The Eight Cardinal Sin – Flatulence

<a href=””>The Eighth Sin</a>

In response to the Daily Posts prompt – what is the 8th cardinal sin?

Now, I’m not one for toilet humour – if you want to crack a joke then a bathroom is not the place to do it. Equally, if you want or need to shoot a bunny, poof, have a whoopsie or let one slip, then the bathroom is the place to do this.

I accept that flatulence is simply a biological and chemical process. You don’t need to be Darwin or Einstein to work that one out. What goes in, surely must come out, and I accept that everyone needs to relieve themselves of flatus. But do they need to do this in my presence?

It seems everywhere I go I possess an uncanny ability to loosen peoples ability to hold themselves and onto their gas.

Just yesterday, I was in the supermarket – pushing my trolley along an aisle following a larger woman in track pants as we made our way to the pasta section. Then, without warning she let rip. Now this was no ordinary fart – it was a rip snorta! If I ever get caught out, I clench my buttocks tightly together to minimize the sound impact, invariably my flatus is released with a squeak as a opposed to an horrendous thunder clap rasp as this ladies was.

Picture by Ryan McGuire

How many times have you walked into an elevator and smelt something foul? For the first thirty years of my life I believed all elevators smelt like that – that it must have been some of the materials Schindler used in the manufacturing process.

Look I’m no angel, of course I fart. However, I will always do my best to vacate myself and colon away from other people. I remember once I was on a train. It was a family trip into the mountains with my parents in law. I was sitting alongside my mother in law when the sudden urge to release came upon me. Thankfully the train stopped at a mountain village a few minutes later. As we disembarked the train I spoke to my travelling companions, ‘just need to get some fresh air’.

I walked to the end of the platform. I released, I smiled, I felt relieved. Relief instantly turning to horror and embarrassment when my mother in law spoke in jagged tones from two steps behind me, ‘I wish you told me you were going to do that – before I followed you down the platform.’

Picture by Ryan McGuire

On another occasion I was working for a big corporate in London. They were shedding staff, and middle management were the first to be culled. All middle management were summonsed to a hotel in the Midlands where we had to give a presentation on the work we were doing to a panel of senior executives. Attendance was compulsory! On the day of the presentations I was ill. I had a one in 20 year head cold! Fluid streaming out of my nose, my eyes. I felt so awful, I wondered whether death would be better than putting up with this. And I knew that if I didn’t deliver a polished presentation I would probably be chopped. I felt I was doomed.

Picture by Ryan McGuire

When I walked into the presentation room I noted that the panel consisted of the General Manager of Human Resources, the Director of Training and  2 other senior executives. Half way through my presentation I sneezed; but this was no ordinary sneeze, it was an ear splitting, raucous explosion of mucus and phlegm. It was so powerful it doubled me over, and as I doubled over, I lost all control and added to my embarrassment by emitting another type of sneeze, a sneeze which nearly split the seams of my pants. The panel must have taken great pity me – as I was one of the lucky ones who kept their job.

Now, Iv’e been known to occasionally embellish the facts to make a good story. However, crossed fingers and hope to die – this is a true story. It’s so crazy – it has to be true.

I was having having a few problems and was under great stress. So between my Doctor and myself, we decided having a chat with a counselor would be a good idea. I walked into his room, formal introductions and handshakes were made. I was directed to sit on a chair by the window. A Psychologist’s silence followed. We looked at each other, measuring. I smiled. He smiled. Still nothing but silence, he was waiting for me to start, and I was waiting for him to. He moved, I won!

Picture by Ryan McGuire

He leaned forward, and at the same time lifted his left leg up and over, crossing, and then settling down on his right leg. As he did this he farted – I kid you not – his movement had obviously affected his control and he let out this unpleasing and unpleasant screech.

‘Excuse me’, he said nonchalantly, ‘Roly, how can I help you? He asked so matter of factly. I couldn’t believe it, there was an elephant in the room, and it stunk to high heaven, but he chose to ignore it.

‘You can’t’, I replied, holding my nose, gagging and getting up out of the chair then walking out.

There is a time and place for everything – and to my mind nearly every other bodily function (apart from coughing and sneezing) are done in private. And that’s why flatulence should be too! It’s a sin not to. It would certainly make the world a much less noxious place, but admittedly, probably a little less funny as well.



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