Fourteen years ago we were living in Beaverton, OR. My DH worked at Verizon with his friend, Dan , and they were constantly pulling practical jokes on one another. Dan had a “Fart Machine”. It consisted of a small speaker and a remote control that could change the type, duration, etc. of the flatulence. It was kind of like a Whoopee cushion on steroids. They would hide the speaker portion of the machine in each other’s offices and set it off when visitors or co-workers came to see them. Eventually everyone in their building knew what was happening and the joke grew stale and boring, so they stopped using it.
One day my DH decided to revive the neglected prank on new, unsuspecting people. So, unbeknown to me, he stuck the speaker portion of the device in the bottom of A2′s diaper bag one evening before we went grocery shopping. The store was crazy busy and the checkout lines had people stacked up with their carts clear back to the food aisles. We stood patiently for about 5 to 10 minutes, shuffling dutifully forward until we could finally unload the contents of our cart onto the belt. No sooner had we put the last item up there, then my DH disappeared, along with A1, who was two. A2, who was only a few months old, would not tolerate anyone else to hold her I had to juggle my purse, the diaper bag and A2 while waiting to pay. I was annoyed, but assumed that my DH had simply taken the older child for a walk to keep her entertained. I was so intent on keeping A2 placated, and making sure my coupons were ready to go that I was not paying attention to anything around me. Eventually I noticed that the people behind me had suddenly backed up, bumping into the folks behind them, causing quite the commotion, and leaving a wide gap between us. Then, to my mortification, I finally heard the reason why. Loud, juicy, raspberries, punctuated by sudden bursts of popcorn farts were bursting forth from the diaper bag, which strategically rested on the small of my back while the long strap hung over my left shoulder. I frantically scrambled to shift A2 and the bag so I could pull out the speaker. The sudden movement set A2 into a squalling rage. By this time the checker was staring at me with her eyes wide and mouth agape.
I struggled to maintain dignity and a sense of decorum while explaining to everyone that it wasn’t me, that there was a machine in my bag, but the words in my head wouldn’t come out the way I intended. In my head I said, “Please pardon the flatulence noises emanating from my bag, but my immature husband, and his friend find it funny to embarrass and humiliate unsuspecting people in public with their juvenile antics.”
What spewed from my mouth, “It’s my husband (who was nowhere to be seen)! Dan and Brian. I’m not farting! He has a remote!” All the while, A2 cried and my words were punctuated with loud toots.
By this time I’d turned the diaper bag upside down on top of the groceries of the person behind me. Various baby items came out, but a wall-o-diapers at the bottom of the bag was wedged in tightly and the speaker was under those, facing downwards, so that the sound came out the bottom of the bag. Eventually I located my DH, standing next to an ice machine. He was purple and doubled over from laughing.
At this point I gave up trying to explain myself. I gave my debit card to the clerk and started stuffing assorted baby paraphernalia back into the bag. Leaving with dignity wasn’t even an option at that point. Once the groceries were paid for I put A2 in the cart and practically ran out the door.
There have been other incidents like this over our 21 years together, most of them early on. This is why I do not have a lot of sympathy for the lone male in our house as he endures life with three emotional teenaged girls. Karma, baby! It’s real.