Let me start things off by saying that my wife and I spend a lot of time trying to make one another laugh. It doesn’t matter the quality of the joke, as long as it’s funny. Our humor knows no bounds. No joke is too sophisticated, no joke is too “blue.” The only requirement is that the joke has to be funny; the laughter must be earned. We are each the funniest person the other one knows. It’s a great deal of why we are married and will stay married. And it feels always feels so damned great to make her laugh. I love the sound of her laughter, the smile on her face and wrinkles around her eyes as she cackles, and knowing that I brought her joy, even just temporarily, makes my day brighter. Sometimes the best way to make the other one laugh is to do something that makes you laugh, even if it is something that is so simple and stupid. Sometimes you just have to grab a random idea and test it out. If it fails, so what? We will just move on and stay married. If it lands, then that’s fantastic. We tend to talk about the great jokes and laughs for months and years afterward, but we never condemn the failures for longer than a minute.
The freedom in attempting to bring one another laughter under any circumstances affords the extra comical gray area: there are times when the joke fails, but the situation that arises from the failure is funnier than the original joke ever could have been. Thus, we have a driving force for continued attempts at making one another laugh.
One of these instances occurred in a department store several years ago, long before we were parents.
We were in the jewelry/makeup section of a Macy’s or some place like that, so I was naturally bored. We had separated from each other for some time, as I was trying to entertain myself while she browsed. I think she was looking for a gift for someone. When I’m bored is usually when I will grab at straws to try and make something funny. This is my brain’s baseline. No stimulation equals a search for comedy. There wasn’t much to go on in a department store, no matter how much I wandered around, pretending to browse. I even accepted every offer to be sprayed with a fragrance, which ended in me ultimately smelling like was trying to cover up the smell of some other festering wound or something. It was an embarrassing amount of fragrance I wore.
Finally, I saw my wife about 50 feet away, standing on the other side of a large display.
Then it came to me.
It didn’t come to my brain, it came to my butt. I had a fart on deck quite suddenly and conveniently. My brain told me to break the department store ennui I was experiencing by delivering my toot to my wife in a surprise attack. I hunched down, unseen on the other side of the display my wife stood against. I snuck forward, trying to stay quiet.
She hadn’t noticed me. It was time to attack. I felt ready; certain of the comedy.
I ran at her from the other side of the display, and did a kind of spin kick at her, releasing the loud fart while shouting something stupid like “FART ATTACK!”
When I was spinning around, I noticed something I had not planned for in any way whatsoever.
The display that hid my presence from my wife held a secret on its other side. There was a middle-aged woman standing between the display and my wife.
Imagine, if you will, you are browsing a jewelry display at a department store, looking for a gift for a loved one. Your thoughts are with giving “that perfect gift to that perfect person.” There is a woman to your right doing pretty much the same thing you are doing. All is well and innocent.
Then it happens.
Some guy runs out at the woman next to you, does an awkward spin-kick move, farts very audibly mid-kick, shouts “fart attack,” then realizes your presence as he makes eye contact with you, and you are looking appropriately shocked. The man then looks embarrassed, turns beet red, and then quickly walks away with the woman as they both laugh hysterically to the point of crying.
I never looked back at that woman, but I’d like to think she laughed, too.
Honestly, though, she looked like the kind of person who was probably extremely disgusted and would have never laughed at such filth, which actually made the entire situation funnier. My wife and I were crying with laughter.
Plus, the entire situation got my wife to leave the department store, so it was quite the effective idea, in retrospect.
So, if you’re ever with someone else in a store, waiting for them to finish shopping, and you’re bored and want to leave…
…never underestimate the power of the fart attack.
Actually, while we’re on the subject, I also want to share a strategy for getting my wife to hurry up while shopping. More specifically, I can get her to exit a craft store in half of the time it used to take, prior to initiating “Operation: Hump Everything.”
I don’t know how I thought of it, but the idea came to me a few years ago while she was expecting my patience as we tooled through a craft store. I saw something fun, like a six-foot fake fern or something, placed it lengthwise over my crotch, said “Hey Margie!” and started gyrating with it as close to her as possible. She had turned to see what I was worked up about, and then turned red and started laughing hysterically at the scene. She then walked away, trying to send any witnessing strangers the message: “I don’t know him.”
But it was too late. She had already laughed. Like someone tickling someone who keeps breathing “stop,” yet refusing to listen, I began my hunt for more objects to air-hump as I pursued her throughout the store. It became more of a hunt. She was trying avoid me and shop, and I was carrying various large objects through the craft store to hump within her visual range.
I’ve worked myself up to expert level at present-day. I’ve even hunted her down while carrying a 7-foot wide oil painting through a store, just to hold it between my legs and hump in front of her.
I don’t care whether or not you find it funny.
And I’ve cut my “craft shopping time” down to a quarter of what it once was. And that’s the point. We both laugh. We spend less time shopping. And we keep talking about it as best friends long after whatever was being shopped for is forgotten.
Sure, there are uncountable things aside from these immature exchanges that keep Margie and I extremely happy in our marriage, but I am unafraid to advocate the value of occasional toilet humor when you’re in it for decades to come.
Laugh as much as you can. Hump craft supplies. Karate fart in front of strangers. Just keep smiling together.
I have no doubt there will be plenty more “blue” comedic moments between us as we accomplish happily ever after, and I’m more than proud to share them.