Stairwells by Kelly Crigger
by Kelly Crigger
We all have microorganisms in our bowels that digest the stuff we eat and then let off waste in the form of gas that builds in your lower intestines until you feel pressure to release it. It’s usually a mixture of methane, nitrogen, oxygen, and CO2, depending on what you ate 8 hours ago. Farting is a biological fact that happens to all of us and is the body’s way of saying, “shit is about to happen.” Yet, despite several Wikipedia pages on flatulence, it’s socially unacceptable to do it, admit it, or even talk about it. Some of you are cringing just reading this, and some of you at this very moment feel the pressure building up and need to find an outlet for it. Ranger Up is here to help.
I work in a cubicle farm where the “walls” are merely 4 foot dividers that even PR Cole could look over. If I were to let my sphincter vibrate and expel the gasses inside it, I’d quickly become “that flagellating guy” and have a stigma forever. It took me too long to get over the death of disco to go through that again. Sometimes it’s fun to gross out a car of wasted college kids while following the paper boy at 0500 and picking up all the papers he throws out. But that’s one of only a handful of scenarios that justify ass gas. To relieve my pressure at work I choose stairwells. There are three in my building that I am particularly fond of.
The first one is tight and runs from the top to the bottom of the building, which increases the risk factor of playing a one-man round of “pull my finger.” Its carpeting muffles sound well, but there are so many turns and floors, I can never tell if anyone is in there with me. I could step on a duck and then turn the corner to find my boss staring me in the face. Not being terribly witty on my feet, I would probably blurt out “whoever smelt it dealt it!” Forget any ideas of promotion.
The second stairwell is halfway between the cafeteria and my cubicle, so I have time to walk and let the jumpers shuffle their way toward the door (I rarely let single jumpers out the door). It’s a big, open space that only has one switchback so I can see everyone in the area. It branches off into the designated smoking area so it reeks of cigarettes and covers all air biscuit odors. But the big space is empty, which only tempts me to squeeze out the cloth ripper just so I can hear it echo off the walls. I always fear letting a loud one go will happen just as someone is returning from their smoke break, but this hasn’t stopped me from tempting fate.
The last stairwell is one of those grandiose, double stairways that you see in European palaces, only ours leads down into a cafeteria and deposits you in the middle of many tables. The sounds of patrons chewing and talking muffles everything, so I can get away with bubbling up the ghost, but it’s a double-edged sword. The eau de ass is difficult to mask because my farts don’t just float way harmlessly. Like grenadine in orange juice (I used to bartend), they tend sink to lower atmospheric levels, so as I’m walking down a replica of the Titanic staircase, the air that was recently in my colon has already beaten me to the dining area. Ruffling the cheeks here after a night of chili and beers is unwise.
Farts are a design flaw. We should have a chimney on the top of our heads and they should be the center of social attention when someone belches one out. “I feel the same way myself” should be just as common as Gesundheit. This story really has nothing to do with the military. I’m just relieving a little pressure.