Tonight at the AMC movie theater inside Century City Mall, I was taking a pee break in the men’s room before “Michael Clayton” started. By the time I got to the urinal, however, something erupted in the stall about ten feet to my right. To call it a “fart” would be doing it a grave disservice to all other farts, even those forced into the world by my brother Sean.
Yes, even the farts Sean created in the car en route to Utah in 1981, which I think we can all agree was his Golden Age of Farting.
No, this was another beast altogether. Deep, rich and sonorous, it was the kind of basso profundo that ricocheted around the tile walls with stunning clarity, like the Whispering Gallery atop St. Paul’s Cathedral. After a few more seconds, with the bleat not stopping, I knew we might be on to something.
A man in a denim jacket came into the bathroom, as well as a gay Asian couple, and all three immediately froze when they heard the din. It was not the kind of noise you laughed at; no, it was the kind you experienced with jaws relaxed open with the possibility you might be witness to history.
At this point, I checked the second hand of my watch and backtimed the fart to about 12 full seconds. Now it was much more than a fart – there were ungodly noises of wet effluvium, vaguely reminiscent of when they open the release valves on the Hoover Dam. I looked at the gay couple, and they looked at me. This had gone past humor, past absurdity, and was now entering another realm altogether.
At eighteen seconds in, it still hadn’t finished. I was beginning to calculate who could possible have that much gas, or really, anything inside them. Plus, who was this Anonymous Farter? Was he six-foot-eight, round as a toll booth? One thing was for certain: he possessed a lack of self-awareness that defied all social convention. As the vibrating, thunderous ass gasps continued, I knew we were dealing with someone who had broken the chains of moral obligation and drop-kicked inhibition to the wind.
Still others came into the bathroom, and were slowed by wonder. At some point, tears came into my eyes, because it had come all the way back to being funny again. I simply couldn’t believe a human being’s butt was capable of such cacophony, and by now, nor could anyone else. We were all strangers, but smiling now, knowing we were sharing something truly special. By the time the dying blasts emanated through the room, I checked my watch: 25 seconds.
The movie was starting, and I knew the aftermath would take some nuclear waste know-how to tidy up, and thus I never met the man responsible. But I would like to say this: Dear Sir, you have a gift. It’s not often one gets a superlative moment in life, so I must thank you for abandoning all care and letting us experience what will surely be The Greatest Fart We Have Ever Heard. I doff my cap to you, and wish you many happy returns.