Warning: TMI! Too much information forthcoming.
My children will not be shocked, however, as this tale has become a part of family folklore. Nothing is sacred around here.
Dearly Beloved is mannerly and proper. I don’t consider myself rude or improper, but we do march to different drummers in manners of propriety. I love to schlep around in gown or pj’s, for instance. Taking an early bath in the evenings and donning whatever is clean, cotton, and loose, then wearing said article until the morning sun is high in the sky is my idea of comfort.
DB’s bedtime attire never leaves the bedroom. Even sick or recovering from surgery, he would never consider sitting around in a bathrobe or skivvies. He never has morning breath, gas, indigestion, or even a snotty nose. The man is Mr. Clean, inside and out. When he comes into the kitchen, he is showered, dressed, shaved, brushed, flossed, and exercised.
Not so with his missus and it was never worse than when I was carrying with our third child. I was nauseated and had indigestion most of the time. Even elastic waist pants were uncomfortable. Everything I ate turned to gas. I spent an entire pregnancy with my buttocks squinched together so I would not embarrass the family. I felt like the Hindenberg.
Eventually (make that after 20 hours of labor) our baby girl emerged, beautiful and not at all the flaming ball of gas I’d feared.
Six weeks after her birth, okayed by my doctor, we headed for a romantic weekend in the mountains. Dearly Beloved had made reservations at a charming Swiss inn in the Blue Ridge Mountains in hopes of wooing me into an amatory state. No tv, no radio, no phones. We had dinner in the inn restaurant and dined on rainbow mountain trout probably caught that day by young men in lederhosen. Milkmaids undoubtedly churned butter in a nearby barn. It was lovely.
We returned to our room and DB, who of course would never read in bed, sat in an upholstered chair and became engrossed in the newspaper while I propped up with the bed pillows, knees bent, leafing through the magazine balanced on my legs.
It happened suddenly, without warning.
In that quiet room, nine months of compressed gas began to escape in one long, low, soulful sound. It was unbelievable, more of a motorized sound than anything human. I didn’t start it and I was helpless to stop it. It was oddly fascinating–the OFF switch just wasn’t available. I squeezed frantically, but that train just kept a’comin’. And that, in fact, is just what it sounded like. Not the whistle, but the steady click of the wheels. . . and it was coming pretty fast. I watched DB’s reaction as he became aware of the noise. He frowned in confusion, looked out the windows, then asked:
Do you hear a train?
I did not answer as I fruitlessly kageled, squeezed…anything to stop that engine. If flatulence had color, the room would have been engulfed with fog. DB saw the stricken look on my face and his jaw dropped in absolute incredulity as the truth slowly dawned. Thomas the Tank Engine was not out on the tracks. This was Mary the monorail.
It was steady, not vulgarly loud (if one can say that about a five minute fart) and was almost rhythmic. I’ll never forget his expression–his horror matched my own–as he realized that the object of his romantic intentions had become a human gas turbine.
What could I say? I simply turned my palms up and shrugged. I began giggling nervously, perhaps a little hysterically, truly wondering if I had blown the marriage. Literally. Finally, he began to laugh too, which of course sent me into shrieking fits and made the train go even faster. Yes, that was one long train!
As suddenly as it had begun, it was over. The tank was completely empty. Nine months of compression gone, finally. All decorum and dignity had passed, as had, temporarily at least, any thoughts of romance.
A weekend to remember? You’re darned tootin’!