Monday, July 11, 2005


My Little Angels

Ok, my little angels, we need to talk. I happened to be at a certain mexican food type restaurant recently, and had an experience that I think is important to talk about. So there I am, chomping away on chimichangas, having a fine old time. The company is great; Miss Tori and I can look out over the water. It's our usual table. Behind me, a mother and daughter sit. Mom has her back to me, and daughter is across from her, facing my back.

Well we hear this noise from behind me, a nice, quick, loud sound. Being mature adults, we only snicker, perhaps out of consideration of the mom. You see, her daughter had just uncorked a nice burp.

Sally: BURRRP!

Mom: Sally don't do that!

Sally: (giggles)

Mom: (more stern) Don't do that again, it's rude.

Sally: (whiny) Mommmm! I'm sorry.

Mom: Don't be rude like that; don't do that.

Sally: (defiant, in that style common to young teens everywhere) I'm not a baby; you don't have to keep telling me!

Here's the thing, little Sally. If you're burping out loud in public, you are acting like a baby. Just be glad you didn't spitup like a baby at the same time.

There's a thing we don't see much of in our modern age, the old-timey style megaphone. Not that battery powered thing that makes siren noises and stuff and you see the cops use on TV sometimes. I'm talking serious old school, just a big plastic cone with a handle on the side. When it comes to burping, your open mouth is just like a megaphone. If you practice privately, you'll discover you can make it louder or softer depending on how you shape your mouth and how open your mouth is. Keyword: PRIVATELY!

I will grant you, there are certain times, in the company of others (but still not in public), when burping is also okay. When are those times? Well any immature guy, age 12 to about 50 or so, hanging out with certain friends, may feel free to burp at will. I was going to say tough break ladies, you lost out on this one just like you lost out on peeing standing up, but it's a new century, so what the heck. If you're off someplace private with your gal friends, burp to your heart's content. Whatever floats your boat.

But take my word for it, other people don't want to hear it. Now mom's reaction tells me that she doesn't think it's ok. I don't know them; maybe dad burps up a storm in the recliner watching the game, and Sally has picked it up from him. Maybe Sally doesn't know any better.

Here's a trick for you. The next time you feel the need to burp, all you have to do is close your mouth. A burp is just a little gas bubble that drifts up from your stomach. You won't explode if you keep your mouth closed. Most times, it won't even puff out your cheeks, and no one will notice. Let the burp happen, blissfully silent, and then exhale a second later. That's not so hard, is it?

Now tell me, my little angels, is that so difficult?

And don't even get me started on the etiquette of farts.

Note for advanced stealth belchers: There's nothing more satisfying for you, and everyone else but your victim, than"catching" the burp, as noted above, without anyone noticing, and then blowing a little puff of air into your victim's face, giving him a good whiff of whatever the last thing you ate was.)

Megaphone pic from CUNY archives here.

Actual Update:Correction. The photo above is part of a series of recreated old timey sports photos done by Luke Smalley for his book Gymnasium. I found the pic in a review of Smalley's book by Richard Turnbull. The "CUNY archives" link takes you to this review on a page of the CUNY Art History program. Now for a while I won't be able to righteously complain about the stupidity of others. Dang!
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