Clearing The Bookshop

No matter who you are, there are times when you get nervous – and when you get nervous, something has to give. For some people it goes to their head and they get a headache. For some people it goes to their back and their muscles tense, resulting in a back-ache. Some people get a more general nervousness and they shake horribly. All I can say is, those people are lucky bastards. You heard me right, they are LUCKY. Because when I get nervous it goes straight to my stomach. And then it comes out in the form of a fart.

When I was a baby I got pneumonia, the lasting effect of which was that I have no sense of smell. I’ll tell you about it someday, but for now just realize that to me EVERY fart I do is potentially the killer fart from Hell. That means that if I fart, I always want to die of shame, I’m always convinced that it has the “silent but violent” potential to act like a Weapon Of Mass Destruction – and quite often other people agree with me. But I never know how bad my fart was, because I can’t smell it. I never know if anybody else knows, therefore I have to assume the worst and make a quick exit.

The trigger for my farting is usually one “innocent” thought that drifts across my mind and ruins everything…
“Wouldn’t it be AWFUL if I farted now!”. Bubble, bubble, my stomach starts to ferment. “Oh NO!” I tell myself “Not in the lift / job interview / beauty facial / Church*!” I clench my buttocks furiously, I try to relax my stomach, I think about flowers and rainbows… Rumble, hiss, thwarp. Damn.

 Most tragically of all, this illness has robbed me of my greatest joy – Hanging out in the Bookshop. You see, I once farted in a bookshop. It was rather busy and I’d let the “innocent” thought drift across my mind once again. I farted, but ever-so-quietly. No one seemed to notice. I thought I’d got away with it (I hoped like crazy) and then the girl came from behind the counter and sprayed the shop with AIR-FRESHENER, paying special attention to the fallout zone around my ass (well, not too close but very definitely in a huge arc around me). I left in a hurry. I can never go into a bookshop now without the FEAR. And the fear leads to a fart. Waterstones, in The Arndale Centre, is huge but I can’t potter around in there, because by the time I’ve got to the back of the shop (Self  Help and Children’s Literature) I’m brewing up a colon powered genocide. I am too nice to stay long enough to actually buy a book .

So all my books are now from Amazon and I’m reduced to trying to figure a way to stuff a shoe-shaped “Odor-Eater” down the back of my knickers. Of course by reading this I suppose you might run the risk of getting the “innocent” thought yourselves… Gosh, I hope I haven’t started trouble.

I’d better go, I have some Amazon shares to buy. And a cork.

* Delete, or add, as appropriate


34 responses to “Clearing The Bookshop

  1. I’m told that aeroplane seats contain charcoal to absorb farts because otherwise the entire plane would fill up with them.

    Perhaps you could strap a plane seat to your derriere…

  2. whatigotsofar

    I don’t understand why the fart is a social faux pas. WE ALL DO IT! We should all embrace our ass gas. I am going to create Fart Awareness Week. Farts will no longer be shunned in our society.

  3. What a terrible catch-22. I usually just get a runny nose at the most inopportune times. It’s usually as soon as I realize there are no tissues in sight, and then my allergies take over the situation.

    • When I was little, our teacher used to play the piano during assembly (for hymns). A dew drop of snot used to hang from her nose but she couldn’t stop playing. I felt sick!

  4. You know the brain is a very powerful thing and if you just convince yourself that you can’t fart in a bookshop, you won’t.

    For a few months in high school, I would get diarrhea every Thursday night. It started because one Thurs. I was legitimately sick, so every Thurs after that I was terrified I would get it, so I did. Once I relaxed about the whole thing and stopped obsessing, I got over it.

    Just try it and see. If it’s a real concern and you really, really want to make it stop you should try it. :)

    • I do try but it still brews up. Recently I’ve started going to Church and I’ve had problems there. I’m sure the people behind me think the Devil is controlling my arse.


    I find myself replying to you with mostly links. I don’t think I’m a spambot, but would I know if I was?

  6. OMG – I laughed so hard I nearly…well, you know.
    This hits close to home for me because I found that since I hit the grand old age of 60, there seems to be a great abundance of under thunder (i.e. ass gas) emanating from yours truly- and like you, occasionally at the most inopportune times.
    Thankfully, most of this emanation occurs during the late afternoon/early evening and by that time, I’m in my own abode where I can “let ‘er rip” without facing undue embarassment or public ridicule.
    Out of deference to my poor spouse, I leave the room. Although he’s experiencing the same increase in gaseous emanations as I, he merely remains in place and utters a subdued, “Excuse me” whenever this occurs.
    So don’t think yourself alone, my dear. I, too have faced the mortification of public farting.
    Should this occur, my advice to deal with people who look at you askance is to simply draw yourself up to your full height, look them straight in the eye and say, “What? You think yours smell like Chanel No. 5?”

  7. I don’t know whether to laugh or feel sorry for you, you poor thing! How embarrassing! And I’ve always figured there was a reason embarrassing had and ass in it.

    Anyway, I think a lot of people suffer from very similar, uh, events. I know my stress tends to center around my stomach and back too, but I tend to throw up. Thankfully, not often.

    I know there’s a product over here called Gas-x that’s supposed to reduce and/or eliminate gas – maybe they have something like that over there?

  8. The thing is, because I can’t smell I tend to think that the only farts done by other people are the ones I can hear. I think if I could truly know how many farts others are responsible for, I wouldn’t feel so bad. I’ve never smelled (smelt?) a fart, EVER, so they have a terribly mystery for me and mine are supposedly AWFUL.

  9. HAHAHAHA! Have you tried Beano or some other type of anti-gas product?

    Whoopie Goldberg has a gas problem and holding it in caused some health problems for her. That’s why she wears those big dresses…she can fart away and they stay concealed in the cloth.

    As for the girl in The Bookshop, she’s probably been fired by now. If she hasn’t, go in a disguise.

  10. Presumably you don’t mean the famous comic book The Beano – although they do sell this: along with other fart related “jokes”.

    I think you have confused Whoopie Goldberg with a Whoopie Cushion… ;)

  11. Oh no! Always blame the person nearest you when a gashopper jumps out. A disdainful look and a “Well, I never…” should take care of it.

  12. Serious question:

    Can you tell the difference in taste between an apple and a pear?

    • I think I can. But then the pear is sort of grainy too – which makes it different. I can’t tell if there are herbs in food, or if people are taking off nail-varnish in the same room as me.

  13. …there’s a reason why my husband sometimes calls me ‘calliope’.

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