In what is now becoming a yearly tradition, I have, for the second straight year, been farted (on? at?)—in any case, I've been victimized by the wanton farts of a devious old man aboard an airplane.
Longtime blog readers will recall that last year, on my 2-week pilgrimage to Birmingham to work on my English PhD, that I was farted at/on by a foul old septugenarian on the incoming flight. It was an assault. An olfactory assault. He may as well have been tossing warm wet garbage at me. I chalked it up to a general loosening of the body's muscles, a natural product of the aging process. But I hung around my grandfather and other old men in my youth and, to the best of my recollection, I fail to recall being ceaselessly peppered with foul old toots coughed up from their randomly-cannonading nether orifices. No, they kept that stuff on lockdown. Not so with that old salt on the plane. It was just . . . a debacle. A hellish living nightmare of sorts, if you will allow me indulge in a small bit of hyperbole.
Well, one hopes that would be the end of it. But then tonight I took my seat beside an old man with a certain mischevious glimmer in his eye and I knew—oh yes, friends, so surely did I know—that I might be in for it again. And indeed, history repeated. It was a merciless bombardment. I was under fire. They came hot and heavy, quite literally. Could I wave the white flag? Would my enemy recognize my plea for clemency, or would he simply reload and re-commit to his war crimes? I tried to hold out against the reckless insults he heaped on me—Lord in Heaven, what had I ever done to deserve such treatment?—but he was a cunning and wily foe, his features fixed into an expression of extreme serenity as he drilled me with his terrible, horrible, soul-destroying stench-lobs. Did nobody else SMELL them? What could I say? I was paralyzed into inaction. I simply froze and absorbed many a foul blow. I may have passed out at one point, I can't fully recall. The inner lining of my nostrils will have to be surgically bleached, I'm pretty sure.
Hateful, awful, vexing old farters! Why do I keep running afoul of them? I swear, next time I'm going to say something. I'm going to grab them by their scrawny wattled old turkey neck and say, "Stop FARTING you fearsome old shipwreck, you! Cease and desist or I'm going to stick a carrot up your caboose and plug you up for good and all!"
I can only hope that these experiences do not sour me on aging entirely. Perhaps I will become a cynical old farter myself, ripping grundlers at my unsuspecting seatmates under the assumption that it is now my right as an oldster. Having seen something of hell, I wish only to wreak some of it on others as it was wrought upon me. Well, let's hope my better instincts prevail.