When I was probably about 10 years old, my mother told me an anecdote about shopping with her mother that shocked me to my grade school girl core. My grandmother, Grams, was a small but forceful woman. She had dark brown eyes, shortish, curly salt-and-pepper hair, fingers gnarled from years of arthritis, and a self-confidence that could, in a pinch, be mistaken for any number of less-constructive attributes. On this particular afternoon, Mom had taken Grams to the local drug store for some supplies. They had trolled the store and found what they needed, and were standing in line at the check-out counter, several other customers behind them. Suddenly, Grams let rip a battalion-strike fart—long, vociferous, odiferous. All the people in line behind her shook their heads, wrinkled their noses, shot disgusted looks at Grams, and left the line for clearer skies. My mother, stuck there where she was, cried "MOM!" in shock. "Well," said Grams matter-of-factly, "do you want me to be uncomfortable?" "Yes, Mom, yes I do!" my mother said. And I, hearing the story, wholeheartedly agreed with her.
Until now. Now, with my guts the way they've been recently—blocked, or blocked and gassy, just gassy, or gassy and loose—I have been in no mood to be uncomfortable. And, I admit, sometimes the gassy is bad. The kind of bad where you're awestruck by what you've managed to produce. The kind of bad that makes a dog back from the room, sneezing and shaking his head, even Spackle, who has been known to do that to us with his own farts. Bad.
It's a good thing I'm spending so much time home alone these days.