In the air #SOL21 11/31

It was obviously something I ate. I mean, usually I’m as inoffensive as the next person, but last night as I was marking student infographics, I knew something was not quite right. Still, I told myself that I was probably imagining that it was worse than it really was. I was wrong.

While our family snuggled together to watch a show, it happened again, and this time there was no pretending: one of my children turned and grimaced, “MOM! That’s disgusting! SOOOO stinky.” He waved his hand in front of his nose and disentangled himself from my legs. The other child got a whiff and added, “Yeah, silent but deadly. Gross.”

Surely, I told myself, this would – ahem – pass quickly. Surely in the morning all would be well and I would proceed to school smelling practically of flowers.

Alas, morning brought no relief. My body was clearly expressing its disapproval of yesterday’s food choices. I tried to control the emissions, but I was stuck with stink.

There is no worse fate for a school teacher: you can call it flatulence or passing gas or breaking wind, but one way or another, enthusiastically stinky farts are a classroom problem, and not one I usually face. As a former Southerner (though maybe never quite a Southern belle), I was already horrified. This, my friends, is not ladylike. I quickly opened a search engine and typed “How to stop stinky f…” Google filled in the rest. There was plenty of advice, and I took some comfort in knowing that I was not alone, but there was no quick solution. I was going to have to make it through this disaster as best as I could.

I made a plan. First, while our school is just as poorly ventilated as any other school, we were expecting unusually nice weather. I could open the windows – and both classroom doors – under the guise of Covid prevention. Then, though the students’ desks are nowhere near two metres apart, *I* am two metres from them. Distance = dilution. Finally, I could use masks to my advantage. I reasoned that they would surely, um, mask the smell. This was a dilemma I could deal with.

And I did. By the time the first hour ended my tummy had settled and the danger had, well, passed. Still, I think I’ll be extra careful about dinner tonight. Wouldn’t you?

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