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The Manners of Passing Gas

Sometimes listeners write in with the funniest questions--this one is not for the sensitive listener, and today we’ll be both quick and dirty.

By
Adam Lowe
January 21, 2007

The Manners of Passing Gas

Today’s topic: It’s a gas!

Sometimes listeners write in with the funniest questions--this one is not for the sensitive listener, and today we’ll be both quick and dirty.

In a message entitled, “Quick and Smelly Tip,” JH writes,

“What is the best way to deal with passing gas?  Pretend it didn't happen?  A polite ‘Excuse me'?  Bail out early on plans? Please advise. My sister and I have been debating this one.”

Thank you for writing, JH, and I have to admit you made me chuckle with your question. But let me offer some suggestions.

First of all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure--if you know that certain foods make you gassy, try to avoid them if you can when you know you’re going to be in a social situation. But if you’re stuck with gas and a crowd of people, here are a few thoughts: 

  • If you can hold it in without causing yourself medical distress, then try to keep it contained until you are in a better place or situation.

  • Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom, even if it is just to pass some gas. This is thoughtful of other people and less embarrassing for you. 

  • If you absolutely can’t contain it, then excuse yourself, but do so discreetly.

  • If your emission is odorless and silent, then you might do well not to call any further attention to the situation.

  • If it’s silent but deadly, you might consider the humorous approach if it is a casual setting, and relieve the tension by excusing yourself and blaming the non-existent dog. 

  • If it’s too late for discretion and it’s an informal group, you could add a little wit when you excuse yourself, saying something like, “Please excuse me, in addition to Jupiter and Saturn, it seems I’m another gas giant.”

Now I realize these suggestions may cause a little controversy, so I invite you to add your comments and suggestions below.  Perhaps other listeners have a few helpful suggestions they would like to add to this.

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Passing Gas image from Shutterstock

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