Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I don't suppose I should really call it "labor" in that it's not really difficult... or, it hasn't been.  I've written a goodly amount of poetry over the years, a lot of it in gratitude toward, and dedicated to, our military Veterans.  My most recent foray, "Tears From The Deep," I sent to a group called Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors and told them, if they liked it, they could use it how they saw fit.  Well, dear readers, they saw fit to publish it in their quarterly newletter! You can read/see it on the on-line, PDF version of the newsletter, if you want, just go here to see it.  I was totally honored (and a weeeeeee bit excited) when I saw that, yes, they had actually printed it.  As I've said before, we just can't thank our Vets enough, but let's do our best to do so before we can't say it at all.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Flatulence (or "Breaking The Ban")

Okay, yes, the title is going to make men start grinning and women roll their eyes.  (hey, Mom? at least I didn't use the word you don't like!)  My mom hates the other word for flatulence, calls it "the F-word" (in spite of our explaining to her that "the F-word" doesn't mean to other people what it means to her) And I mean she really, really hates it, but even she rolled her eyes in disgust at a recent article about the military's decision regarding flatulence. You can read the entire article here, but let me proceed to poke fun at it from this point on.

See, it's the Marines serving in Afghanistan that are receiving a ban on "audible fa..." ahh... flatulence. Yes, folks, the U.S. Military, in it's infinite(-ly ridiculous) wisdom has decided that since audible flatulence is offensive to the good folks of Afghanistan, our boys need to stop doing it.  Just like they're not allowed to discuss girls in front of them, either. (okay, okay, that's another story)  But the implication here is that only the Afghani culture finds flatulence, especially the audible kind, offensive and that Americans all find it amusing. 

Did I mention my mother?

Really, think about this a moment.  Let's even make a list, here, for the good ol' military brass who decided this would be a good idea (5'll get'cha 10 it was a woman):
1. Most Marines are guys. 
2. Most guys find audible noise created by the body hilarious, it doesn't matter if it's far... ahh... flatulence or belching.
3. Most guys will get into serious contests regarding the "best" bodily noises when bored.
4. Marines waiting for action get bored.
5. Did I mention most Marines are guys? It bears repeating!
6. Not all Americans are amused by public displays of audible flatulence (actually, most of us are offended if someone does it in public).
7. Even Marines know when to hold it in!

I have a cousin who the military should be glad isn't a Marine. Not that he'd have made a bad one but because, the moment that ban went into effect? my cousin would likely have ended up in Levinworth for breaking... ahh... "the ban."  He and his friends take PRIDE in breaking... (ahem) "bans."  I'll even give you odds most Marines (of the male persuasion... no offense to the female Marines intended, btw) have the same skill set my cousin and his friends do in this regard.  In fact, you could probably blindfold a Marine and have one of his buddies "break the ban" nearby and he could identify his buddy by name, based solely on the sound he hears. (it's a safe bet for me to make, my cousin can do this!) 

On a (slightly) more serious note, there's really no way to ban flatulence.  Okay, okay, I get that it can be "suggested" that they refrain from doing it aloud in front of the Afghans but, really, banning it?  Come on, folks!  Yes, we're guests in their country.  I get that.  However, if they're on our base they are, essentially, in "our house," as it were.  While *I* wouldn't break any "bans" in front of a guest, it's not the guests place to complain if it happens.  If someone who would find it offensive happens to see a group of all-male Marines laughing hysterically, I would suggest they not go over to see what's so funny.  They're likely to find out a good 3 or 4 yards before they get there since... ahhh... sound carries (yeah... sound). 

Men are men.  I'm not ragging on them, here.  We women have our little foibles and things we giggle over that would likely gross men out if they knew about them, so don't take this as man-bashing.  It's not (you can thank that cousin I mentioned earlier, he rather inured me to most guy-humor).  I just find it beyond ridiculous that the military would go so far as to try and regulate a bodily function.  Can it be controlled?  Well, somewhat in that you can choose whether or not to allow any noise (although even that is debatable in some cases) but it's not something you can "ban."  Intestinal gases are caused by a variety of things: certain foods, certain beverages, even eating too fast.  Eating too fast can cause you to swallow more air than is good for you and it has to get out somehow.  Usually this is through belching (which men and boys also find hilarious) but, sometimes, it's from the other direction.  And, sometimes, excess intestinal gasses are produced by an overabundance of intestinal bacteria.  Only one way for those gasses to remove themselves.  Sorry, not so much.

I could go on and on about the silliness inherent in trying to stop men from doing what every boy, twelve and under (and older... okay, pretty much everything male) finds hilarious, but I won't.  It's too much like shooting fish in a barrel.  And I know for absolute certainty, unless there's an officer somewhere nearby, our military boys won't stop "breaking the ban."  

Maybe  not even then.