Yes, I’m talking to you, lady next to me! Let’s stroll together on this scenic river walk—you with your sad, empty arms and I with my crockpot of baked beans and brussels sprouts.
Want to party? No? Guess I’ll bogart the ladle, then, but let me know if you change your mind.
This stew is just super dank. One second I’m inhaling a bite, and the next, my butt’s already exhaling. Aaaaaah. Trust me: there’s no mellower high. Plus, of course, I’m giving back to society. Thanks to people like me—and we’re everywhere!—you can’t go ten feet without savoring the earthy aroma of a stranger’s ass gas.
Man, it’s nice to have a walking buddy for a change. You sure do keep up a good pace! Faster and faster, it seems! But no problemo: every time I cut the old cheddar, it kind of propels me. See what I mean?
It’s beautiful moments like this that make you forget public farting was ever, like, a serious crime. “Gateway to public pooping,” the tight-asses called it. My heart breaks for all the public farters born too soon—the ones who did time for possession of sauerkraut, or walking under the influence of Taco Bell.
We’re so, so lucky to be alive now, in the golden age of public farting.
Sure, it’s still not legal in a lot of places—here, for instance—but all you risk these days is a teensy fine. And think of the awesome new delivery methods: your e-figs, your Juul peapods, your vape penne alla vodka. And the new edibles! Arizona’s got a purple cauliflower that’s mega funky.
Me, though, I’m still your classic crockpot-head. All day, I’m looking forward to my after-work Van Camp’s-and-sprouts. Ooh, baby! Nothing beats letting fly with an OG trouser ripper.
Hang on—let me show you. One… two… three… Mmmm, mmmm.
How great is it that I can blaze up some stew and stroll wherever I please—a river walk like this one, or a botanic garden, or a national monument folks have waited their whole lives to visit—while farting to my heart’s content? How great that everyone finally recognizes that our nation’s most wondrous spaces are even more wondrous when they smell like Joey Chestnut’s bathroom?
Come again? It almost sounded like you said it’s not so great! And that this has been the most revolting walk of your life! Hahaha. Guess I misheard because of your coughing fit.
Wait, you did say that?
Huh. I admit I’m baffled, but no worries: let me just partake some more, and fart a few more times, and then I think you’ll really start to get it because—hey! Give me back my crockpot! What are you doing, swinging it over the railing like that? If you’re not careful, it’s gonna fly right into the riv—NO!!!
I can’t believe you did that. Polluting a place that belongs to all of us, for farts’ sake. What kind of selfish monster are you?
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Melissa Balmain’s latest book is The Witch Demands a Retraction: Fairy-Tale Reboots for Adults (Humorist Books). She edits Light, a journal of comic verse. Her work has appeared in The American Bystander, Lighten Up Online, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Rattle, The Satirist, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. She tweets @MelissaBalmain