Advance Warning


Earlier this Thanksgiving Day I burped. With all the food eaten and beverages consumed today I’m thinkin’ I’m not the only one. I hadn’t even eaten our Thanksgiving meal yet. It was a soda burp.

In my case, it lead to a discussion on whether or not people have advance warning before they burp (or fart for that matter), so that they can close their mouth or even excuse themselves to another room before cutting loose.

Years ago I had this same discussion with a co-worker, and dear friend, who complained that her husband (now ex) farted right there in their living room in front of her. On the couch even!

She’d tell him that he should go to the restroom. He’d argue that he had no advance warning, and therefore had no choice but to fart wherever he was at the time. She was somewhat offended by this. Her thinking was that he was just being lazy about where he dispensed his farts, and the claim of “no advance warning” was his unbelievable excuse.

In comes me. I was a little nervous about defending my friend’s husband as she seemed pretty certain that farting in front of others was uncouth. And really, her husband was a little uncouth sometimes in general, so it wasn’t a great stretch of the imagination to take his actions that way.

But no matter his other social manners I had to defend him because I hated to see him being unfairly accused. I wouldn’t want to be unfairly accused either. I too get very little advance warning that I might burp or “break wind” (if we want to be a little more polite here). So I told her that I rarely know ahead of time.

It was a surprise to her that anybody else would make this claim. While to me it was a surprise that other people get advance warning most of the time like my friend apparently did. It’s like some kind of magical fart-burp-ESP. Not me.

I almost never get a building of pressure to give me warning. Just, “frrrrp!” I’m sorry! I might shift my weight. Stand up. Sit down. And frrrrpppp! 

Today’s burp was the same, I was breathing in, breathing out, just like all the other times I breath, everyday, day after day.

Today, instead of the normal exhale that comes 99.9999% of the time, out came, “BRRRRURPPP!” I said “excuse me.” And, because I have the sense of humor of a five-year-old, I laughed.

I think I tend to laugh louder when I have zero warning. It surprises me. It feels like aliens have momentarily taken control of my body causing the burp. It tickles a little as it comes out. Then the aliens leave, and I once again have control of my body. Except for the laughter. (I can’t always control that either.)

I’m pretty sure the giggling kind of nullifies the “excuse me.” And it doesn’t help my argument that I had no advance warning. But I didn’t. Really!

My only advance warning was that I drank soda pop earlier, and that I was breathing. I didn’t feel it ahead of time at all (and don’t most of the time). And for those rare times I do feel it ahead of time, I try to be polite, but I don’t feel like I have time to go to another room. 

I briefly might know I’m going to burp. Then I burp. The End.

I’m probably not a very good role model for my daughter in this way. But I do believe her when she claims she didn’t know it was coming (except after the third time in a row I get suspicious).

Happy Thanksgiving Folks!

(This post was also for NaBloPoMo.)

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