It was third grade and I was at the top of my game. I had just transferred from my old elementary school into a new one and was making friends quickly. I was a recess pro in that I could come up with fun games like “Pterodactyl Town” on the spot and I was renowned for running fast and hard until I threw up. Multiple choice tests were coming easier for me.
Once I figured out that if the answer wasn’t listed I could simply select “E. None of the above” rather than the answer closest to the correct one, I was golden! I didn’t have a serious beau or anything, but I was popular with the boys. I was cool and flirtatious without being a tease, ya know? Everything was looking great, until one grim day, everything changed.
The entire class and myself were seated Indian-Style (my favorite style) on the floor while Mrs. Cox held up some book and jabbered on. Mrs. Cox was one of the bitchiest women I’d ever come in contact with; she loved humiliating children. Her stirrup pants were never flattering on her, which didn’t help. (Even at 8 I knew that camel-toes were downright trashy.)
Reading time was very quiet, onIy Cox’s low voice could be heard and it was easy to drift off. I was too enthralled with Michael George’s amazing slicked back hair to care about what the teach was reading about. I was madly in love with Michael and had been ever since I first walked into that third grade class as the new student with a velvet vest, permed hair and big dreams. Also stirrup pants. I took one look at him and my heart nearly exploded. Michael and I later had a wild love affair in 5th grade, but that’s for another time.
Speaking of things exploding, I guess I got a little riled up and let out an audible, solid, fart. Horrified, but trying to keep my cool I did the ‘ol “casual and curious look around so no one expects it’s you,” move. It didn’t work. My fellow woman, Sara, outted me.
“Katie did it!” she hissed with satisfaction. A giggle party erupted.
Mrs. Cox then looked at me and asked, “Katie, was that you?” What the hell kind of teacher doesn’t ignore a fart and tell the kids to quiet down and pay attention? I was trapped.
“Yes,” I replied while hanging my head in shame.
“Please don’t do that again,” she said. I wanted to die. Who farts for the world to hear on purpose? Cox knew that, damnit! She just wanted to humiliate me. Her and that little biatch, Sara, were probably in cahoots. My bus ride home was also mortifying.
At Michael’s stop he joked, “Don’t fart on me, Katie!” The noive. My spirits were completely crushed. I made a vow that day. As God as my witness, I will never fart in school again! (Unless I was on the playground and could make a quick release with no one hearing.) Eventually everyone forgot about my fart, but I didn’t!
I successfully remembered my vow all the way through high-school, but what about college? Then work? In a meeting? On the subway? On a date? At a funeral? Would this fart vow haunt me the rest of my life? Will I stress about it my whole life? As you grow older you realize… farts happen to humans. They’re actually pretty hilarious. While I know this now, that damned third-grade fart will be with me wherever I go. It was the fart that changed my life.