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JENKINS: How to be a guy: The art and politics of passing gas

Rob Jenkins

Rob Jenkins

This week I was going to write about the sequestration battle, but I decided instead to address something much less disgusting: flatulence.

Obviously, this is not something most people want to talk about. And yet it's something all of us do, whether we admit it or not. And we rarely admit it. We blame it on the guy next to us. Or the dog. Or that careless individual who keeps running over a skunk in front of our house.

When I say "all of us" do it, of course I mean all of us guys. Women do not pass gas. If you doubt me, just ask a woman. She will assure you that she does not pass gas, thank you very much, and if she ever does, on extremely rare occasions, it smells like roses.

Clearly, passing gas is a guy problem, one that we as guys must learn to cope with. I'd like to propose a few rules that will allow any guy to confront what could be an awkward situation and come out smelling like ... well, never mind.

First, do not pass gas in the presence of a woman you are serious about until you are reasonably certain she won't leave you. This could take anywhere from three months to 35 years. In the meantime, you'll just have to hold it, for several hours if necessary.

Of course, you can always excuse yourself and go to the restroom, but depending on how long you've been holding your gas, that might not be good enough. After a few hours, you will probably need to go to the next state.

Needless to say, you do not need to hold in your gas when you're with your guy friends. That's one of the main advantages to being with your guy friends. In fact, as your relationship with the girl of your dreams progresses, freedom to pass gas at will might be the only advantage to being with your guy friends. But it is an advantage that is not to be underestimated, especially after eating Mexican food.

But what if you're not with friends but with complete strangers? That certainly makes the whole business of passing gas more complicated.

If you're in a professional situation, such as a business meeting, you should certainly hold it in until you can get to the men's room, or at least until the CEO stops speaking. You don't want there to be any confusion.

In a more social situation--such as at the movies--you can probably get away with letting one slip, especially during loud music. If people start to glare at you suspiciously, just raise your eyebrows and glare right back. No one will be able to pinpoint the offending party with any certainty.

One thing they'll know for certain, though, is that it must have either been you or some other guy. Because it couldn't possibly have been a woman.

Rob Jenkins is a local freelance writer and the author of Family Man: The Art of Surviving Domestic Tranquility. Email him at rjenkinsgdp@yahoo.com, follow him on Twitter@rjenkinsgdp, and visit www.familymanthebook.com.