Regular readers will know that I fart (often) and ain't afraid to admit it.
The relief of being open about this might be a reaction to the first twenty years of my life when my brothers remained quite convinced that girls (or, at the very least, their sister), never ever needed to pass wind. To counteract this belief, they would regularly take gleeful pleasure in 'performing' a few right in my face in order to remind me that such a bodily function existed. Both brothers would be out of the door and way out of dead-leg range before I could struggle to my feet from my half-lying stance in the beanbag.
By age twenty five I had found Love Chunks, we were newly engaged and thrilled to rent our first place together; a shocker of a 1960's flat with cement brick walls, pond scum carpet and a head-sized hole in the bathroom. His illusions as to my fart-free status were shattered in minutes after mock chasing me into the living room in an attempt to 'dack' me.
To non-Aussies, a 'dacking' usually involves:
a) cleverly spotting that your victim (the 'dackee') is wearing a skirt, pair of trousers or shorts with an elastic waistband;
b) noting that the dackee is in a relaxed state and easy to tackle; and
c) seizing the chance to run up, dive into a rugby pose and PULL DOWN THEIR PANTS in a nanosecond, all the while hoping that their undies stay up.
Love Chunks was in the midst of this manoeuvre when my defence mechanism - for so many years kept hidden - went into full defence mode. Putta putta putta PARP PARP PARP! For a moment afterwards, we both froze. I was half bent over, in shock and embarrassment at the enormous fart that had emerged; LC was just in shock. "Bah hah hah hah hah...!" he went, doubling over himself, before wisely deciding to stand upright again and wildly open the door to and fro in an effort to get some fresh air into the room.
That occasion, with its total lack of dignity, freed me up to let it out and be proud. In the ladies' toilets at several work places, I'd be aware of women in the other stalls doing their best to whizz silently against the bowl, or cough when a Tony Abbott or two was about to drop. "Hey there! We're all in here for the same reason - drops and plops - so why bother hiding it?"
And thus, with the nineties and noughties long behind me and the teens continuing, my rowdy rear end continues to seek the limelight, whether it's wanted or not.
With Sapphire away in the UK for the weekend with her friends, LC and I took the opportunity to go skiing with two other couples in nearby La Clusaz, France. Now, LC is utterly hooked on this hurtling down icy sixty-degree-angle mountain sides on skinny planks malarkey whereas for me it is rewarding and occasionally exhilarating but always terrifying. As such, he's lining up for the lifts as soon as they open and has to be pushed off by the snow plow drivers at dusk but I'm ready to quit at lunchtime and have a nanna nap/spa/shower/inhale chocolate/read magazines in our room.
Luckily for me, Slimey's wife Gianna is of a similar disposition. We'd done a full morning and my legs were no longer listening to my commands, preferring instead to point in the direction of the chairlift back into town. At one stage they'd buckled underneath me and I found myself on my stomach and legs spread rather unflatteringly in both directions. All I need was someone to draw a circle around my fallen figure in the snow and a human Peace Sign would be evident.
Time to call it a day. LC and I had already checked out of our room after breakfast, but Gianna and Slimey were there for another night. "No problem, Kath. Get changed in our room and use Slimey's towel - he won't mind."
Now, I've only known Gianna for two years but already love, trust, admire and enjoy her company immensely. We'd shared many stories and adventures together and I always looked forward to seeing her when she was in Geneva. Getting changed in front of her was a new level of intimacy for sure, but not one that phased me.
It was what occurred in her bathroom a minute later that had me in an anxious sweat.
Putta putta putta PARP PARP PARP! Yep, my ginormous glutes decided to emit their version of a loud gaseous staccato roar that swept out of the bowl, across the tiles, out the door and through the alpine valley causing trees to quiver and drop their icicles onto the slopes, creating avalanches that swept down into the township below.
As with Love Chunks' first experience of my articulate arse, there was a silence from the other side of the bathroom door. It was me who broke it. "Er, I'm guessing that staying in a wooden chalet hotel means that you heard everything my 'tocks just tooted...?"
Sniggering was all the answer I needed. "I'm married to Slimey," she managed between gasps, "but I'm not entirely sure that he didn't also hear it up there on the red run."
"Don't worry, I'd already taken his bathrobe off...."
There really is no going back after farting in front of a friend.
When we arrived home last night and downloaded our photos, this one seemed eerily appropriate. Camera angle or honest truth, it was a blessing that no-one sat on my right hand side.