The Tom Zone Question of the Day

Have you ever been in a situation where it was inappropriate to laugh, but you couldn't help yourself?

Maybe ten years ago, I was at my parents' house for Christmas dinner.  My grandfather and his wife were there.  It

was a rare cold Christmas, and my dad had a lovely fire roaring in the fireplace.  My brother Mark and I were sitting there watching football, when g'pa's wife, Kathleen, noticed there was a lovely fire.  (Kathleen wasn't always the most perceptive and lucid of people, bless her heart)  She said something like "Oh, what a lovely fire," and stood up to investigate further.  She started shuffling across the floor, issuing a loud, trombone-esque fart with every step.  She took small steps, and it's a big room.  BLAAP.  BOOM.  PFFFFT.  THHPPTPTPT.  A-OOOO-GAH. SQUEEEEAK.  PUFF.  BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP.  All I could think was, "Don't look at your brother.  Don't look at your brother.  Don'tlookatyourbrotherdon'tlookatyourbrotherdon'tlookatyourbrother." 

Naturally, I peeked out the corner of my left eye, and caught him peeking out the corner of his right eye. 

We lost it.  I swear, we laughed till our faces hurt, the dog was scared, and our tears soaked the furniture.  The idea that Kathleen had just propelled herself across the room–toward an open fire, for cripes sakes–was just too much to keep inside.  My mom came in to ask what we were laughing at.  We told her, and she gave one of those terse momisms: "She couldn't help it, I'm sure.  You shouldn't laugh."

I think she was just mad that she missed the brass band and potential fireworks.  Over a decade later, we still crack up over that special Christmas concert. 

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17 Responses to “The Tom Zone Question of the Day”

  1. LOL! I'm speechless!

  2. Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Great story, and well told. I can totally picture the two of you trying not to look at one another and then suddenly falling about the place in hysterics.Most of the people I know who fart with every step meet such outbursts of laughter with quiet resignation. They'd laugh, too, if they weren't the butt of the joke.If it was me, I'd be apologizing after each one: blat! Sorry. blort! Beg pardon. blaaat-blat! My bad. b-b-b-bloortp-p-p-p! (and so on),

  3. i agree with kirk … the funniest part of the story is the don'tlookatyourbrother impulse. i've been there, and no matter how hard it is, YOU CAN'T LOOK. and then you do. and then you laugh until you pee in your pants. and then the joke is on you.what fun!

  4. how funny! and mortifying!

  5. Haha – great story! I've had those "you must not look" things with Sortaboss – but we always look and always laugh. Luckily, we're usually surrounded by people who at least know why we're laughing, even if they didn't find it nearly as amusing.

  6. Thanks, Tom! This made my day. Hehe! Hilarious!

  7. Awesome! Man, if I ever get to that point, I hope I have the presence of mind to carry one of those long barbecue lighters with me so I can reach around and light each one as I go.
    PBBLLT… *poof!*

  8. "the butt of the joke." "blort! Beg pardon. blaaat-blat!"?Oh, Kirk, you slay me. πŸ˜‰

  9. My brother and I tend to be lacking in decorum anyway, but if there's flatulence involved, we're sunk. Thank God, neither of us resorted to incontinence, although that might have increased the comedy factor by a few points.

  10. Just think, someday Mia's children will be mocking you as you poot your way across the living room. πŸ˜‰

  11. It's less guilt-inspiring when others are hip to the joke, but this was so funny because Kathleen was oblivious.

  12. Oh, hellz yeah. Bring on the fireworks. Be careful though: going to the ER with 3rd degree burns on your ass-cheeks would be kind of a buzz-kill.

  13. *sigh* I suppose we all get to look forward to it eventually. Have a great day.

  14. Good LAWD. LOL!

  15. Oh.My.Gawd. Rollin' on the floor hilarious!!! Hooray for Kathleen and her amazing brass band! Snnnnnert!!!!And, Kirk…..bahahahaHAHAHA!!!

  16. What cracks me up is that everybody agreed that poor Kathleen's festive methane-enhanced concerto was funny. Then I have Kirk apologizing for his toots and trills, and Scott lighting his on fire. I love my neighbors. πŸ˜‰

  17. i'm totally looking forward to that. hehe.

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