Monday, April 03, 2006

Messages From Within

I was at ShopKo a few weeks ago with sons #2 and #3. As we walked past the end of one of the aisles, I saw something that caught my eye: self inflating whoopee cushions. Knowing son #1 the way I do, I just had to get one for him. Of course, I had to get one for son #2 as well. Then the fun began.

As I pushed the cart through the store, finishing my shopping, son #3 (who is 2 years old), discovered the joys of sitting down hard on a whoopee cushion. Just like the cushion, he and son #2 erupted--in fits of giggles. I got some interesting (and withering) glances from my fellow shoppers, as my sons persisted in making fart noises and laughing at my embarrassment. Granted, I brought it on myself for even putting the things in my cart, but still.

Speaking of flatulence...not even a week after the ShopKo incident, I was watching Animal Planet's "The Most Extreme." They were doing a show on the most disgusting things that animals (including humans) do. I was educated to the fact that human beings experience an average of 10 "messages from within" per day. That's 3.5 PINTS of gas per day, folks. (Cows are the worst producers of methane, by the way.) And if you want to increase your degree of nastiness, your diet should include beans, broccoli, cabbage, and onions.

Why is it that people are so troubled by these "messages from within"? Everyone does it, but few want to admit it publicly. Eddie Murphy makes boo-koo bucks from potty humor. The only benefit I ever got from flatulation was a means of comfort for son #2. At one point in his young life, he was afraid of monsters. So, using my expert parenting skills (you know--the special ones you have to use when you're thinking on your feet), I told him that there were no monsters in our house because monsters don't like farts or burps, and every time anyone in our house did that, the monsters would run away. And since farting and burping happen a lot in a house with three boys and a grown man (all right--and a grown woman as well), he had nothing to worry about.

Hey--don't laugh. It worked. For weeks after that, anytime anyone expressed a message from within, son #2 would let us know that we had just cleared the house of monsters. (Of course, if my husband has been eating Mexican food, he can clear the house of people as well.)

So here's to messages from within. May your 3.5 pints of gas per day clear your house of all monsters and menaces, and may you always come off smelling like a rose!

29 comments:

compulsive writer said...

Ah Julie...you old pro. You make it look so easy! (The parenting thing, not the passing gas thing.)

Julie said...

(snort) Thanks for the compliment, Dalene. You're the best! Oh--and I love that my link on your blog page is "Julie Uncensored." I haven't yet decided what to think of that... :-)

Bek said...

That is funny! I love that they called it messages from within.

There is a spot in the central valley (that we pass on the way to LA) that smells like the scent of 1,000,000 cows messages from within......because there are 1,000,000 cows there. It takes a good 15 minutes to clear the area. Yuck.

I am going to try that monster thing.
R

elasticwaistbandlady said...

That was beautiful Julie. It brought a small tear to my eye when I thought of the many times I've told my children that farting is just 'bodily expression', and you should never hold back.

Later though, I had to add "except for Church meetings", for obvious reasons.

Gloria Glo said...

It's smelly. That's all. No one likes to admit they just destroyed a room's ambiance....

And nothing makes me laugh as hard as a whoopee cushion.

Oh - thanks for your encouragement on my post. Thanks for reading!!

compulsive writer said...

I wanted to qualify your link by stating "not that she's ever not..." but it seemed too long. I was going for a bit of ironic understatement.

wendysue said...

That was great Julie. I was going to add that in our house they were called "Boompsees." (I've never had to spell that before. . .) and I went to school with a girl that swore that she NEVER farted. Yeah, and I don't breathe. (at least not when hubby lets the messages from within go.)

Julie said...

Bek: Yes, when I heard them called "messages from within," I knew I had my next blog title. Can't wait to meet you on Saturday!

elastic: I'm honored to be the one to bring a tear to your eye--and not because of my stench. The mother of one of my former boyfriends told me that her husband would always blame their babies' audible in-church-messages on her. Maybe you should try it on your kids. (hee hee)

glo: I loved your last post! Very thoughtful and well written. And if you really like whoopee cushions that much, you should go get yourself one of those self-inflating ones. They are SO cool!

compulsive: I used to be self-censoring until I got married. Then all hell broke loose. (Notice I said HELL, not HECK.) So you can blame it all on Phil. ;-)

wendy: I grew up in a household with 5 (count 'em--that's f-i-v-e) brothers. We didn't call them anything else but "farts." My first son used to say that he had a "burp out my bottom" for a while, though. I loved that. But the worst offender in my family for s.b.d.'s is my own sweet mother. Don't ever get behind her in a store, unless you like those rotton-egg farts that just linger.

wendysue said...

ooh, those rotten-egg farts are even worse then the what-crawled-up-in-there-and-died farts. My nose hairs are still tingling just thinking about it.

Julie said...

You HAVE to check out this blog entry! I have been laughing for DAYS! (And it fits nicely with my blog for the week.) I don't agree with this person's viewpoints, but this story that she tells is unforgettable.

http://www.dooce.com/archives/daily/03_08_2006.html

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I just wanted to thank you Julie. I made jambalaya for dinner last night and the resulting gas convinced me that I should go ahead and cancel our home security system. That equals a savings of 40.00 a month! I'm planning on sending you a thank you gift like maybe a Febreze gift pack.

I'm still laughing about your Mom and her rotten egg smelling farts, you are my kind of people Julie. My family is the Mid West version of yours.

Lyle said...

Wendysue- I used to work with a guy that would not accept the fact that women have messages from within just like men.

Julie- It is kinda funny that most people try to self censor during the dating period and once the "I do's" are said, it's all over.

I love the scene from "Rocket Man" when Randall is sharing oxygen with the Commnader, "Wild Bill" and he starts letting tehm rip.

A common phrase in our house..."It was't me! It was Julie."

Lorien said...

max (3 years old) is already quite sophisticated in this field of study. In his mind, there is a clear distinction between a "fart," a "phoot" and a "phoop." And he is sure to announce rather loudly when he makes one of these sounds, and make sure that everyone in the room understands which type it was. Ahh, my baby.

~j. said...

I am so glad to have been introduced to the phrase "messages from within" so that it can replace what I consider to be the DIRTIEST f-word of all.

Julie said...

~j: I agree with you. "Messages from within" sounds so much better! I get mad when my boys use the f-word because it sounds so crass. I know, I know--some of you are surprised (perhaps even shocked) to find that Sister Pottymouth has her limits, but there it is.

So guess what card my husband gave me this morning for my b-day? The outside reads: "Old fart, my eye!" The inside reads: "That smelled like a fresh one to me! Happy Birthdday!" Gosh, honey, I'm touched! (I loved it!)

Lorien said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

~j. said...

Happy birthday! (mine's tomorrow...)

Julie said...

Thanks, Lorien! Happy Birthday to you too, Jenny, a day early! I hope it doesn't snow for you like it did for me. That's all I needed on a day when I was feeling borderline depressed. Thank goodness for blog friends whose comments make me laugh out loud!

compulsive writer said...

Julie--I'm a day late (and the proverbial dollar short) but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I know I have been AWOL from book club and girls' night out, but we need to go celebrate your birthday. Let's chat Sunday and figure something out--

In any case--today is a beautiful day so I hope you get out and enjoy the day!

AzĂșcar said...

We call them "toots" at our place.

I've heard that in Japan it is not considered rude or funny to release your messages from within.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Hey Carina, I hate to be a braggart and showcase my multi- lingual skills but I know the word for FART in many languages. ONARADA is the Japanese version.

That should meet everyone's "learn something new each day" quota. You're very welcome.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIE!!! I'm going to snarf down a gigantic piece of cake tonight in your honor!

Julie said...

Thanks for the b-day wishes, everyone. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of your comments. I have to add two things:

1. My husband served his mission in Japan, and the slang term for messages from within is pronounced "Boo." [This is not meant to detract from elastic's contribution of "onarada" in any way.] So you can imagine what the reactions from the kids were when the American elders tried to jump out and startle them. Just picture it: the Elder jumps out from behing the couch and yells, "FART!" What would you do?

2. My late father-in-law was a very quiet but very funny man. He was well known for his unusual dinner conversations. When we were first married, we had my in-laws over for dinner at our apartment. During the meal, he was telling us how it's considered polite in some cultures to pass gas (by belching or otherwise). It's an expression of pleasure for a good meal. We finished our dinner and walked them out to their car. As he walked down the sidewalk, he tooted REALLY loud. (My proper little MIL nearly died with embarrassment!) Then he turned to me, tipped his head, and said, "My compliments to the chef." They drove away as I died laughing! (It's my favorite story of him...)

elasticwaistbandlady said...

We nicknamed my 4 year old BOO. I guess that leaves Japan out for relocation. I can't imagine calling him in a crowded Japanese market. "Fart, Fart. Where are you, Fart"?

Think of the little girl in Monsters Inc. and the Usher/Alicia Keyes song, 'My Boo', and the way African-American culture refers to boyfriends and husbands as BOO. That puts a whole new perspective on things. No wonder people think Americans uncouth, here we call our loved ones, FART, and we write tender love ballads entitled, 'MY FART'.

Julie, your last two comments made me laugh harder than the original post. Thanks.

Lyle said...

Add one more to the multicultural melee. In Portuguese the phrase "I farted" is peide (pronounced pay-day). You can only imagine the tricks seasoned missionaries try to play on the greenies from the states (while dining at a members house). Luckicly for me, I was clued into this joke before my arrival to Brazil.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

In Spanish it's PEDO. My oldest daughter just got her very long hair cut in a DORA THE EXPLORER style bob. We've taken to calling her PEDORA which she hates because it translates into 'A girl who farts'.

Pappy Yokum said...

If only I had learned that monsters detest farting and burping. What a creative solution to a nightmare (no pun intended) all parents face at some time in the child-rearing years. Where were you 14 years ago when I needed this trick the first time? Thanks for sharing such a great story - that along with all the comments here has kept me laughing for way too long.

Geo said...

What a hoot. I know the conversation's over on this post, but I just had to say that I am now officially in love with your blog. I needed that great laugh today!

By the way, I have an elderly friend who is originally from Wales & England, and she ever so discreetly calls the messages from within "ponging".

Julie said...

Ponging? As opposed to pinging? That's a new one. I'll have to share it with my husband. He once worked with a guy over in China whose name was Mr. Pong. He did some molding work for the company my husband worked for, but he did a terrible job. Ponging brings all new meaning to his name. Thanks for the new vocabulary word!