Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spin Gas

The fire department was just here (for a false alarm; long, unrelated story) and the two guys who came in were in full fireman regalia – coats, hats, gas masks – and it took every ounce of my faltering maturity not to say to the both of them, “Gee, that gas mask would have come in handy in my spin class this morning, because someone was cutting farts like you would not believe.”

I had actually been thinking about gas masks (as well as those little surgical masks that doctors wear) as the only reasonable antidote to this morning’s gas crisis. In fact, it was one of my suggestions when I was recounting my class experience to my husband. I found it a very big coincidence that just a few hours later, there were two men in my house with gas masks. That almost never happens. It was almost as if they were a gift from the heavens.

In case you’re wondering whether a grown woman feels like it’s déclassé to devote a whole conversation – indeed, a whole blog post – to farting, the answer is yes, she does. I pride myself on having a lot of gastrointestinal empathy in general, even if my conversation is not especially high-minded. It was with this empathy (and immaturity) that I relayed to my husband the events of the class.

“It was a hard class,” I told him, “made harder by the fact that some guy was farting big, smelly, guy-farts, and it became really unpleasant to breathe.”

“You know who was farting?” he asked.

“Not specifically,” I said, “but it was surely one of the big guys.”

“Doesn’t that declaration seem a little sexist?” my husband asked.

He had a point. But, “these were definitely six-foot-three farts; not five-foot-six farts. Plus they were awful. Eggy and sulphuric, like the Secaucus swamps.”

“Does that always happen on Sundays?” he asked. My husband and I can have long, drawn-out conversations about intestinal gas, and this was well on its way to being one of them.

It had happened once before on a Sunday, but the truth is I’m usually up in the front of the class, impervious to any line of fire. But today I was late and took a spot in the back row – riding off into a sea of behinds.

“Not only guy-gas, but Sunday-morning gas,” my husband said, he in his own way empathetic about the ways of methane. “That’s gas accumulated from Saturday night. God only knows the source.”

Just thinking about it made me start to gag all over again.

Spin Gas is tough. It’s not like being in an elevator where everyone can hold their breaths for 20 or 30 floors. You’re already gasping for as much air as you can get just to get through the next song. And I’m certainly not faulting the guy (ok…or girl), but the whole experience has motivated me to move a little more quickly on Sunday mornings, and snag a teacher’s pet seat right in the very front row.


  1. OMG. That's bad! Definitely leave earlier next Sunday!
    I had a similar experience, but it was in a yoga class. . .and I wrote about it in a blog post. My husband thinks I'm nuts so I'm going to show him this post!

  2. jessica- i had to read this after our conversation the other day- my side is killing me from laughing so hard! i can't believe i was sitting there the whole time thinking the same thing-you captured the experience to a.....P- as in PU!
    see you soon- let's make sure we are up front next time...

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