Clearly, I had slept through the bell. By the time I could manage to raise my over-sized melon from my drool-laden desk, my classmates had already left the room. It was my junior year at Germantown High School, and I was “less than inspired” about receiving a proper education. The class, which I am referring, was French class, and it was taught during 4th period. This was the class immediately following lunch, which made staying awake incredibly difficult. Lunch was my favorite class, and I excelled in this subject. I was the Valedictorian of my cafeteria. Stop sign pizzas, corn nuggets, cheeseburgers, taco salad, and big ass cookies were an everyday occurrence. I ate lunch, everyday, as if I was going on a three hour road trip, and didn’t want to wake up until I had arrived at my destination….I digress.
Upon awakening from my fourth period slumber, I take inventory of my faculties, and pause for a moment to gather myself. Everything was in slow-motion, and the ringing in my ears was if I had been hit with a stun grenade. I could feel the wrinkles on my face,which had been placed there by my drool-soaked pullover, that I had been using as a pillow. My right arm and left leg were completely asleep. I look ahead at my teacher who is busy grading papers. She grins and shakes her head.
As I rise from my desk, I take a moment to clear the cobwebs. Like a big, slow moving gorilla, I stretch my arms to the side, rub my stomach, and let out an audible yawn. At this time, with only Mrs. Wilcox and I, together in the room, alone, I reached down and grabbed my oversized book bag, which housed all of my books and folders. I bend down to begin the ritual of heaving it over my shoulder. With the weight of all of my books in one bag, it was as if I was power-snatching my entire education over my right shoulder in some sort of weightlifting meet. As I locked my grip, began the upward motion, and started into my hip-extension, just as I was about to begin the dip under my bag…
Oh my God, I farted.
I really, really, really loudly, and unmistakably….farted.
I farted as if there was a cash prize attached to the length and loudness of my fart. This was a MAN-FART. This would be confused with nothing else. If we would have been in the science building, it would have lit every Bunson-burner within 100 yards. This was a Sunday morning after a weekend bender… weekend at the deer camp…dudes watching SEC football game, while all the wives are at a baby shower…million views on youtube kind of fart. If someone would have shot off a .38 caliber firearm in the room, it would have been less distracting than what I had just done.
What do you do? How in the hell do I approach this shot? There ain’t no manual for denying this kind of thing.
Dear God in Heaven, tell me that the last 3-5 seconds did not just happen. Our eyes had locked together, each of us completely unsure of what the next step should be, but both of us resolve to leave the next move in the hands of the other. We stared at each other as intently as Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo at the O.K. Corral… only I was the daisy…and I, most certainly, did. This was not a passing of gas that could have been mistaken for an edging desk, or a moving chair. This was not a touch of flatulence that was to be covered up with a small cough, or hopes of being confused with a slamming locker. This was an undeniable, American Made, fat guy, man-fart. My life was officially over. If I could manage to get out of this classroom, I would never come back.
My escape tactic had to be quickly conjured and executed. How would I handle this? My only option was to handle it like an adult, so this is what I did. I stuck my tongue between my lips, started making fart sounds (as if farting a song), and farted my way out the door in an effort to make her believe that I was “fake farting” the whole time. It was really a sad, sad event.
So what the hell does that have to do with anything?
Why in the world would I care to share that with anyone, much less everyone?
What lesson could possibly come from my fart in French class?
I will tell you. It’s because, we all have a fart in French class. Everyone of us has “that thing” in our life that is so glaring, that it cannot be mistaken for anything else. Each of us has that character defect, or that issue, that is so loud, so clear, and so undeniable, yet we choose to stick our tongue between our lips, our head in the sand, and pretend that the issue is not really happening. We want to believe, so badly, that no one sees it they way that we do. We hope, like an ostrich, that it will not be an issue if we simply ignore it. We believe that if we can just make it to 5th period than no one else will really know it is even happening.
In my head, it is how I label different areas of my life as they pop-up. My diet and nutrition is my fart in French class. I want to pretend that it is not real, not loud, doesn’t stink, and that no one will pay any attention, but it’s simply not true. My nutrition is a MAN-FART, as are other areas of my life. I try to do a decent job of introspection and labeling my farts in French class, but I still often ignore even the most glaring defects of character. I think it is helpful to know that, you are not alone. We all have farts in French class, and its important to address these things, and make an effort to improve on them. What is your fart in French class? What are you gonna do about it? My hope is that you will own it. Acknowledge it. Recognize it. Work on it. Don’t be embarrassed by it, cause trust me, we all got one.
I absolutely love writing this blog. I absolutely love your feedback. I just cannot tell you how good it makes me feel to have your reading this, and still accepting me with all the craziness that I share. I appreciate your not taking me too seriously, and allowing this to be dumb, fun, and therapeutic. Have an awesome day, help somebody if you can, and own your fart in French class. Work on it, and get better.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,
**I would like to share a little bit about the French teacher who had to endure the aforementioned. Mrs. Wilcox is the name of my teacher, and I have a great respect for her. She was a free spirit of sorts, who seemed to believe in me at a time in my life when I had very little faith in myself. She was a hipster and hippie, vegetarian, new age type, spiritual lady, who would be hard to place in any one box of stereotypes. Anyways, she had an understanding of life and people. She was compassionate for people on an individual level, and took the time to treat people as if she had spent time thinking about how to treat them. She knew that yelling at me would only shut me down, so she would have these conversations with me, as if she were one of my peers. She was the first adult that I ever heard say, “life gets easier as you get older. It gets easier and better.” Most adults seemed to want to put some sort of fear in me, as if the future brings with it some sort of doom. I guess it is a tactic to get young kids to pay attention. Whatever it was, it didn’t work, but Mrs. Wilcox’s way did. I think about her laid back, zen-like approach to treating me like a friend, when I was such a powderkeg of emotions at that time of my life. I could be VERY difficult to love and control, but she allowed me to be who I was, and actually encouraged individuality. It has only been as I have grown older that I reflect on the impact that Mrs. Wilcox has had on my life, but I am grateful that I can identify it. She is a very cool lady.