guy was nice enough, but put an aging teacher and a group of 7th grade boys together and you’re just asking for trouble. Arm farts were the weapon of choice. We’d sit back there and a lot of the time, he wouldn’t even hear them, but we would and the best ones would generate five minutes of laughter that we’d desperately try to control. One day one of the guys cracked one a little too loud – loud enough for the old guy to hear it. He snapped his head up and croaked “don’t think I don’t know what you boys are doing back there because I can smell it!” Well, that really got us roaring because, as we all knew, they were arm farts. I have no idea what he was smelling.
There are many more of these kind of stories, of course. But back to the shower. So I’m standing there yesterday and I’m thinking about arm farts and I’m like “what the hell?” and I decide to give it a try. And you know what? It’s like riding a bike! Right on the first try I ripped one and it was a classic! So there I stood in the shower, an almost 36 year old man, nobody else around, and I’m just cranking out these things for about two minutes straight and just laughing my ass off. I mean really cracking up.
It was a combination of a lot of things – remembering innocent old days, shaking off some of the anxiety a pregnancy brings and the fact that a shower lends itself to some of the very best sounding arm farts. After all, that’s the best thing about them – the warmer and wetter the armpit, the better, sharper and more accurate the fart. The only thing I could think after I had stopped was “I can’t wait to do this in front of the twins! They’re gonna love it!”
It will truly be a beautiful thing. Now, back to my regularly scheduled life.