A.K.A. How to PROUDLY fart in public

Illustration by Cora Fu

As an anxious person, I feel like life can sometimes be made up of putting on an exceptionally brave and sassy face while also forcing every molecule of strength in your body to keep your asshole shut so you don’t spontaneously shit yourself because of all the fear accumulating in your bowels. Anxiety isn’t a bad thing, though, (regardless of the constant fear of sharting) because we live in a world FULL of infinite, terrifying, unpredictable fates and constant high-stress situations where death is constant, random, unavoidable, and always approaching . . . honestly, if you aren’t anxious, you’re wrong. For example, a non-anxious person might think, “Wow! It’s snowing AND I also have a midterm so I have to rely on SFU and TransLink to make the right call as to what will happen with service . . . things are gonna be totally swell, pal!” Whereas, faced with the same situation, an anxious person like myself might scream, puke, and faint simultaneously. While puking might be unpleasant, fainting would keep me from commuting and prevent me from encountering absolute chaos. I’ve found that anxiety can be both a blessing and curse, but more a curse, so it’s important to keep it under control. If you’re anything like me and understand the struggle of anxiety over miniscule bullshit, here are a couple of ways I suggest dealing with the following day-to-day anxiety-inducing situations:

1) Farting in public

When I was in grade six, I once farted loudly in a quiet bathroom full of intimidating 12-year-old girls. They all laughed at me and made fun of the exceptionally low-pitch of the fart I uttered (my butthole is a baritone). Ever since then, I’ve felt too awkward to fart anywhere, so I’ve just suffered the consequences of holding in farts — such as weird unnecessary shifting and staying completely and utterly still in fear of the fart suddenly exploding like a landmine. It seems clear that many people have fart anxiety since everyone is constantly diffusing the blame for their farts onto others. But, as I have recently learned, you’ve got to STOP accusing other people for your crimes. Be proud; fess up. There’s no shame in a little tooting. After you fart on a bus packed full of people, stand up, put your hand on your heart, and loudly declare, “I APOLOGIZE FOR THE MOMENTARY EXPULSION OF NITROGEN, OXYGEN, HYDROGEN, CARBON DIOXIDE, AND SULPHUR. I AM ESPECIALLY APOLOGETIC FOR THE SULPHUR. PLEASE EXCUSE ME FOREVER,” before getting off the bus calmly, walking away, and living your life.

2) Having a “stupid” question in class

Girl, you’re not any more stupid than anyone else. EVERYONE is stupid. If you have a question in class it means that you were smart enough to even listen to whatever the fuck the professor was saying! Most of the students in your class aren’t even going to be listening — they’re probably either thinking about going home to sleep or they are sleeping. What the worst-case scenario? The professor scoffs at how stupid you are? Professors can’t even make a YouTube video fullscreen or move the mouse off the progress bar! Why would their opinion on how smart you are have any weight?!

3) Answering the phone and making phone calls

Even hearing a phone ring far in the distance makes me nervous. I feel secondhand anxiety for the person who has to pick up that phone.  The solution? Take your phone out for a drive and abandon it deep in the woods without looking back. Afterwards, fully rely on Facebook Messenger and carrier pigeons.   

4) Saying “excuse me” repeatedly when you can’t hear something

If this information isn’t life changing, I don’t understand why you’re trying to relay it to me when we both literally cannot hear anything. It’s not like you don’t realize that it’s fucking loud in here and no one can hear ANYTHING — so please stop berating me with irrelevant comments like “it’s loud in here.” OBVIOUSLY I KNOW THAT! WHY ARE YOU MAKING THIS SO DIFFICULT FOR ALL OF US!!! Whenever someone is trying to scream something at you that you can’t hear and you’re already at your “excuse me” maximum, loudly yell “EXCUSE ME I HAVE TO GO TO THE WASHROOM.” Your conversation partner will apologize for not having heard that you said you had to go to the washroom, and now it’s their fault and not yours. Perfect.