As the father of two boys and having been a boy myself once, there are a few incontrovertible truths that one simply knows without having to be told.
Mud and puddles are fun but cleanup afterwards is not as much fun. Pouring water over a sibling’s head in the bath is fun, but having the same done to you is worthy of lodging a complaint with Mom. Sharing your siblings toys on their birthday is fun but sharing your toys with your sibling on your birthday is the inverse of fun and the list goes on.
Then there’s the funny around air-biscuits or as they’re more commonly known, farts.
And farting in the bath in particular is one of the most amusing things one can do at bath-time. It is even more amusing to watch someone’s reaction to the noxious gas bubbling through the water. Then there’s the piece de resistance of amusement – watching the reaction of those around you as the bubble makes contact with the air and transforms itself instantly and magically into a room clearing air-biscuit.
It is worthy of echoing belly-laughter and combined with the added resonance afforded by the bath itself it’s just plain fun. However, actually inhaling one of these things is quite obviously not as much fun.
My wife wasn’t completely on top of her game one evening while bathing the boys. Someone in the bath, we won’t be naming and shaming here but it was one of the halflings, produced a substantial pocket of gas in the bath and my wife, leaning over the side did not make good her escape from the fallout zone. In point of fact, she chose this moment to school the child in manners and instructed the owner of the fart to say ‘pardon me’.
She then proceeded to inhale the air-biscuit. All evidence indicates that she did so as the words ‘pardon me’ fell onto the boy’s ears.
What I heard from another part of the house as this scene unfolded was complete bedlam. There were squeals of laughter from the boys combined with high-pitched shrieks of utter horror from the mommy which were interlaced with ragged gasps for air and coughing and spluttering aplenty. I think she ate the whole thing.
It was, in a word, hilarity.
I expect that the lesson learnt here was ‘safety first’ and teaching manners to children a very, very, very distant second.