We are not a farty family. I know that there are many families who openly let ‘er rip to the delight of men and children everywhere. Hey, if they’re happy, I’m happy. But we are not those people. This explains the exceptional delight in this house after the receipt of two whoopee cushions as birthday favors on Saturday. Sally didn’t particularly get it or care, but Luke’s enthusiasm more than made up for it.
Yesterday afternoon we plugged the kids into a movie and Tim and I sat together in the kitchen attempting conversation. With tremendous (but still not quite enough) effort to be quiet, Luke sneaked up behind Tim’s chair with his whoopee cushion poised for maximum fart-plosion. His objective: to trick Tim into thinking that he, himself, farted. The first time, Tim jumped out of his seat and ran to the bathroom holding the back of his shorts as if he just had a sudden and messy surprise. Luke’s glee was unparalleled. Absolute fits of screaming laughter. His plan had worked! Even better than he ever could have anticipated. Tim exited the bathroom clearly relieved that his shorts were clean.
Since a good joke cannot be done enough times in a row, Luke left the room to “subtly” refill his cushion. He could barely blow it up for all of his giggling. In the meantime, Tim actually did subtly fill up the other whoopee cushion and placed it under his leg. The moment before Luke gave his own a squeeze, Tim let his concealed cushion fly. Flabbergasted, Luke nearly collapsed from surprise and joy. “It wasn’t even me this time! Daddy really did it! It was Daddy!” he shouted while showing us his still-inflated whoopee cushion as evidence. Once again Tim ran to the loo.
The two of them did this another 6 or 7 times. At first it was genuinely funny. Not the joke itself so much as Luke’s reaction. He HAD NO IDEA that a second whoopee cushion was in play. It stopped being so funny, as most things do with successive repetition. I said something to that effect to Tim, also mentioning that the whole construct of Luke’s prank was absurdly illogical. After all, Tim would certainly feel it if he crapped his pants. Luke was doing it all wrong. My reasonable comment was met with an eye roll and I was told that I’m just too intellectual (implication: not fun enough) to understand a good fart farce.
“I am NOT too intellectual for a whoopee cushion!” I found myself saying, genuinely miffed.
To prove my ability to be just as juvenile as the next guy, I inflated the whoopee cushion and placed it up my shirt. I stood strategically behind the kitchen island, concealing my stuffed shirt. With a simple shift in weight against the counter I too could delight my son. I’ll show them that I can be just as funny and stupid as they are! I called Luke over with the pretense of whispering a plan for a new way to trick Tim into thinking he shat himself, not even mentioning the illogic of the sham. When he got close, I pressed myself against the granite and…
I obliterated the whoopee cushion.
I utterly failed at fart humor.
Tim practically fell off his chair laughing and I broke into that weird laugh where you also sort of cry. Luke still had no idea that there was another whoopee cushion involved in all of this and he took the loud explosion in stride, as if giant BANGS! happen all the time. He simply said, “Stop laughing and tell me the plan!”
I was unable properly execute a joke perfected by 6-year-old boys the world over. It turns out that I might be too intellectual for whoopee cushions. My attempt at fart humor resulted in breaking my daughter’s toy. When I recovered from my hysterics I felt sad, but only for the briefest moment.
Maybe I can’t pull off farty jokes. I’m OK with that.