Thursday, January 31, 2013

Passing Gas and the Art of the Nickname.

Ever since my "Passing Gas and the Art of Marriage" post a few weeks back, I have become aware of a disturbing trend in my life... a good deal of my interactions with others revolve around farting and fart jokes.

I suppose it's not really all that much of a surprise, but I really think of myself as a little more high brow than that when it comes to my personal comedy.

I've noticed that both my kids (including Pint Size, who is not really talking yet) respond hysterically to fart jokes and jokes about farting. Both of them get giggles out of passing gas in front of each other, especially if I'm around to say "ewww". They will then do their best to double down on their flatus and toot a few more times. I watch, frowning as their faces contort, trying their best to produce more methane, and worry sometimes that they'll hurt themselves from the strain.

Fortunately, Pint Size learned a few weeks ago to make the noise with his mouth, and goes around making "ppppbbt" noises for hours at the dog. Short Stuff finds this "HEEE-STER-ICKLE" (his words, not mine) and bought not one, but TWO whoopie cushions at the arcade last night instead of all the other toys he could have spent his hard earned skee-ball tickets on. I'll be checking my seat for weeks.

My wife, despite her protests to the contrary, enjoys the gas humor as well, though she is far more subtle. The other day, I used a nickname for her in conversation we were having that she didn't approve of.  I shortened her given name in the way that "Silverfox" would be shortened to "Silver". She insisted that if I was going to shorten her name, she would prefer "Sil".

One thing about most of the writers I know is that we hate having our word choices criticized. "Excuse me?" I said, "You don't get to CHOOSE your nickname. By definition, a nickname is what others agree to call you!"

"Really?" she said in that "Rob you need to shut up and agree with me" voice.

"Yes, really." I said in my "I am way too stupid to just let this go" voice, "I could call you 'Silvy-Silvy-poo-poo' If I felt like it... as your husband it's up to me to come up with and implement a nickname for you. Not for you to just tell me what I'm gonna call you."

"Silvy-Silvy-poo-poo." She said quietly.

"That's right." I said, still not knowing that I should just leave well enough alone, "Don't even get me started on the banana-nana-fo-fana stuff."

"So, by that logic..." she starts with the "You are about to get slam dunked on by Jordan" voice, "I could call you whatever I want."

"I already have a nickname." I said, sensing the danger about to come for the first time, "It's Rob. It's a shortened form of 'Robert' and you use it all the time."

"Oh no my friend..." She said with a mischievous grin, "I will now refer to you solely by farting with a soft 'Brappt' sound."

"You wouldn't." I said in amused horror.

"I absolutely would"

"You couldn't. To physically produce that much gas as often as you say my name you would have to..."

"Drink six cups of coffee and half a case of diet Coke a day."

"You've already done the math?"

"That's right, 'Brappt'." She said*, "I would only have to drink like, an extra two cans of Coke and you would be at my mercy."

"Boy, it's a good thing you've already introduced me to your mom and all your friends." I said, "'Hi, Mom, this is my boyfriend 'Brappt'' wouldn't make a very good first impression."

"Sure you don't want to rethink this, 'Brappt'?"

"I already have, 'Sil'. I love you."

"I love you too."

Yes, she totally blackmailed me to her point of view. I cannot stress enough how much I love this woman.

*She SAID! My wife did at no time actually pass gas during this conversation!

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