Short Story of growing up with a gassy brother
|I’M JUST SAYING….
I have a brother, an older brother who used to drive me nuts when we were growing up. We are two years apart in age, and, he was the smart one. For instance, I had three less than successful semesters in college, he has a masters degree. I was 27 before I met the woman of my dreams. He was 20. He did everything first and best. How does a guy follow that?
He also has a hidden talent that few people know of. He was a master at “Breaking wind”. If it were an Olympic sport, he’d win the gold. If he were in at Westminster Kennel Club, he’d be “Best in Show”. If he were on a game show, he’d win the million dollars, Regis. To this day, I have not met a frat guy, truck driver, or Old Country Buffet patron who could match his ability. It’s not just the overwhelming aroma; it’s the sheer volume and musical range that wows me. We shared a bedroom for some years and it is from this “dark period” of my youth that my nightmares originate.
Go back in time with me. A quiet winters eve, 1973. The furnace humming gently through the vents, the lonely cry of the wind past the window, the sound of muffled voices in the living room. And then, from nowhere, a sonic boom-like explosion shatters the night and wakes me from a sound sleep. My eyes fly open, my fingers rush to pinch my nose shut, and a lone tear escapes from the corner of my eye. Oh, the horror! I look over to see my brothers’ bedspread slowly wafting back down. A small dark cloud forms in the room. Some nights we had our own climate! I blame my sinus problems on those winter nights when ventilation meant lifting and fanning the sheets.
Other times I’d be awakened by a series of short rapid fire machine-gun like bursts and still other nights by a long, slow, hum that frequently changed musical pitch. I think he came very close to duplicating the tune used to communicate with the aliens in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind!”
My brother took great pride in these episodes. “ Did you hear that?” he’d say. “Give it a minute and you’ll smell it too!” This would be followed by gales of muted laughter, as he didn’t want to alarm mom and dad. I had no recourse. He was the oldest. I was a victim of methane poisoning.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if there was a clinical reason for this, say, a gastro-intestinal problem. But no. I could sense and yes, even hear the sheer enjoyment he gleaned from his special gift. My mother was nothing short of an enabler. “ He can’t help it, he has a weak stomach”, she’d say.
Oh mom, if you only knew. Not only did he not have a weak stomach, he possessed muscle control reminiscent of an East-German gymnast. If he had diligently done his keegle exercises, there is no telling the heights to which he could have soared.
I love my brother and I’m very proud of him. Someday I may actually tell him what sort of impact those nights had on my life. But until then, I’m not complaining, I’m just saying....