I attended my local county fair today and noticed among the sewing contest entries that someone had entered a Halloween costume designed to make the wearer look like a Taco Bell hot sauce packet. Yes, among the masterful quilts and well-tailored dresses was a large fleece taco sauce packet. If that brave soul could try to bend that contest to her will, I can do the same with a YouTube video.
Farts can spark a litmus test of the self. By the time we’ve reached adulthood, several epic decisions have been made. Will I be liberal or conservative? Will I prefer an automatic or a manual transmission? Much in the same manner, we decide if we will be among those who relish talking about farts. I am one of those people.
Last week I tweeted that the perceived heat of a fart upon exit is directly proportional to the magnitude of its smell. This is the first tweet I’ve done that has been liked, and I discovered that there are folks who comb Twitter for fart references. It is strange that farts have a fan club of sorts given that they aren’t scarce like other entities who develop a following, such as celebrities. Oddly enough, during the vaudeville era there was a professional farter called Le Pétomane who had the distinction of being a celebrity because he was uniquely flatulent. Fans of Le Pétomane aside, I would guess that no one has camped in line for days for a fart, unless they are exceptionally unlucky.
My willingness to talk farts is akin to the Fat Acceptance movement. Since I have been flatulent since birth, it behooves me to speak of something that happens to me so often. My intolerance to lactose and soy protein collides with my addiction to carbonated drinks to make me a fart powerhouse. I have been called both Motorboat and Bunkerbuster. In my youth, my dad acknowledged my affinity for art and farts by nicknaming me De Butta.
This symphony of farts and fart talk felt apart when I fell in love with my husband. He is not one of those people who would sign up for a symposium on gas. Once I knew I was willing to avoid this subject for his sake, I realized he was The One, and I became part of an Interfart marriage.
I will try to refrain from telling him I devoted this much time to writing about farts, but I doubt I will be able to keep this from him for long. There is room in my brain for just one secret at a time.
Back in the year 2000, my interest in learning to backmask audio collided with “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats, and this was the result. With this recording, I began the most important journey of my life. There was a man who heard this and decided to fly 2,000 miles to meet me because he wanted to see the woman who created this recording. That man became my daughter’s father.
It all started with a silly impulse to backmask, a $7 microphone and a collection of free or cheap audio utilities. That is how I became a mother.
Should you feel burdened enough with unrequited love to venture into amorous spellcasting, we suggest that you cast these spells alongside proven strategies in securing a partner. Regardless of the inevitable success of any one of the following spells, don’t abandon surefire tactical maneuvers like:
- Wearing dungarees two sizes too snug,
- Bleaching hair to 10A² Extra Chrome Ash Blond
- tatooing the beloved’s name in hieroglyphics on the sole of your left foot
Warning: These spells are contraindicated for those who play the mandolin, listen to Gordon Lightfoot or own a semi-automatic weapon. In a single-blind trial of these spells, 2.5% of spellcasters reported insomnia as a side-effect. 5% reported a doubling of their speaking vocabularies. 3% documented spontaneous gender change. Criminal penalties may apply to casting these spells in the states of Wisconsin and Rhode Island.
Spell 1: Casting the Runes of Self Doubt
Examine the factors that have rendered your desire unrequited.
Why do you think he hasn’t professed his desire for you yet? No matter if you are wanted in five states, we assure you that the only thing standing between you and romantic bliss with him is your self-doubt. Yes, if you are not convinced that he could ever love you, he never will.
To eradicate self-doubt, we suggest the following ritual:
Secure a set of runes carved from sandstone and cast them into a full bathtub. Prepare an olive oil effusion of
- 2 parts powdered diary pages
- 6 parts Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls
- 3 parts belladonna
Preheat bathwater to 95 degrees. Light 6 puce-colored candles along bathtub rim. Pour the olive oil effusion into a supersize atomizer and mist your body with it. Next take a bath in the rune-cast tub while listening to any 6 Stevie Nicks songs of your choice. Retrieve the runes and recast them in your hope chest.
Love shall replace self-doubt within a fortnight.
Spell 2: Conjure the Beloved
Resort to this spell only if you have pined for him in excess of two weeks.
How to Conjure the Beloved
Rent a 13th floor apartment. Furnish it in his-and-hers fashion. Hang an octagonal mirror on the south wall of the living room and attach a gold-lamé tube top to each side. On the next winter solstice, light 759 lavender candles arranged in a tessellating pattern on the living room floor. Base the tessellation on the shape of a hummingbird in flight.
At the stroke of midnight, baste each tube top with a shot of rotgut liquor. Should any liquor remain, drink the rest. Wearing as much eyeliner as possible, stand before the mirror and chant your intended beloved’s middle name 79 times. If you don’t know his middle name, just substitute the letter S, as Harry Truman was wont to do.
Your beloved will abide with you by the next time you spot three gold cars ride down your street in a row.
Spell 3: Is He the One?
Warning: This spell does not function as a warranty for the Conjuring the Beloved spell. Once you’ve Conjured the Beloved, He’s the One,regardless of your satisfaction with the results.
We recommend this spell for women who have suitors to spare. This divination spell will enable you to read fate and choose from would-be beaux appropriately. You must Cast the Runes of Self-Doubt one full moon cycle before you inquire if He’s the One.
If you’d like to know if He’s the One, get two Susan B. Anthony dollars and drop them into an 8-qt stock pot of boiling rosewater. Reduce heat and let simmer for 7 minutes. Turn off heat. Light a silvertone unity candle with two gold tapers. Examine the stockpot and estimate the distance between the coins. If the coins sit less than 37 millimeters apart, he’s the One. Extinguish the candles at your discretion.
Repeat this divination spell for each man in question. Should more than one candidate qualify, pick the gentleman whose coin distance in millimeters is closest to your shoe size.
By the time of my ninth grade Christmas, my parents had long given up the ghost of my belief in Santa and let me put a limited wish list on layaway at a discount department store. I chose four Beatles albums, some sensible tops and a pair of pleated plaid trousers. This was at the height of the high, tiny waisted pants era, and I was at my most vulnerable to the influence of teen fashion magazines like Sassy and Seventeen. Relying on my own taste alone, I had previously bought a hideous intarsia sweater that had the words “Ski Bunny!” knitted in black on a yellow background, so I was up for trying the styles promoted by such magazines. They had touted plaid britches as a back-to-school necessity, and it didn’t matter so much to me that I’d be four months late to that trend by Christmas.
I now doubt that anyone but a mannequin had a body suited for those pants, but at the time I felt that they were a mandatory indictment of my shape, one I deserved if I wanted to partake of future trends. Family legend has it that I was born shaped like an accordian. This isn’t entirely false. After losing considerable amounts of weight, I still look a bit like an accordian but with fewer folds.
The waist on the plaid pants was so small I had to choose a pair two sizes larger than usual, making me look as if I were wearing loud pantaloons. After opening them on Christmas morning, I wore them only three times. The first two times it seemed as if people were trying to see me without seeing the pants. I revisited the experience of being seen-yet-not-seen a few years ago when I went grocery shopping in a pair of Stewie lounge pants.
Dryer shrinkage had doomed the plaid pants by the third time I wore them. After struggling to button them, I sat down on the stairs at home to wait for my sister to finish getting ready for school. This was a day we were free from wearing our school uniforms, and all such days were an opportunity to show our fashion sense and flair for maximum big hair. All of the hair spray in the air made me sneeze, and the recoil of that sneeze ripped the button from my pants. As the button ricocheted off two walls, I was spared the infamy of having worn those absurd pants to school. I had already given others enough fodder for embarrassing nostalgia by wearing “Ski Bunny!” for class picture day and for my dateless appearance at that year’s Homecoming dance.
I have been relatively immune to fashion in the intervening years. Every year has an absurd, ill-fitting trend. Even though I have worn every size from 4 to 24 over the years, I still have not had the dimensions for easily finding clothes that fit well. I don’t know who the industry has in mind when their ever shifting sizes are created. I used to think that I had a hard time finding flattering clothes because I was overweight, but I’ve had the same problem at a healthy weight. I have the best luck buying clothes at thrift stores, finding nearly new apparel that didn’t fit someone else well enough.