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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Like a Fart in Church

a rant by Jennifer Neff

So there I was at a church service with my husband. We were sitting close to the back of the building in a service with a few hundred people in it. This was a very large church and that day it was packed. People who had come in later than us were forced to stand in the back along the walls. I like to go to services in the late morning because they're not too early in the morning and not too late in the day that we forget to go. That time of day is the most popular time for church goers.

Music was playing and we were all standing up, singing along, and finding meaning to the words. The doors in the front were opened up to let in a warm breeze. It was a relief to the large, stuffy room packed with faithful followers. The sunshine flooding into the front of the room added to the joy of the moment.

The music stopped and we all sat down, eager to hear the words of the pastor. As he spoke I followed along in the bible I had rested on my lap. Every once in a while I would look up and see other people listening; taking in the word of the lord. Every once in a while I would meet eyes with another person and then look away quickly, pretending to look at something else. I squeezed my huband's hand to let him know I was happy to be there with him.
Our pastor ended his subject by giving us a moment to pray on our own. This was followed by the sound of closing books and rustling pages. Then there was silence. I had my head bowed in prayer with my eyes closed. I was focus on my thoughts. That pristinely silent moment was interrupted by one of the loudest farts I had ever heard (or so it seemed) coming from my husband.

With open mouth I looked up at him in awe of what happened. I couldn't believe he actually just did that. He was looking at me with a crease in his brow and one eyebrow raised in a position of judgment and disgust. One thought flashed through my mind: he's blaming me for that! At once I gave him a look suitable to be endorsed by Medusa herself. I was outraged that he would try to pawn off such a heinous crime on me. I wanted to stand up in the middle of everyone and point at him and shout, "he did it! He's the one who tainted the air we breathe! He's the foul one!"

It was then that I noticed the hundreds of eyes that were staring straight at me. The entire back section of the church had turned around to see who had the gall to fart during prayer. Each gaze was like a bag of sand, dragging me down to the floor with shame. If only I could hide under them! Oh, how I was regretting not waking up a few hours earlier for the not-so-popular service. The thought of standing up for myself quickly vanished in my head and all I could muster was a slight giggle, a sheepish grin, and a tiny wave. Blood was pounding in my cheeks and my skin was on fire. I immediately opened my bible and became intensely interested in its pages as the crowd turned back around.

As the service continued all I could think about was sweet revenge. I plotted to myself with an evil smile on my face, imagining the possibilities. I could put itching powder in his boxers. I could put Visine in his soda. I could put Bengay on the toilet seat, or brush the dog's teeth with his tooth brush. Then again I could give him a taste of his own medicine and eat a whole can of refried beans 30 minutes before bedtime. Oh the slaughter to ensue!

The church service ended. We all closed our books and shuffled out the door, and I smiled all the way home.

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