Wednesday, March 08, 2006

we get this so-called "earthiness" from my mother

I don't remember much from the Highland Dancing lessons I took when I was about eight years old, except that we had to wear kilts and argyle socks and I think a white blouse with ruffles. Remarkably, I do remember a few of the basic steps, mostly hopping on one foot and pointing the other toe this way and that.

A while ago, rummaging in my old room at my parents' house, I found a little book with "My Diary" in scrolly gold writing across its burgundy vinyl cover. This was the book in which I recorded my most sublime observations and musings about life, in that year of being eight, also known as 1981.

My favourite entry, written in green marker, in carefully printed letters:

"Today in Highland Dancing I farted FOUR TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I actually remember that night as a highlight of the year. I'd sort of just discovered farts and farting, mostly in their interesting capacity as a social faux-pas, and at the time felt like I just couldn't do it enough for my satisfaction. Farts were amazing: sometimes smelly, sometimes mildly stale, sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, but ALWAYS FUNNY.

I couldn't fart on command, so getting to fart, with the potential result of delighting myself and possibly others, was always a pleasant surprise. Four in a row, while I was toe-pointing and jumping up and down in a kilt, was the pot of gold at the end of a long argyle rainbow.

Eventually I hit puberty and public farting became embarrassing -- then, as now, only occasionally revealing its (albeit diminished) power to delight me, and its (perennially questionable) capacity to delight others.


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