Tuesday, March 10

Why gas hurts the local economy

So, it has been a while since I blogged for you, my good friends. I deeply apologize for that. I really do. Some of you have been more patient than others, but those of you who are emailing me and telling me to get a new post up…well, this one is for you.
First of all, I had an email come from a fellow in Chicago. He said that he assumed that since I had not written lately, that the operation was over and the butt had won. Fellow from Chicago, let me assure you, the butt has NOT won. In fact, it has been shrinking quite a bit. Maybe not in massive quantities, but some of you know, any shrinkage is still shrinkage. 13.25 inches in 4 weeks is fantastic, even though I only lost 2 pounds. Muscle is smaller than fat, but a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. Nevertheless, there was shrinkage!
Another email came from somewhere deep in the heart of Kentucky. Several requests from Kentucky, actually, asking me to update the blog because it was found to be very enjoyable. This lovely reader also sent me a recipe for an excruciating exercise routine, promising that it would burn far more calories than walking on the treadmill alone. This recipe, called speed intervals, required a fair amount of endurance and coordination, neither of which I possess. And I gave it a whirl, even though I couldn’t make it to the top speed of 9 MPH. I couldn’t even hit 7MPH. I did hit 6, for a whopping 60 seconds before I felt my lungs catch fire and the blood was searing through my body in an effort to restore order to my failing organs and overheated appendages. Matt looked very concerned when I was speed training, and I think until I drop a few more pounds, I need to give it a rest. The structural integrity of the treadmill was put to the test as my feet pounded the belt, and I was afraid afterwards I was going to have to call in the warranty. But she still seems to be flying, so all is well. I jokingly tell you that the speed training came from the girl who used to be my arch nemesis in elementary school. 10 years ago I would have deemed that the reason that she sent me this radical routine. However, I do not believe that to be the case today. I am going to think it is because she knows that I am a fighter, and capable of much more than I give myself credit for. Maybe that’s because I was always able to give her a run for her money in grade school. Now, she is giving me a run for mine. Thanks, Amy, and I mean that from the bottom. Of my heart, of course!
OK, so there is the old business. Now, onto new business.
For those of you out there whom I have never met face to face, I am going to let you in on a little information about me. First of all, I do not possess one ounce of grace or class. It just isn’t in me. Never has been. I am the kind of girl who trips on nothing, spills coffee on her white shirt, and just this Sunday, right before church where I was singing in front of the congregation, the water fountain exploded on my red satin shirt as I was taking a final drink and heading to the platform to begin service. I sang my praises to God with watermarks all over my boobs. I don’t try to let any of this get to me, but yesterday, my situation was a little more embarrassing than usual. Have I piqued your curiosity yet?
So, in my quest to live a healthier life, I have stopped eating 90% of the fat and processed foods that I normally do. I am eating a diet rich in natural fiber, and it has done some interesting things to my body. First of all, deodorant no longer works for me. I have always been a sweater (not the knitted kind, but the yucky kind) and I usually applied deodorant twice a day B.D. (before diet). Now, without all the crap and junk that I eat clogging up my sweat glands, I am pouring out perspiration like a geyser! And it’s not just wet. It’s foul. Adding to the complications, I have very sensitive skin. This means that I am limited to a select quantity of products. All of which would keep the stink off a toddler with no body odor at all who is wiped down with baby wipes every 3 hours. After spending over $50 on products that are clinical strength only to have them break me out (and trust me, no one likes to have what looks like chicken pox on their armpits with no deodorant when they are running speed intervals) it's annoying to have people scrunch up their noses when they walk past you. I can't help it!
The other oddity I am experiencing is another geyser function. Along with the constant moisture, there is a flow of gas that comes with it. I am usually in control of the situation, to TOOT my own horn, but yesterday was not my best day for muscle retention. Matt and I had done Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, barely made it through, (the first 15 minutes, that is) and I am not ashamed to tell you that every single muscle fiber of my body hurt on Monday. It even hurt to bend my knees to sit down!
So yesterday, I had a huge list of errands and commitments to do. I started the day by volunteering at my children’s school. My mom happens to be a teacher there, so I just work in her room to get my hours in. It’s mandatory for all parents, not just me. I went in and got straight to work, putting letters on a sign for the front window of her classroom. Now, considering that I was not in control of any of my muscles, I suffered a thigh cramp while just sitting down. And then I felt that all too familiar bloating that comes with having a severe gas bubble in your belly.
So I held it as long as I could. I mean, I was cinching my cheeks together so tight, Fort Knox would have been proud. I was waiting for the perfect moment to let ‘er rip, and I finally got to the point that I could hold it no longer. Plus, I couldn’t dare to get up and head to the bathroom to pass the gas. It was beyond the point of holding.
So I tried to squeak it out as quiet as possible. And it was pretty quiet. It was also terribly noxious. If it had only been my mom in the room, I would have let it just hit her. She has done that to me on more than one occasion while shopping, not telling me where the air bomb was laid, and just let me walk right into it. Then we have to go through the whole “OH, Mom, was that you?” Then “Margaret the Saint” would just grin and say, “Let’s move. There was another one.” She is the queen of the sneaky farts.
But my mother was not the only potential victim in the room. There was also a young student teacher in the room. Tall, young, thin, perfectly made up and perky, this poor girl was sharing the space as well. They were hanging out on the other side of the room, safe from harm’s way, until the proprietors of education decided to come over where I was to check something out. I was going to have to try to save face. I was the only other person in the room.
“Um, I am sorry guys, but I just farted, and I need to warn you to stay over there for a few more minutes.” It was the only thing I could say. Humiliating, honest, and humble.
Young student teacher girl stared at me with wide eyes for a moment, unsure of what to say. Then she finally burst out into giggles, which turned into gales of laughter. My mom, never one to pass up a good laugh, joined in and asked if I needed the air freshner spray. They both had a good laugh at my expense (rightly so) and heeded the advice, staying far on the other side of the room. When they did finally head back over, they gave the air a test sniff before marching into enemy territory.
I had to leave for an eye exam about 10ish, so I headed to the van and tried to pass as much wind as I possibly could. After all, eye exams are in dark little rooms with no ventilation and a stranger. The entire drive I had the window open and was going to town. But it worked, and I was able to contain myself for the next 45 minutes. No one went blind because of me.
My last stop was picking up cat food for Puppy. I really hate going to Walmart, so I stopped by the dollar store. I did a few “fart and walks” in the store, but nothing major. I went up to the cash register where they had put a teeny tiny sign that said the debit card machine was down, and they could only take cash or checks. I had just wasted 20 minutes. And the gas was welling up again. So I headed to Big Lots.
Now, for those of you who do not have a Big Lots in your area, you are truly missing out on the ultimate Midwest experience. You get to see it all. Rich people slumming, white trash switching price tags, and then there are the lunchers. They come to Big Lots to kill time. And to people watch, like me. You never know who or what you will see there.
So I head into the store, and I realize that there is a huge issue with the gas situation. I have no choice but to find an uninhabited spot and let it go. I walk up to the garden area in the front of the store, frankly, people, it’s Big Lots. I really don’t care what people think of me in Big Lots. So I let it go. It sounded like a machine gun firing out. “Put-put-put-put-put-put-put-put-put-PUT!” And the smell was overwhelming. It even made me think like a five year old for a minute, giggling uncontrollably.
That was about the time two of the richies, who were slumming and lunching, arrived on the scene. By this time, I had moved around the corner from the mushroom cloud of destruction, and because of the open shelves, I could hear the ladies as they walked into ground zero.
“Oh, my gosh! I didn’t know Big Lots sold fertilizer!”
“I don’t think they do!”
As I was scooting quickly away, trying not to giggle, I heard one of them say, “Someone must have passed gas. I bet they are still nearby. Let’s try to guess who it was.”
By this point, I was practically running to the back of the store, trying to stay as far away from the detective duo. I knew if they looked in my eyes, they would know that it was me.
I grabbed the items I needed and headed up to the cash register, and on the way, I saw two women pointing and laughing with tears streaming down their faces as they assumed it was the little old lady with blue hair.
My secret was safe for now. They would never find out that it was me, the incredible shrinking woman. Unless they happen to read this blog. Or you hear the story from a friend and tell them I’m the culprit. Then I’ll never be able to show my face in Big Lots again. And I spend lots of money there.
I guess the cost of gas really has risen out of control.


Charlie said...

OK! I feel that I am entitled to a re-butt-all! I come from a long line of supercharged farters! I can't help what I have inherited so it all comes naturally (lucky you, daughter!) :)
Now you have "blown" my cover and all shoppers will look at me and sniff to see if it is safe to come down the same aisle. Guess I should burp instead(come to think of it, your Gpa did both!)
Anyway, I loved your new blog. Could be worse. You could be one of my students, poor kids are sitting at my hip level! Now that can be a gas! I am sure co-worker comments will come tomorrow, after all, it will be Friday the 13th. :)
Your "guilty as charged" and all natural Mom.

Anonymous said...

My mom, the queen of sneaky farts, left that first post. She said she blew it when she tried to enter it! I couldn't help but giggle when she said that!

Anonymous said...

WOW, Margaret, I never knew you had it 'in' you. Well, I guess it isn't 'in' you after you sneak a toot, huh?
I can't say that I come from a long line of gas passers, but I admit, I am proud to be one!!!!!!!!!!!!! The only person I know that can fart better than me is MARK!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE ROCKS THE HOUSE (just ask Mom, Dad and Sarah!)

FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY Charlie! I love reading what you write!

Anonymous said...

Whoo Hoo I have been anonymously mentioned in a blog. Life can get no better
From: Chicago

Melissa said...

Dear Charlie,

Our P31 office just gathered around my computer and read your blog, hysterically laughing! Love your honest and funny way of writing and sharing. I'm on the shrinking journey with you...it's been a lifelong thing. Can't wait to meet you at She Speaks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laugh!

Nichole said...

OH MY GOSH! I had to wipe tears away while reading this because I was laughing so hard!!

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