Someone once said life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes, as though it were the bubbles in your bath all tra la la and lavender scented. Truth is, life is a series of harrowing challenges, each one more dynamically designed than the last to make you look like a schmuck. For proof I invite you to film yourself at the moment of orgasm, watch it sober and with friends, and tell me life isn’t tailor-made to make you look like a fool. That being said, at least we can look to history for some idea how to manage a lot of these terrible challenges — first dates, job interviews, grand larceny trials. But what about those unseemly incidents, those moments we feel are best forgotten so we never mention them and thus future generations have to handle them as virgins? What’s up with that bullshit? My pain is your gain; suckle from my knowledge teat and be wise.
#4. Showering At Someone Else’s House
Everyone wants the home-court advantage; that’s a given. I’ve known people who will drive over an hour out of their way to get back to their own houses just to poop for fear of using a toilet in public. Generally speaking, a shower is not really in the same ballpark. You never eat a Grand Slam at Denny’s and within a half hour feel like you need a shower. Wait, that’s not true. What I mean is the need to shower rarely creeps up your backside like the ever-puffening fingers of doom. You can usually plan them.
If you’re out of town or spending the night at a friend’s or some such, the shower predicament becomes real. And a solid 50 percent of the time it’s no problem at all. But only 50 percent of the time. So if you’re sitting there thinking, “Every shower I have ever taken was refreshing and crisp and I have well-coiffed pubes at all times,” then good for you, mister. Why don’t you go model some fuckin’ Diesel jeans?
I can’t even afford a stock photo of Diesel Jeans.
The rest of us have had that trepidatious moment when we find ourselves in the shower of, say, the parents of the person we’re seeing now. Maybe it’s the holidays and this is your first time meeting them in person, and now you’re naked and cold in their bathroom and their faucet looks like it was designed by NASA and there’s more than one shower head and at least one knob on the wall that you’ve literally never seen in a bathroom before. But here you are, naked and in the stall, and you don’t want to be the moron who asks for help bathing, because you don’t live in an institution and all of us are supposed to know how to do this by the time we’re about 5 or 6.
So you stare at the assorted knobs and such for a moment and rely on history to guide you. Left is hot and right is cold. Only that’s never, ever true if you’re in a place with unlabeled faucets. Why? Because plumbers hate us, I assume. But the moment you think you can attain warm water with ease is the moment you scald your genitals like a German man on holiday in Amsterdam.
Wish you were here!
The only possible way to actually come out ahead in this situation, barring not taking a shower and hoping to mask your stink, is to literally see it coming and prepare in advance. If you’re at your significant other’s parents’ house, you need to ask your special someone in private how to use the shower. They’re OK with you looking and sounding dumb, so it won’t harm anything. You can’t ask your partner’s dad, though, because that’s a one-way ticket to dipshit street.
#3. Farts In A Dignified Situation
The thing that united all of mankind is not thumbs or language or a love of tacos; it’s the fact all people, from babies to the elderly, find farts hilarious. We have written works of poetry so moving they can bring a grown man to tears. We have mastered technology that can take us to other planets. We have crawled by tooth and claw from the primordial ooze through the rigors of hunting and gathering to farming to industrialization and beyond, and throughout all of this, farting has made us laugh.
But, flying in the face of what I just said, not every fart is funny. If you’re on a road trip with a friend who’s eaten three bags of corn chips, his 15th fart in the sweltering heat of the day isn’t funny at all. It’s motive. And you’ll come across these fart instances here and there that are not so much funny as gross, as is to be expected with what amounts to a draft from your asshole making itself known in the room.
The most awkward of all farts one has to deal with is the serious or dignified fart. This is your high-profile job interview or funeral-type fart.
A fart so bad it causes additional funerals.
I’ve experienced only one, and it was brutal. It was in a hospital room as a doctor explained the condition of family member who was not going to be getting better. Imagine that somber moment, when you hear a loved one’s accident was worse than you had feared and they’re not going to make it. And someone cuts a ripper that sounds like rubber being dissected with a chainsaw. Not a long one, just a quick “braawp!” Loud, unmistakable, poignant. It was as though someone had pulled a gun and was choosing a victim and the rest of us could simply wait to see what happened next.
First: No, it wasn’t me. I mean, often it’s me. You would have been smart to put money on me if you were playing the odds, but it wasn’t. I don’t know who it was. I only have suspicions. No one came forward, because why would you?
Anonymous shame is your only option.
You can’t lighten the mood after such an apocalyptic fart; the mood isn’t meant to be lightened. The fart itself was an inappropriate mood lightener. There’s literally nothing appropriate to say at that moment unless the person you’re all just freshly grieving was ironically hospitalized by a fart, but what are the odds of that?
What did we do? After an agonizing pause, the doctor cleared her throat and just kept talking. We opted for fantasy, to believe in make believe. There had been no fart and we would not acknowledge its existence. And so it was.