Today is my step-grandson Kyle's eleventh birthday. Of course I'm late getting his gift mailed because I've been sick as a dog with the worst flu ever. Finally, yesterday my husband got me out of the house in the Seattle rare spring sunshine and we walked to our neighborhood gift store to get Kyle a card to stuff our check into and something funny to make him realize his step-grandparents aren't dinosaurs from the ice age.
Age eleven is a strange age. You're not quite a teen and you're not quite a little kid. Remembering my own "year of being eleven," which wasn't the best year of my life. (My father left for good that year.) It was also a time of fascination with gross things, like "Wacky Packages," and "Mad Magazine."
So it wasn't too surprising to me that I was immediately drawn to the Farts Book.
The book spoke to me. Literally. Right there on the front cover there was a plastic device with ten buttons. Pushing each button delivered a different kind of fart sound. Inside the book, on sturdy spreads, each fart was given a name and described.
This brought back memories to when I was a child in Rego Park, Queens, and my best friend Kara and I named farts. Of course there was the "Silent but Deadly." The Farts book has that one, too. Kara had the "Saratoga Vischy." I had "The Vischysoisse." Those two weren't in the book.
I thought my husband would think I was too silly, but he agreed that we needed to get the book for Kyle. We also got him some Ninja bandaids and a funny card.
Today I took the package to the post office to mail to Kyle, along with two other packages. It was dumping rain so I put them in a garbage bag to keep them dry. The post office was mostly empty, but I got stuck with "Bob," the slow guy. It can take him forever to process your packages. He was taking forever measuring the box with a sweatshirt for my brother- whose birthday is Saturday. (I'll actually be on time with that one.) When I decided I should line up the other two packages to have them ready to go, because the line was growing behind me and I knew that people would be impatient, I inadvertently put on a show.
A comedy show.
When I pulled Kyle's package out of the garbage bag and grabbed it "just so," I accidentally hit one of the buttons on the book, and it made a huge, burbling fart sound. I think it was the "Seismic Blast." At first I thought maybe it was my iPhone. I recently got it, and it makes different sounds depending on if you are getting a call or a text or ? But I definitely didn't set it to "fart." Bob, the post office guy stopped measuring and looked right at me. I was horrified, but I started laughing. I couldn't help it.
Then, in front of a line of strangers and Bob, I said, "it's a fart book for my step-grandson. It has buttons and when you push them it makes fart sounds." Bob said, very slowly, "oh. I thought something was creaking, or... maybe someone had chili for lunch." He couldn't bring himself to say the word "fart."
Mortification. Embarrassment. I couldn't bring myself to look at the line behind me. Bob moved on to Kyle's package and started man-handling it. "Oh please don't fart, oh please don't fart," I silently wished. I was relieved when the package passed into the basket without a sound.
But then I started wondering about the package and its' journey to Maryland. Will it fart along the way? Will the postal worker who delivers to Kyle's house accidentally hit the button and then think it contains some sort of IED? I almost wish I had a remote camera in there recording each reaction to the farting package.
In some ways I think that we are all still eleven year olds inside, and I hope that the people in the line in the post office were secretly laughing- not at me- but at the silly sophomoric feelings and laughs that farts can bring. And I hope that Kyle doesn't think that his step-grandma has lost her mind.
What have you done that is embarrassingly funny lately?
PS: Crystal: (my daughter-in-law) Don't tell Kyle until after he gets the package, okay?