So began the best week of my life.
Fifth grade. Mrs. Newman had tormented me mercilessly. Sending me to
the office and notes to my house. Lots of handwringing and violent
outbursts resulting in me standing outside the classroom looking out at
the trees along the playground, thinking how great it was to be
outdoors on a day like this.
But Mrs. Newman had begun to get the upper hand. She was slowly
surmounting me. She would never quit, and I didn't have the time, the
gumption or the courage to resist.
One hot day, we sat taking a test. Mrs. Newman sat at her desk by the
swiveling fan, doing something, I don't remember. Reading a magazine, I
guess. Wearing a calico dress, knee length, nothing scandalous.
Then, we all heard it.
It was long and full and strong, the kind of fart you've been holding
in for a long long time hoping it'll go away, only it doesn't, it just
keeps getting bigger and bigger until it forces its way out of you.
It was long enough for us to look up and a number of us saw (later
confirmed) that her dress appeared to be ballooning out in back as a
result. This could've been due to the fan, but in any event we were
sold on the idea of the wind from her ass blowing her skirt back.
When it was over, there was a period of stunned silence. Not an eye on
his or her paper. Mrs. Newman, on the other hand, simply turned the
page of her magazine. Trying to ignore the unpleasant reality she just
cut one in front of a room of 30 kids.
Maybe she could, but we couldn't.
The laughter began slowly, then picked up speed and volume. Bright red,
Mrs. Newman stared at us, like we'd gone crazy and suddenly begun
laughing for no apparent reason. She was determined to pretend it never
happened, only her scarlet face told on her. And there was no stopping
"You farted!" I said, an unnecessary enough observation; a twist
knife I couldn't resist. The laughter redoubled.
"Out!" She pointed at the door.
The laughing followed and even after I closed the door I could still
hear it. I sat down on the steps and looked out at the trees across the
playground and thought I could not feel happier.
Yes, I attempted to compound and prolong this joy by keeping the
incident alive -- inventing the nickname "Mrs. Gassy", drawing diagrams
of her digestive system and blowing skirt, even making a cartoon strip
of Mrs. Gassy the lady who keeps farting all the time. This last one
earned me a trip to the principal's office (who I knew by name), some
stern words and a solemn promise to cut it out on pain of suspension.
Still, the best week of my life.