This week I have decided to pursue what at times could be considered a resonant and even explosive topic: We will be talking about the common and prevalent bodily function of flatulence.
Now, whenever we talk about things like this, we must be discreet and proper. We must act like adults and avoid trivializing or making light of something normal and natural and beautiful. We will not chuckle or snicker, nor will we allow our minds to drift to juvenile contemplations or youthful silliness.
If you feel you can consider this topic under those guidelines, you may continue. However, if the explicit and distinct sound of the expulsion of gaseous vapor from the interior of a human body into the general environment prompts in you even the hint of a grin, then perhaps you are not quite ready. Maybe you should skip this column and move right to the weather page where the mention of the effect of a high pressure system with diverging winds might not seem so humorous.
Since this subject has so many fascinating facets and my column space is limited, I am going to focus on the aspect of the challenges of being a vaporous man. I don’t know if you have noticed, but the male gender seems to have achieved a more gaseous state than the female. Why is that so, you wonder?
Well, there is a scientific explanation for this. It has to do with what I call the “Theory of Saturated Cellular Carbonation.” Here’s how this works …
When men are in the process of dating and courting their future wives, they exercise tremendous self-control of this bodily function. Despite their natural gaseous nature, they suppress the operation of this process. The gas, having nowhere to go, is then internalized into various corporal systems. It is forced into the bloodstream, which becomes somewhat carbonated and a bit toxic. It is then squeezed into tiny capillaries and carried to millions of individual cells, where its latent energy is temporarily housed.
Thus, the man who is in the process of courtship also is in the process of internally infusing the potential power of those franks and beans he ate at his future in-laws barbecue. We all know there are limits to everything. Eventually the man’s cells become carbonatically saturated with gaseous vapor. This saturation point usually happens shortly after the honeymoon. It is then when the long, slow, lifelong elimination process begins to take place.
This would explain the sudden realization on the part of the female that there is something significantly different about the man she just married. What the woman must appreciate is that the man is not the perpetrator of social crudeness or personal impropriety, but that he is simply a victim of not only a normal biological process, but also that of the spirit of self-sacrifice he demonstrated in his willingness to carbonate the very cells of his existence to prove his love during the wooing process.
So there you have it. Sure, scientific explanations can be cold and aloof. After all, we are talking about processes and systems and states of matter. But with understanding comes purpose. With purpose comes appreciation. And with appreciation comes love.
Even though a wife might be startled by a sudden trumpeting sound, or taken aback by an oddly odoriferous scent, she must always remember the thought behind it. For in the spirit of unselfishness and self-denial, the man who has proven his love in the past is now simply confirming it in the present. So, wives, please forgive us if we appear to be hopeless romantics … we just can’t help it.
• Michael Penkava is a retired teacher who taught for 35 years at West Elementary School in Crystal Lake. He is currently considering resaturating his cellular carbonation at the request of his wife. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.