Meat Farts

My trip to Norway consisted of two flights. One from Minneapolis to Reykjavik, and one from Reykjavik to Oslo. The first flight was about 5 1/2 hours and the second just over 2. On the first leg of the trip, I really settled in. Movie, snack, blanket. The snack box that I selected contained two kinds of cheeses, crackers, hard salami, and prosciutto. If you know me, then you know that I’m an ethical vegetarian. I normally don’t eat meat unless I know where and how it’s been sourced. When I slide on this, I usually have regrets as with the New Years Day meatball incident.

However, I don’t restrict my diet when I’m traveling because I have food FOMO. (And because most places treat their animals much better than the US so I feel less bad about eating them). So this snack box. It was delicious. Meat on cheese. Cheese on cracker. Cracker on meat. I ate heartily of the snack box and washed it down with a few slugs from my tiny wine bottle; the rest of the flight was gastrointestinally uneventful.

A few hours later, buckling in on my second flight, I started to feel…sort of grumbly. My body had gone to work on that delicious meat and the byproduct was inflating my lower intestines like a balloon animal. This time, I didn’t have the luxury of a buffer seat–the flight was full and my body was literally pressed against the poor guy in the middle seat next to me. A persistent seatbelt sign and a deep need to pass gas proved an unfortunate combination. After several adjustments and some serious pride bargaining, there was nothing left to do but roll subtly to one side (I was polite and aimed toward the aisle) and gently release the pressure valve.

Thankfully, the all-consuming airplane noise muffled any sounds my body might have been making at that moment, but you can’t hide fart reverberations when your seats are connected. I felt a deep vibration pass down the line and I knew there was no hiding the aftershock, not the mention the subtle scent of Distressed American. I closed my eyes and tried to nap, avoiding any kind of eye contact with the man next to me. Unfortunately, my body kept working through that meat snack, sending increased pressure signals. So the game of subtle shifts and feigned olfactory ignorance continued for the rest of the flight. The man next to me, polite as he was, didn’t make eye contact when we deboarded the plane. And I’m thankful for that because I can’t keep my mouth shut and I probably would have said something stupid like, “sorry for all the farts.”

If you’re wondering, I did get up as soon as the seatbelt sign went off and went to the bathroom to deal with my body’s nonsense. But, so it goes, when I got there my colon had nothing to say. Like, I don’t have to fart now, go back to your seat. (And continue farting there.)

When I got to Norway, I missed my bus by 3 minutes and had to wait an hour for the next. I decided to just wait outside and continue airing out. So, for your delight, picture me, standing at a bus stop at the Oslo airport, casting glances over my shoulder, and farting intensely every few minutes until the bus next arrived. Because that’s what I did.


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