Of course you knew what Doug’s other talent would be, so turn away now if you don’t have the stomach for it.
It happened one day in November. It was early on a rainy morning. Classroom seating was arranged by last name. Doug’s last name placed him in the geographic center of the room.
Doug was known to fart on occasion. He’d do it when the nun was writing on the board and then he’d shout out something like, “Oh, Frankie, that was disgusting!” The nun would turn around to see a dumbfounded Frankie sitting there. Sister Vivian would say to Frankie, “Mr. Hasbrook, you are excused, please leave the room.” Which meant, go to the Boy’s Room and don’t come back until you’ve purged yourself.
Doug would do this several times in a row expelling several people from the room and the nun never put it together that each incident sounded pretty much the same and that it was always Doug calling out the names of the false perpetrators. Doug pointed at people randomly. There were 18 of us in class so he had a fresh crop every day. He even pointed the finger at girls and everybody knows that girls don’t fart…ever.
Doug was a gassy kid. He was very adept at expelling gas from every orifice in his being. One day he revealed the true genius of his craft. It was the sixth grade. It was that rainy morning in November. We were working on Arithmetic when suddenly the thin wooden laminated seat under Doug’s butt started to resonate. It was further amplified the metal enclosure under the seat that was used for book storage. This wasn’t just an ordinary fart, but rather one that went on and on. It was a John Coltrane sax solo, totally out in a room full of Bee Bop.
After ten seconds of the same note Doug started playing with the pitch. By then nearly every jaw had dropped. This thing just wasn’t stopping. Doug had a look of pleasure and relief on his face, along with a side of “At this point I wouldn’t stop it if I could.”
Finally after around 45 seconds Doug’s symphony came to an end, but still amazed, the class was frozen in a stunned condition, even Sister Vivian was at a loss.
Have you ever been a witness to someone putting Sea Marker into a river? This is a chemical dye that is used to show currents or leaks in an underwater pipe. All I could say is that the odor of Doug spread through the room quicker than Sea Marker in a swimming pool. It was like the concussion an atomic bomb. Suddenly the room was full of the screams of sixth graders. Everyone ran either for the door or to one of the four classroom windows thrusting their heads outside gulping at air like a goldfish in a bowl of stagnant water.
It took a while but I looked around and saw that the only person still seated at their desk was Doug. Finally Sister Vivian piped in and said, ““Mr. Grant, you are excused, please leave the room.” Doug looked at her and actually said, “What?” Sister Vivian replied “Get out!”
Doug headed for the door, but being the true professional that he was, he flashed a particularly toothy smile as he let out another short blast as he exited the room. We were done learning for the day.