I get asked many questions, not least of which are:
“Why did you say that?”
“What were you thinking?”
“Who invited you here?”
But every once in a while I’m asked a question that is out of the ordinary.
“What’s the most despicable thing you’ve done?”
Well now, let’s not be going there, okay? Not only because I’m not sure of the statute of limitations on some things I’m sure some people don’t want to be reminded (Yeah, I’m talking about you D***. And just because I’m laughing doesn’t mean my apology isn’t sincere.) (I know you’re curious so here’s what I did: When we were kids I sidled up behind him and pulled down his sweatpants. Now that’s something that would happen often around gyms and such. What I didn’t know was D*** wasn’t wearing anything underneath and was sporting semi wood. Everyone starts laughing. I think it’s because of the normal reason: someone got pantsed. I didn’t find out for a few minutes the real payoff).
But it was an interesting question to ponder. What is despicable? Everyone has done things where, afterwards or even during, they’ve said, “Oh, I’m going to hell for that.” But for myself, saying that or having that said to me every day, sort of takes the sting out of that fear.
Then it dawned on me. One time I farted in a baby’s face.
I was in the living room with the baby and his father. The baby was sitting on a couch in that uncomfortable baby way. You know what I mean. Half way between falling and epileptic. It looks like there’s a sharpee sitting on the couch. All wrinkled and unbalanced.
The other adult and I (I had to point this out because, unlike the sweatpantsing, at this time I was an adult) are talking when, because I’m like this, I had to fart.
If you didn’t have proof there was something wrong with my brain before I’m sure I can clear that up right now. My first thought when I realized I was going to fart wasn’t, ‘Gee, maybe I should go to another room.’ Never even occurred to me.
But farting in the baby’s face did.
So I stand up and walk in front of the baby. The father, the protector of this child for the rest of it’s life, asks what I’m doing. So, not being nefarious, I tell him. And he laughs. So, feeling I have parental permission, I park my ass next to the baby’s face and let it rip.
I made sure to spin around fast so as not to miss one second of this event. The baby sits straight up and starts blinking his eyes. In his little unformed brain it seems as if he’s thinking, ‘Whoa! This is not a good experience. Did a cow just explode up in here?’
So as he’s experiencing the first of the one billion traumas that are coming his way his Dad and I are laughing hysterically. I’m wishing I had another one in the chamber for an encore.
As we’re watching this baby flop around like one of those car lot sock guys, arms flailing uselessly, looking as if it’s going to fall, sitting back up, his eyes blinking at seizure speed his Mother comes in wanting to know what’s so funny.
The Dad stopped laughing so quickly he pulled a lung.
The rest of this story is the despicable part.
“He farted in the baby’s face.”
Now, logistically, she should have smelled a rat (among other things). The father is sitting across the room. I’m standing near the baby. Most damning piece of evidence, I’m me and she knows that.
But she hears that, for the gazillionth time in her imagination, the father has done something detrimental to the child. In her baby protector brain he’s once again done irreparable harm to the baby’s body and psyche. She’s probably also remembering the time(s) he’s Dutch ovened her. I’m just saying my tidbit of information (AKA: lie) is within the realm of her wheelhouse.
He’s looking at me wondering why I’d throw him under the short bus. But it takes mere seconds for him to remember that it’s me. This is my encore. I farted in his baby’s face for him; I’m getting him dog housed for me. The mother snatches the baby from the couch and whisks him away to probably autoclave it. The entire time she’s mumbling about the asshole she married.
And she’s right. He is an asshole.
And assholes have asshole friends.
Who’ll fart in a baby’s face.
Then blame it on dear old Dad.