Thursday, November 19, 2009

Silent but Deadly

Okay, so I’m still a bit sick, and I’m swamped at work, so I thought I’d make you do the hard part here and toss out

Today’s Flatulence Etiquette Question
for you.

Ready? Good.

If you are shopping in a crowded store and are suddenly overwhelmed by a holy heck awful-- so bad you can taste it-- smell in your general vicinity do you:

A. Ignore it, hope the burning sensation in your eyes goes away, and keep shopping?

B. Crinkle up your nose in a delicate manner to show that while you do acknowledge there is a putrid smell around you, you are not the source?

C. Wave your hand a little in front of your face, as in “Whew, that was a bad one?”

Issues I have with the above:

A. Does this make me look oblivious as in, perhaps one snuck out and I didn’t even notice?

B. My preference, but I’m afraid it might be a little insensitive to the guilty party should he/she notice. Also, does crinkling my nose smack of, “Whoever smelt it dealt it?”

C. Just seems a bit rude, as well as artificially chummy. I’m here to shop people, not bond.

So which one is it? Or is there another option I’ve not considered?

And to add a wee little wrinkle, what if I just happened to be bending over a stack of china plates at the time the smell originated? Does this incriminating posture negate all of the above options?

Would acknowledging the odor in any way at this point reek of, “Methinks thou dost protest too much?" At this point would it be better to just slink away?


Anonymous said...

I always, always go for option D.
That is, laugh hysterically. It doesnt matter who did it or how bad it smells if everybody is smiling. :)

Masala Chica said...

I will usually do item B without even meaning too - as soon as I am confronted with the horror, I usually react right away without thinking. granted - the horror is often coming from my own spouse so all I want to do is run away and hide in the wine aisle at that point!


for a different kind of girl said...

One evening at the bookstore, I noticed a man walking with a rather pinched, slow-moving purpose into the children's department where I, too, was headed. When he apparently sensed me coming up behind him, I figure he also regretted overwhelming my sense, too, for he veered quickly right and I proceeded straight and right into a massive wall of odor so pungent it nearly knocked me backwards. It was a smeller/taster combo. Normally, I would silently scream "OMG!" but this instance was so horrific and so unexpected, I declared my impending death loudly while also looking down to see if perhaps I'd stepped in something that he'd left behind. In such cases, I think courtesy really dictates one issuing a loud (but verbal!) warning to all the innocents!

TwoWishes Tara said...

I love how it's the flatulence question of the moment ... like you're leaving the door open for lots of other flatulence questions.

But this reminds me of a VERY traumatic episode from my past. I once stepped onto an empty elevator that reeked of just that sort of epic gas. Rode it for a few floors, then stepped out. As I was leaving, one of the law firm's leading partners was waiting to step on. Of course, she could only make one assumption about the source of the putrid elevator air.... I wanted to shout "IT WASN'T ME!", but instead just ran away as quickly as possible.

Gretchen said...

UGH I was at CVS recently and REALLY needed something from the grocery aisle but there was a fart-gas-odor that would NOT leave the aisle. I hoped it would eventually float up, or out, or somewhere, but it seemed trapped there. I kept leaving the aisle with "Whew, yuck!" and kept trying to return but it lingered. It's great when you have kids that say, "What mommy?" and you can say, "Someone farted and it wasn't me. You know what MY farts smell like."

Just kidding. only on the last part.

Lynn Kellan said...

I usually inhale deeply and nod in appreciation. That way, folks leave me in peace.

Sokphal said...

I love this post! So funny! Don't forget--"whoever denied it supplied it". It's a lose-lose situation.

TheLab said...

I run.

Mwa said...

I back away. Fast. But I may comment if I have company. Also - wrinkling a nose is quite involuntary at this point. So B plus backing away. I do think you're protesting rather a lot though - are you sure it wasn't you?

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...


Not this time. :)

Anonymous said...

Remember Jim Carrey from that one movie? You could shout, "Do NOT go in there! Whew!"? You could try that. Or perhaps whip out a purse-sized air freshener and aim it at the suspected offender.

Yuck, no matter the response.


Shana said...


Unknown said...

this reminds me of a time I was in a store and a little old lady accidentally let one rip.

As I tried not to stare in horror, she thought fast and quickly replicated the squeaky sound with her mouth!

She just continued down the aisle, making little fart noises, like, "What? I always make fart noises with my mouth. This is normal."

Heidi said...

Ha! It's one of the pitfalls of this time of year. Christmas shopping in very close proximity to others. I'm already crinkling my nose.