The Gas We Pass

Driving through Tuscany

Driving through Tuscany


Me: (at the dinner table, belching)

Pai: Perdão (I beg your pardon)!

Me: (recovering) Yes, I do. (sincere, hand to my heart) I beg your pardon. So sorry. It could not be contained.

Pai: I doubt that.

Hank: (to Monica) My Mãe (mom) burps a lot.

Me: Guilty.

Pai: You would think by now you would be over the habit.

Monica: It isn’t very rude in America, is it?

Me: Eh, depends. Yes, it is bad manners. I am just a bit of a besta (brute, fool). I absolutely have to release the toxins or else they will manifest in other ways.

Pai: (knowing where this is going) Oh, good lord.

Hank: Other ways?

Pai: Must we?

Me: Apparently, I cannot keep your son ignorant.

Pai: (grumble)

Me: Hank, my darling, my unique chemistry has proven that if I do not release the evils, what medieval peoples called gas, then it will evolve into farts, or wind as the Brits still call it and then I would never get to eat a meal without getting up from the table at least twice.

Pai: Scientifically, untrue. Don’t listen to her, Hank.

Monica: Why would you leave the table? We’re family, just fart. Everybody farts.

Hank: (hyper-giggling)

Me: I love how in this family farting is totally acceptable and burping is rude. Strange. Is all of Portugal this strange or is it just your clan?

Hank: When I have to fart I leave what I am doing and go into the hallway or the bathroom.

Me: And that is the best habit to form. I promise you, that politeness will pay off one day. No one kinder than a person that farts downwind from their loved ones.

Monica: Argh, yes. My best friend farts all the time. When he would stay over it was the worst.

Me: Hank, this is also an important life lesson. When you fart while in bed, WHATEVER YOU DO, do not release the gas out from between the sheets. Lock it in. Seal off the crime scene.

Hank: (riots of laughter)

Monica: (giggling)

Pai: (trying to remain unamused, but smirking)

Me: Give yourself and whomever you are sharing your bedroom with a stay of execution. By doing so the gas will slowly be released into the atmosphere, filtered by your bed sheets and covers. Best course of action, really. And don’t get me started on bathtub fart bubbles. Whhhoooosh! (making a face as if something smells bad)

Hank: (positively purple with laughter)

Me: So it is best to let me burp. I am sorry, but it is better for all of us.

Pai: (major side eye)

Me: And don’t look at me in that tone of voice, Dr. Pereira. Day one. I have never hid who I was.  My name is Joy and I belch.  I am addicted to burping.  I am a burp-aholic. A burp-a-saurus-rex.

Monica: (giggling) Don’t look at me in that tone of voice? Who says these things?

Me: My mother. I started throwing her shady glances at age six. (attention back to my darling husband) Everybody, farts and burps. It’s the gas we pass. I simply own it, stylishly. (mocking a hair flip)

Hank: (Convulsing laughing, close to hyperventilation)

Monica: (taking his arm and patting him on the back)

Hank: (blurts out) Fart bubbles. (trying to catch his breath) Fart bubbles! (crying laughing)

Me: Fart bubbles are utterly beautiful… until they pop.

Hank: (completely looses it)

Pai: (can’t help but laughs)

Monica: (giggling)

Me: You could have picked a skinny, boring, better house keeping, latin wife, Dr. Pereira, but you choose me. I belch, but I am fun.

Pai: (flirty) There was never a choice.

Me: (belching) Perdão.

Pai: (dropping his cutlery, exasperated, yet surrendering)

Hank: (may need hospitalization from the lack of oxygen, silently, hysterically laughing)

Me: I tried to say, “Love you,” with that burp, but I never mastered that talent.

Pai: (finally embracing the hilarity of the conversation) There’s still time.