Published Dec 11, 2010

One of the things about being married is that one gets used to being disgusting as a single man and yet that’s somehow socially unacceptable once one grows up and enters matrimonial life. This creates a variety of challenges for us men, one of which is to figure out what to do with our farts.This one night, I ate something that disagreed with me. We went to bed, and my wife went soundly to sleep, but I sat there, distended and fidgety, fighting my gas.
Several times, I got up and rushed over to the bathroom, hoping that would provide relief.
But, no matter how much I hoped, I still ended up in the same spot: in bed, tossing and turning and clenching myself against all that gas.
Now, let me provide some context: we live in a house we rent. Behind this house, we have a big backyard. It’s preposterously big, actually; one of the main reasons we got the place. Behind that, there’s a big, 7- or 8-foot-tall wooden fence, separating us from an alley. It looks like this:
So, there we were, sleeping — or, half of us sleeping, the other half up and down to the bathroom.
Suddenly, there was a big clatter in the alley. Given the area and the time of night, it was probably homeless people having a few beers or maybe going through a trash can.
All of the racket woke Courtney from her deep sleep: she was scared, and not unreasonably, since noise like that always seems to be coming from right outside the window, not dozens of feet away, behind the tall, sturdy fence. I comforted her and she fell back to sleep. That’s comforted in the hugging and soothing words way! Get your head out of the gutter.So, anyway, there we were, Courtney sleeping, me tired but distended and tumefied. It was late and dark and cold outside of our cozy bed. I didn’t want to get up. Finally, after a fidget in this direction, a fidget in that direction, I let it out. Ahhh, sweet relief. I smiled and relaxed for a moment.
You all know that moment, you guys: it’s that moment after it feels great, before you smell it and you realize you won’t get away with it. Okay, everyone’s asleep, I’m bound to be home scot-free right? No! Suddenly Courtney’s eyes pop open. “Oh my god, what is that? Do you smell that?”“It’s Jake. Jake!” I scold. Blaming the dog: it always works on TV! But Jake’s smart, he knows this smell is way beyond his pay grade. He doesn’t even move; he’s not taking the fall.My wife knows it’s beyond his pay grade too. “That’s not Jake!” now she’s sitting up in bed, scared. “It’s the homeless men! They’re making weapons of mass destruction in the alleyway!” I’d forgotten about the clattering just a moment ago. Chemical weapons? My wife must have more exciting dreams than me. But she’s convinced. “Chemical weapons! We’ve got to call the police!”
All of a sudden, my wife’s fumbling for her cell phone, about to call the police because of the incredible smell I’ve just created. The dog thing failed; I know there’s nothing to be done for it. I can wait for the cops to come and have them discover the odor’s restricted to the bedroom, or I can just ‘fess up now and get kicked off to the couch. I take my medicine. “It was me,” I croak shyly. Courtney’s mouth hangs open. “Oh my God, you did that? I was going to call Homeland Security!”
And that’s how my wife almost called the cops on my gas. And how I learned, for the rest of that night at least, how to better take care of my bloated self: