by Southy

© September 2005



Blair’s cheeks billowed as he sighed elaborately.

Jim glanced over at him in the darkness of the truck. “What? You’re not having a good time?”

Blair turned his head to look at him, a frown forming. “That’s an old question.”

“So’s your restlessness. After accompanying me on stakeouts for over a year now, it seems you would have gotten a clue that they require a lot of sitting around.”

“Doesn’t mean I have to like it.” 

“Suit yourself.” Pause. “If you worked out more, your muscles would be able to relax at a time like this.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Blair said. He was tired of Jim trying to drag him down to the gym. Of course it would be good for him. But how could he afford the time?

A noise broke the quiet winter air.

Blair moved closer to the door and grumbled, “Man, Jim!”

“It won’t be bad. It was a bubble fart.”

Blair burst out laughing. “A bubble fart?”

“Yeah. You know, the ones that feel like a bubble coming out of your ass? They don’t stink as much.”

“Speak for yourself!” Blair rolled down the window a couple of inches.

Ice cold wind blew in.

“Hey!” Jim scolded.

“What do you expect me to do when you can’t keep your sphincter shut?” Still, Blair rolled the window back up because it was damn cold.

Jim was watching a warehouse the next block up. “My sphincter needs exercise just like all my other body parts. Besides, farting is good for you.”

“Not for the person next to you.” Blair shifted in his seat and pulled his gloves on. Shit, he was bored. “Did you know the human body has two anal sphincters?”

Jim looked over at him, as though he was daring him to say another word.

Blair grinned. “An inner and an outer.” Snort. “Do you know where farts come from?”

“From your large intestine, Mr. College Professor.”

“No, seriously. Do you know what creates them?”

Jim was still watching the building. “Gas that’s trying to escape your colon via your anus.”

Blair rolled his eyes. “No. I mean, do you know how the gas gets created?”

“Uhhh… eating beans and vegetables.”

Blair muttered under his breath. Jim could be so uncooperative. “Gas gets created by food you eat that doesn’t get broken down and absorbed into the small intestine. So, by the time it reaches the large intestine, the friendly bacteria breaks it down. During that frenzied process, gas gets created.”

“You mean like exhaust expelled from an engine performing?”

“Yeah, something like that.” Blair was glad Jim was paying attention. “So, there’s some foods that don’t break down as well in the small intestine; therefore, they’re left for the bacteria in the large intestine and cause gas.” He looked at Jim pointedly. “Chewing your food slowly, carefully, and thoroughly could prevent a lot of gas.” He felt an ironic urge coming on.

“But once the gas is there,” Jim said, “you may as well let ‘er rip.”

“Speaking of which,” Blair said, and then spent a moment filling the truck with a rude sound.

“Christ, Chief!” Jim covered his nose. “Give me a break here.”

Blair feigned a pout. “You said it was healthy.”

Jim frantically rolled down the window. “Not when it’s in my truck.”

Cold air blew in. “Jim!”

Jim stuck his face out the window. “I’ve got a hyper sensitive nose here, Chief. That smell is a crime.”

Blair tried to be silent. He crossed his arms, shivering. “Come on!”

Jim rolled the window back up. “Next time, hold it.”

Blair waited until Jim was settled back in his seat and focused on the building. Then he casually asked, “Do you know what makes farts smell?”

Jim rolled his eyes. “I thought you were an anthropologist, not a proctologist.”

“I have a friend in pre-med. He emailed me an article on why farts stink. Do you know why?”

“Because of the same bacteria in your colon that makes your shit stink.”

Blair chuckled. “Hydrogen sulfide. That’s why. And did you know that you really can set fart gas on fire? It contains oxygen and methane.”

A slow grin spread across Jim’s mouth.


Still watching the building, Jim smugly said, “Yes, I know that. I was the champion of all the boys on my block.”

Blair burst out laughing. “Wh-what?”

“When I was preteen, I heard some older boys talking about setting farts on fire. So, I wanted to try it. It impressed the hell out of Steven.”

Blair couldn’t stop laughing. “Oh, man, I can’t believe this.”

“Believe it. I had to show a neighbor boy. Eventually, all the boys on the block ended up having a contest. I won. I successfully set the most farts on fire.”

Blair's arm was around his middle as he doubled over. “Prim and proper Jimmy Ellison – lighting up the neighborhood in style.” He wiped his eyes. “Oh, man, Jim. Did anyone’s parents find out?”

“I think one of them did, but they didn’t say anything to the other parents.” He shrugged, eyes still on the warehouse. “It was just farting. What’s the harm?”

“Oh, man, that’s too much.” Blair wiped his eyes some more. “That’s incredible. That’s priceless. I have to put that in my chapter on flatulent sentinels.”

Jim looked sharply at him.

Blair held up his hands. “That chapter’s not for publication.”

Jim glared.

“Okay, okay,” Blair laughed. “There really isn’t a chapter on flatulence.” He mumbled, “Though sometimes I think there ought to be. Those sentinel farts are killer farts.”

Jim grimaced as his attention turned back to the warehouse.

Blair wondered, “Would it make you happier to say James Ellison farts are killer farts?”

“I was a champion farter before the sentinel stuff, and I could be a champion farter now.”

Blair rested back in his seat and sighed blissfully. “You gotta admit, Jim, we guys have got it made. Women just don’t understand the importance of this stuff. You try talking to them about farting and… they just don’t get it.” He grumbled, “Like they never fart.”

“Trust me, they do. Wait until you have a long-term relationship some day. And when it’s their time of the month? Major gas.”

Blair hadn’t known that. “Really?”

“Yeah. So, on top of being grouchy from cramps, they’re grouchy from trying to hold in all the gas.”

Blair snorted. “Seems like they’d learn to just let ‘er rip.”

“They do… once you’re married.”

Blair laughed at the afterthought. Then he said, “Hmm. Don’t guess they’d ever set one to flame though.”

“Not hardly.”

“What a waste.”

“Uh-huh. They wouldn’t even understand setting one to flame.”

Blair thought about that. “Jim? You ever wonder if, when women get together, they do a lot of weird things and just don’t tell men about it?”

“You mean like setting farts to flame?”


Jim shook his head. “Doesn’t happen, Chief. Trust me.”

“Women are strange.”


“Of course,” Blair considered thoughtfully. “I haven’t ever tried to set a fart to flame either. None of my friends ever talked about it.” His brow furrowed. “But I’ve always known it was possible, so I must have heard about it somewhere.”

Jim gazed at him for an extended moment.

“What?” Blair asked.

“When we get home?” Jim’s attention returned to the building.


“I’m going to remove all the matches from the apartment.”

“What?” Blair huffed. “You afraid I might beat you in a fart-flame contest?”

“No way.”


“My senses don’t want to put up with you practicing. And risking a fire. Loft Rule: No lighting farts on fire.”

Blair crossed his arms and snorted. “Why don’t you just ban farting altogether? Then the gas would build up and I’d die of bloat.”

“If I banned it, then I couldn’t fart either. And I’m damn well going to fart in my own house.” Then, proudly, “My days of setting farts aflame are over. I’m retired. And still champion.”

Blair muttered, “Give the guy a medal and pin it on his anal sphincter.” The image made him chuckle.

“You know something, Chief?”


“You are an anal sphincter.”

Blair gasped, indignant. “Jim, you just called me an asshole!”

Jim grinned, his gaze on the warehouse. “I guess I did.”

“I’m your best buddy and you called me an asshole.” 

Jim’s grin widened. “They could start saying that on television, since they can’t say asshole. ‘You’re an anal sphincter.’”

Blair chuckled. “ ‘Hey, you anal sphincter!’ Or when one of the Jags miss a three-pointer -- ‘What an anal sphincter!’”

Jim laughed softly.

“That would be great,” Blair said, “if you said it to somebody who doesn’t know what it means. You could call them an asshole and they wouldn’t even know it!”

“Settle down. You’re getting a little too much into this anal sphincter business.”

Blair grinned widely. Then he laughed as a new thought occurred. “Business. When you were little, did anyone ever refer to taking a crap as ‘doing your business’?”


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