Sometimes I just don’t think things through the way I should. For example, the other day I had beans for lunch… a few hours before going for a massage.
So the masseur is working on my lower back and hamstrings, and I’m thinking, “Uh-oh. Those beans are kicking in. What’s the etiquette here?”
I mean, the whole point of a massage is to relax. Clenching one’s butt cheeks together kinda defeats the purpose. And having somebody put pressure on the inflated area really doesn’t help, either.
But what do you do?
Just let ‘er rip and pretend nothing happened? I don’t think so. Even if I managed to squeak out a silent-but-deadly, there are only two of us in the room. The masseur knows nothing came out of his ass, so the process of elimination (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) is fairly simple. I’d know; he’d know; and each of us would know the other knew.
Or do I make up some polite lie? “Excuse me, I need to stand up to stretch out for a few minutes. Could you please leave the room and I’ll let you know when I’m back on the table?”
Seems like a good option at first, but if I really was just stretching and repositioning, it wouldn’t take that long. What happens when he comes back into the room and his eyes start to water? Then we’re right back to the painful process of pretending everything is fine while we both quietly asphyxiate and I melt into a puddle of sheer humiliation.
It might be better to get it all out in open (so to speak): “Sorry, I had beans for lunch and I’ve just now realized the consequences of that. If you value your hands you’ll take them away from the vicinity of my nether regions right now. Go stand outside, and I’ll tell you when it’s safe to come back in here.”
But I’m thinking that might make things a little awkward.
The worst part was that it made me think about Chaucer, and trying to suppress both a giggle and a fart nearly did me in.
I know that last sentence has left you wondering ‘WTF?!?’, particularly since I revealed some time ago that I hated all the literary classics.
Thus my mother’s devious brilliance is revealed. She was a teacher, and she found a foolproof way to interest recalcitrant teenagers in Middle English literature. She didn’t go on about how Chaucer is considered the father of English literature and the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. Nope; one day she ever-so-casually mentioned that Chaucer had a dirty mind and wrote poems with farts in them.
Well, hello, “The Canterbury Tales”!
Which brings me full circle: Lying on the massage table trying not to reenact “The Summoner’s Tale” and suppressing giggles and farts with equal determination.
Can anybody help me out with the correct etiquette for the situation?
* * *
Excerpt from “The Summoner’s Tale” by Geoffrey Chaucer
…‘Ah!’ thought the friar, ‘that will do for me!’
And down his hand he sank to the cleft,
In hopes of finding there a little gift.
And when the sick man felt the friar
Groping round his arse, here and there,
Into the friar’s hand he let fall a fart.
There was no dray-horse pulling on a cart
That could have farted with a louder sound.
The friar started up like an angry lion.
‘Ah, false churl!’ quoth he, ‘by God’s bones,
This was done for spite!’ The friar moans:
‘You’ll pay dearly for that fart, some day!’…
Full version here: http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/English/CanterburyTalesVII.htm
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