Illustration by Bob AulWorking in a packed-with-cubicles office, and after an especially spicy lunch, one must carefully pick and choose places to pass the proverbial gas. Anywhere within the workspace would be downright rude. The men's room would seem a natural outpost, but what to do when the stalls are occupied? No, the best place is the underground parking garage: it's usually people-free; if someone is there, the gentle hum of his or her engine—or loud racket from the car stereo—drowns out rectal blasts; and—most important—gas rises, jettisoning any offending odors up to the rafters. And there's a bonus to consider while walking to the car for the ride home: drivers prefer gas stay in the tank and not the driving compartment—at least drivers un-enamored by the smell of their own farts. But sadly, there is a contingency I never planned for, and that is why I am now apologizing to you, tall dark stranger in the German performance car. Because your German performance car's windows are tinted and engine is so quiet, I thought I was alone again in the garage while walking to my Tercel. Unfortunately and quite unintentionally, I released the gastric buildup created by my zesty chicken-stew lunch—extra Tapatio—at the precise moment I reached your partially rolled-down driver's-side window. That would put my butt cheeks mere inches from your nostrils at the exact moment Mount St. Hector blew. Amazingly, you did not immediately speed off in a huff; you waited a few seconds, as if stunned by the indignity and air-choking fumes. If it makes you feel any better, please know that one human being was left feeling much healthier for this unfortunate encounter.
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