Yesterday, as I left the house to walk along the forest pathway, I found it impossible to keep the gas from inside my body from escaping while I was walking. I think many of you older men know what I’m talking about. This condition is also called the walking farts. It is not so embarrassing when you’re walking in the forest, but extremely embarrassing when other people are around. I can remember as a young child passing gas in public made me laugh sometimes. Maybe you can remember the old uncle who asked you to pull his finger, and when doing so he would pass gas. Those are probably the few times where passing gas was funny. But as I got older I seem to have lost the control of my gas leaks. I do not know if it is because my body processes food in a different manner. But it seems like I’m full of more and more gas. There is no longer any little toots. Sometimes the gas leak leaves me wondering it was only gas. It seems like in the past when I felt like there was going to be a gas leak I could control it by tightening up my sphincter muscle. I could usually hold in the gas until I could get to a bathroom or safe area. It did mean I walked a little like the old Charlie Chaplin character, the little tramp. But until recently I was able to avoid any real embarrassing gas leak. Now if I feel any rumbling in the stomach and pressure in the intestines I get nervous. The first worry is of the rather loud noise that accompanies a gas leak. The second worry is the horrible odor that follows that leak. I can remember the first time that I experienced the walking farts. I had gone to the convention in another city and was walking from one seminar class to another. I started to feel some pressure in my intestines and started to head for the closest bathroom. Unfortunately the bathroom was quite a ways away down a long open hallway. And then it happened, as much as I tried to keep it in, there was a gas leak. Each step that I took produced another gas leak. I would walk a couple steps and look around to see if anyone was coming close to me. I was at a convention and so of course there was always someone close to me. So in the beginning I would walk and stop, walk and stop in consideration of those walking by me. But as the pressure began to be more intense I just kept on walking to get to the bathroom. Once inside I’m sure that anyone else present could hear the rip roar of the gas leak. I know that women sometimes have a problem with gas leaks, but it seems to me that it’s the men who produce the bigger spectacle. One of the benefits that I had not thought about in retiring is that I am rarely around a group of people. So any gas leak is less embarrassing. But I still am embarrassed when I’m walking and every step produces the embarrassing sound.
So my thought today is on gas leaks and how they can be both personally and socially embarrassing. But I believe that almost everyone goes through these moments. I know that you can help this problem by changing your diet, but I doubt that I’m going to do that. Good luck.