Mission Impossible, Part 2

The Perfect Child, that's who I tried to be. But my plans were dashed by an egg salad sandwich.

When last we left 11 year-old Lorna, her Mission was to be the Perfect Child: apple of adults’ eyes and bane of her sisters’ lives. Her heart was in the right place. She wanted to be one less worry for her already overly stressed mother. She would soon learn that trying gets a little girl only so far…

The rule that tripped me up concerned body-function noises. Perfect Children simply didn’t have them; Bad Children did and were proud of them. It was hard—possibly fatal—to stop a burp, hiccup or fart once it commenced.  Sneezes, when handled with discretion, were allowable because, like detonating an atomic bomb, they were unstoppable. I guess adults assumed children had some magic power to stop a burp, hiccup or fart once it started brewing. Chosing to stop separated the wheat from the chaff. I never felt choice was involved: my body needed to expel something pronto and being a Perfect Child meant I had to violate a natural law.

During the tortuous Catholic festivities leading up to Easter, I attended the interminable Stations of the Cross.  This very solemn ritual lasted a week, or so it seemed.  I felt the need to go to the
bathroom sometime midway between Jesus falling the second and third time. I had an egg salad sandwich for lunch. Finding a bathroom never crossed my mind—I didn’t believe churches even had bathrooms. It seemed unholy to pee or poop in church.

Doesn't this seem unholy to you?

I felt rumbling in my belly; then lower.  Squirming to prevent an explosion only got me looks of disapproval from my grandmother and Mom.  My step-grandfather and sisters were taking an interest in the developments.  Holding in the amassing gas became unbearable; but letting it out was unthinkable.  I’d rather be taken out on a stretcher with a burst intestine than fart in church.

Physiology won out over dignity and out came a long, loud, send-me-to-hell-for-sure fart during a moment of silent prayer. Any physical relief I felt was overshadowed by unspeakable
embarrassment.  There was no hiding who did it.  I blushed a lovely shade of cardinal red from scalp to sole.  While others in the church did their best to ignore my noxious relief, my family was
obligated to react.

Judgement Day was upon me, and it wasn't looking (or smelling) good.

“Lorna!”  Mom and my grandmother whispered in unified mortification.

“Lorna!” my step-grandfather and my sisters whispered in wonder and a touch of respect.

To seal my wickedness, laughter bubbled up uncontrollably—just like the infamous fart.  It was as if Beelzebub himself possessed me—I was his foul instrument and there was no stopping my blasphemous guffaws.  I bowed my head so no one could tell if my heaving shoulders were evidence of sobs for Jesus’ suffering or devil-possessed laughter.  I tried to look reverent, but my reputation was, forevermore, soiled.

My underpants were, too.

My Perfect Child status took a major hit that day, but the pressure was off to be perfect. My Mission, however, was in jeopardy. Could I do anything to restore my reputation or was it ruined for good?

But she's still oh so good...the Perfectly Imperfect Girl!

~ by Lorna's Voice on July 7, 2011.

14 Responses to “Mission Impossible, Part 2”

  1. I’m glad! I like the idea of you snickering.

  2. Eternal snickering–now that’s a thought! I love this, Lorna, we all can relate to trying to keep our normal bodily functions discreet and under control. This had me snickering out loud too!

  3. I don’t know. Maybe because we’ve all done it, it’s naughty, and we’re not supposed to discuss it. The perfect social taboo exposed! I’m glad you laughed along with me on this story–all true, unfortunately for me!

  4. Why is it that a good fart can make a person hysterical? Uncontrollable laughter is an immediate result from a good fart , especially when it is in the most embarrassing place. I love the story.

  5. Yes, there’s nothing like a good body-function story to remind us that we are all human and perfectly fallible. I wonder if this might be the key to world peace…No, that’s taking this fart-thing a little too far!

  6. I’ve found that the only way to get through life is to take myself less seriously. There was a time when I never could have told this story, let alone put it out on the Internet. But it’s funny and it’s true. If others can laugh with me and see that I can laugh at myself, then maybe I’ve done something positive today.

  7. Then my work here is done! I aim to please and I sure am pleased when I know my writing makes people laugh. Thanks for the encouraging feedback.

  8. I’m sure my step-grandfather is up in Heaven still laughing–he always loved a good fart joke or story! He actually got in trouble for laughing back then. My grandmother could cast a wicked evil eye… Glad you liked the story!

  9. That was just too funny. I’m still wiping the tears away. I’m with your step-grandfather. I would have rolled out of the pew laughing. Too bad the perfect status took a hit. I’m surprised you didn’t try to “play if off”. You know, look around like it was somebody behind you or to your left. That’s what I always do. LOL

  10. Very funny, you made my day at work.

  11. Well, that was a “Surprise” …. it took a very different twist. It is very funny. I can just imagine the looks on everyone’s faces when it was heard.

    You are very brave to have divugled it.

    Isadora

  12. Priceless! My Dad used to joke about going to church and sitting in our own pew. Funny timeless story about being human

  13. My step-grandfather loved a good fart joke/story. He got in trouble for laughing when this happened and I KNOW he’s snickering in Heaven now!

  14. Absolutely hilarious. Of course, most men are easy marks for a good fart story. But this one was a 2-creaser at least!

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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