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He Who Smelt It Dealt It

11/27/2013 09:47 am ET | Updated Jan 27, 2014

2013-11-27-800pxMountRedoubtEruption.jpg

How many times has your wife, husband or significant other asked, "did you fart?" You are at the wheel heading out to the beach. It's a cloudless August afternoon and your apprehension of an a summer idyll, walking hand in hand along the sylvan sands is immediately interrupted by what is literally an air raid siren. What are you going to do? No good deed goes unpunished. If you admit the truth, it's no guarantee that the admission will be met with understanding. You are not a bad person, just someone trying to get better. Yet farting either loudly or silently is often looked like public drunkenness, like an anti-social act over which someone should have control. You might be the most honorable person in the world, but feeling as if your balls (or the equivalent) have been smashed with a sledgehammer, you lie and exclaim, "no" Making matters worse, you iterate the classic saw "he who smelt it dealt it." You always knew what the expression meant, but now it takes on Shakespearean overtones. You know you have farted, but you are offering the aphorism that the person complaining is often covering up their own culpability. You realize you're not being a mensch, but the ugly atmosphere of distrust, in which your wife, husband or other begins to believe the lie, thinking that perhaps she or he--not you--has farted, has polluted the atmosphere even more than the original fart itself.

(Photo: Mount Redoubt Eruption)

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}

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