A family of four sitting down to a routine dinner at the local fish and chips joint for a feast of fried food and clam chowder, also known as "Ticket to Delicious Atherosclerosis." Of course, such enjoyment is usually interrupted by my hyperactive son making little buzzing noises and wiggling in his seat, fully zoned in on his usual "not content to sit still or be quiet for more than 3 seconds" mode of existence that is the hallmark of most 4-year-old boys. I would later come to be grateful for this otherwise massive jackhammer to my placidity, because in the midst of a moment of general calm, a ripping sound began to emanate from the table just to the left of ours that was the unmistakable sound of gas escaping someone's anal orifice.
Now, I will admit that there are juvenile remnants a'plenty in my mental makeup that make it difficult for me to hear the sound of someone passing gas without at least cracking a smile. Of course, it's all about context. Fart jokes in movies do not make me laugh. In fact, I think they are trite. But you take that shit, so to speak, and put it in the middle of a busy restaurant? The potential for The Gouda to erupt into gales of laughter is all but certain. This was made even more of an inevitability by the fact that after my brain made the connection that the rotund fella to our left actually did let slip the demons of hell from his ass, Ken looked around with a most curious look on his face like: "Did you just hear what I heard?"
It was at this point that I completely fell apart. I tried to deflect the awful timing of the onset of a most monstrous set of giggles, however, by focusing on my increasingly noisy son and saying "Oh Elias, you crack me up!"
So of course, my son takes this unintentional positive reinforcement as a ticket to raise the bar, and he gets even louder with his goofy 4-year-old boy antics. For the moment, I am thankful, because immediately after this (and after taking a bite of my food), rotund fella let's another one rip. Soup is about to spew forth from my mouth in a freshet of chowdery bukakke. I then try to cover again and say: "Elias, those noises you make are SO funny!" And then Ken says the thing which seals my fate as becoming the uncontrollably laughing nutjob in the middle of the restaurant:
"Yeah, Elias, you sound like a creaking door when you do that."
I fucking lost it. Four feet away is a guy who is munching on fried halibut and airing out the room with old man flatulence, and I'm using my son as cover as tears stream down my face. I finally know that I have to exit the restaurant or completely surrender to the monstrous torrent of cackles wanting to permanently overtake my psyche. I say in mid-chortle:
"Okay, I need to step outside for a second. I'll be right back."
And my daughter was like:
"Where are you going, mommy?"
"Oh just outside for a second. Mommy needs some fresh air."
Then the aptness of this phraseology slammed home, and I nearly doubled over. The logical part of my brain is telling me to get a fucking grip, but my vision is blurred from the deluge of liquid spurting from my tear ducts. I hadn't laughed so hard since the "punch dancing" scene in the movie Hot Rod. I was shaking. It was as if I were being tickled by a million feathers, and I couldn't shake them off. People glanced in my direction as I stumbled out of the restaurant, probably thinking that I was genuinely upset, especially given the Tammy Faye action that was happening on my face, but they had no idea that I was in the throes of a comedic orgasm.
All because someone farted.
I'm such a fucking child, I know. But my goodness, it felt good to laugh like that. Considering the fact that Hot Rod came out in August, it had been way too long.