Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hallway Etiquette

This will likely be one of my shorter rants today, folks, because, in all honesty, it's such a straightforward bitch that I can't imagine it's going to take all that long. Today we'll be discussing hallway farts at work. Yes, that's right; hallway farts at a workplace where ONLY GROWN MEN AND WOMEN WORK. This is not a daycare center, elementary school, middle or high school where one MAY be able to forgive such behavior. No, this is the same federal facility that you've read about here before with the unfunny "comedians" and the screaming, door-blocking conversations and the hallway obstructing slow walkers. And it's populated by only adult employees.

Now I don't know about you all but I learned that it's rude to fart in a public place at a pretty young age, not least of all because of the high risk of horrifying ridicule and public outing. "He who smelt it dealt it" was always my favorite as it provided the novel twist that someone might try to outwit the rest of us by being the first to accuse but that we were having none of it. We always knew it was that person not least because the cloud of odorous shame hovered in their general vicinity. And don't try to walk away from it, mofo, that bitch be followin' your sorry ass. Literally.

So, here's the thing: I've mentioned before that my federal building has a bomb shelter-y basement within which you can walk from the elevator exit to the cafeteria. As a result there's normally a decent number of people traversing that underground cinderblock mecca going to and from the gym/cafeteria/coffee bar that exist on the ground floor. Two days ago I was walking that path with two co-workers who I am thankful to have working with me as they provide a blessed diversion from the normal caliber of others that I have to deal with on a daily basis. Anyway, there we were, walking from the elevator to the cafeteria when we passed another person walking in the opposite direction, toward the elevator. I nodded with a silent congeniality that I in no way actually felt, as we crossed paths with him.

Not 15 seconds later I and my two friends walked into the most fucking heinous fart cloud I have encountered in some time. And being a person (as all people do) who farts, I feel fairly sure that I can safely call a heinous fart when I smell one. The hallway seemed to constrict as we all gasped for air (an involuntary but dreadfully inappropriate action considering it brings MORE of the stench into your nose) and I believe I actually gagged.


It was everywhere and seemed to last forever. We walked faster; it followed us. It took us to round a corner and travel another good 50 feet to finally escape that wall of stench. Now, you know as well as I do, that the person that we had just crossed paths with was the cretin who had left that carpet bomb directly in our path. I know that because it was too fucking fresh, the air still too saturated to be anything other than very, very recent. So, I'm thinking, that fucker probably figured that as he was moving away from the offensive cloud, that he could never be pinned with the crime. Wrong, motherfucker! I remember your face and now I know that you cracked off that nasty fucking explosion and that YOU. ARE. NASTY MOTHERFUCKER! How much of a rude, ignorant asshole do you have to be to think that something like that is OK? Where were you an OUTHOUSE?

When I see him again, and it's just a matter of time, I'll probably do something childish like make a loud farting noise on my bare arm as I get just past him. I suppose I could confront him like an adult and demand to know, face-to-face how on earth he thinks it's OK to fart in public and then flee the scene of the crime like the chump that he is. Not unlike a crime scene though, this perp leaves behind air that points a finger with the authority of a good DNA sample. I figure that the loud, childish fart noise might make him think twice before he does it again. But maybe I run the risk of offering him up the kind of secret handshake known only to members of a hidden cabal, as in "yes, I too engage in our forbidden pasttime, fellow dweller of the underground fart chamber".

Whatever, if it makes him at least think twice before he does that again I will have done my job. With my luck though, he'll stop doing it in the hallway and wait until he gets in the elevator. Now THOSE are the worst! The door is closing as it hits you and then it's TOO LATE TO GET OUT! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!