A First For Me – And Perhaps You, Too?

I read it, then blinked to be sure my vision was clear.

HeadlineI read it again.

And burst out laughing.

I have never, EVER see the word “Farts” in a headline before.

But there it is, from my newspaper, in black and white.

Naturally this required further research, so I googled the story.

“Farts” is not only in the headlines, it’s in almost every headline:

Headlines final

Yes, this was a new one on me.

Perhaps because farting doesn’t generally make news headlines.  Everyone farts, so this isn’t exactly news.

Except, now it is.

Why?

Where:  Dania Beach, FL, in line at a Dollar General in late November.

Who:  Thirty-seven-year-old Shanetta Wilson.

What:  Shanetta farted – or “passed gas” as some stories prefer.  Not yet newsworthy.

Some stories – and headlines – reported the woman farted “loudly.”

Nope.  Still not newsworthy.

not newsSeriously.  Can you imagine if the media did stories about every person who “farted loudly?”

What then:  A nearby male customer, John Walker, complained.  Whether about the odor, the noise, all of the above or something else, isn’t specified.

But newsworthy?  Nope, again.  I’m sure this isn’t the first time someone complained about another’s fart.

And then?

knife_03 croppedJohn and Shanetta got into an argument.  Shanetta took exception to whatever John said, and, according to the sheriff’s report, allegedly “pulled a small folding knife out of her purse and told the victim she was going to ‘gut’ him while moving as if to attack him.”

She “cocked the blade back in her right hand as if she was about to strike,” said in another story.

OK:  Now we’re talking newsworthy.

Shanetta left the store without actually attacking John, but instead of cutting out – if you’ll excuse the expression – she was still nearby and arrested by police when John identified her.

She was charged with “aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill,” and her bail was set at $2,500.

I’m going to wax philosophical and pose the question:

What would you do?Odor in the elevator

You, like John Walker, are in close proximity to someone – in line at a store, in an elevator, in bed with your partner, in church – and that someone farts.  “Loudly,” or otherwise.

Would you say something?

I wouldn’t.  As a kid I was taught that the only appropriate comment after a fart is “Excuse me,” and that’s by the farter, not the person/people suffering from it.

Now suppose you’re the farter – again, in line at a store, in an elevator, in bed with your partner, in church.

Would you say something?News Anchors

This TV news anchor on the left posed that question to his co-anchor.

The co-anchor’s response:  “I would try to say that it wasn’t me.”

I guess that option didn’t occur to Shanetta, in the heat of the moment.

If you’ll excuse the expression.

The takeaway?

The next time you’re in proximity to someone who farts, don’t say anything.  Now that we’ve seen you could actually be putting your life in danger.

Just hold your breath.

It’ll pass.

If you’ll excuse the expression.

Shanetta and excuse me
KSAT-TV in San Antonio, TX thoughtfully provided an illustration, along with Shanetta’s mug shot.  Next time, Shanetta, let it pass.

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