The Secret Rules of Farting

Springtime is my favorite time of year. Not only is the season filled with promise of new beginnings, the shopping malls are filled with...PROM DRESSES!

On a recent sunny day I was driving through the Southdale parking lot when I spotted an acquaintance of mine standing at a bus stop. I yelled out the window. "Hey! Want a ride?"

She froze, looked my direction, recognized me and giggled. "What brings you to this neck of the woods?"

"I was shopping for prom dresses at Southdale," I said. "I found a great one for $12.99, marked down from $200.00."

"You're going to a prom?"

 "No, but I buy the ones on sale which nobody wants and wear them as ballgowns for art events and nature hikes. What are you up to?"

"Shopping for sandals," she said.

"Do you want a ride home?" I said. She lives in Uptown and doesn't have a car.

"I'd better not," she said. "I'm kind of gassy today."

"So what? It's a nice day. We can open the windows."

She bobbled her pretty head. "Oh no. I could never do that to you."

"What are you going to do if you take the bus? Hold it in for 5 miles?"

"Oh no. I'll just let it out. "

"Isn't that rude for the other passengers?"

She spoke rapidly, as if she'd rehearsed the answer ahead of time. "I'll stare out the window like I'm lost in thought and they'll assume I didn't notice I farted."

"What will you do if someone points out that you farted?"

"No one would ever do that." She closed her eyes and her voice assumed a tone of studied patience. "That would be rude."

"Ruder than farting and acting like it wasn't you?" My query was staccato, like that of a prosecuting attorney on a 1950's TV show.

"Oh yes. Much ruder." She shook her head at me with disbelief. "Didn't anyone ever tell you the secret rules of farting?"

"No," I said. "I'm not a big fan of secret rules. Nobody ever gave me a copy of the secret rule book."

"There isn't a book about the secret rules of farting," she said. "At least not that I know of. But there should be one."

A bus appeared and angled its way toward the bus stop.

"Maybe I should write a book about it," she said.

"I have no doubt it would be a valuable service to humanity," I said.

"It's a huge subject. I could make lots of money." She glanced at the people queuing up to board the bus.

"If that's what you want to do, I think you should follow your dream," I said.

"Thank you so much for your encouragement, Nancy," she said. "Without your help I might never have realized that I'm sitting on a gold mine."

She waved goodbye and boarded the bus.

I hope she remembers to invite me to her book signing. My new prom dress is the perfect outfit for that kind of event.