I’ve been sitting on this for a little while, brewing my thoughts to get them just so. Usually, dears, we discuss that rare-but-subversive woman known as the Mid-life romance heroine–and lack there of. I’m heavy into that big ol’ taboo of fading beauty, saggy boobs, and gettin’ funky with middle-aged sex. This year brings us to another subversive, very particular taboo in romance fiction: The windy pop
Yes, kids, today I’m talking about farts. Turn away now if you can’t deal with my cheese-cutting-is-adolescent sense of humour.
Let’s get to it. I wonder why there exists a form of a double standard when it comes to Romantic Comedies and farting. In celluloid rom-com the bottom-burp (How many fart euphemisms can I work into this post?) is allowed. TV’s Sex And The City had an entire episode based around the humble bun shaker. Rom-com films and Chick Lit aren’t afraid of firing a little stink torpedo, but Contemporary romantic comedies in print form run screaming from the threat of a tiny squeaker. Is a fart not really a fart if you can watch it come to life in a moving picture? In a big screen broad romantic comedy, like Bridesmaids, a little gas and diarrhea is fine, but why is it the game changes in print? Farting, like loose skin, or erectile dysfunction and vaginal dryness, or a little grey in the pubic area simply can’t play any part in the fantasy of romance in print. I wanna know why rom-com lovers can tolerate film & digital image gas but not when it’s printed on a page.
Here are some questions I pose to you, my worthy friends:
1. Is the issue with a printed fart your imagination? That is, is it because the mind’s eye vision of the passing of gas you read about much, much more malodorous than the one you watch on screen?
2. Or is it for the same reason you seldom find (or see) fictional 40+ romance heroines or older people having sex: it comes down to an ICK FACTOR?
If you answered yes to question 2, I say, hold on sweet talkin’ lover…it’s so sad if that’s the way it’s over.
Romance comes in all forms. If the romance is key to the story, why should the little bits like body shape, age, and less-than-perfect-all-too-human tooting ruin the fantasy? Yes, my romance fantasy may not be your romance fantasy. My idea of funny might not match yours, but maybe we can agree on a few things. Beyond slapstick stuff, comedy is generally situation based. Contemporary rom-coms are usually situational. Finding love is situational. Falling in love is situational. The fantasy of love is situational.
This situation completely works for me. It’s the sweetest fart story I’ve ever heard, and it’s ripe (excuse THAT pun) for inclusion in a big screen AND print version romantic comedy. The story comes to me from VaVeros, author of Shallowreader’s Blog (http://shallowreader.wordpress.com/) It goes something like this:
Amy and Ryan (fake names, naturally) have just had their very first date. The date went well, very well, and Amy happily gives Ryan a ride home. She drops him off in front of his house. Windows down as she reverses out, Amy safely releases the gas she’s been, politely, holding in for the last few minutes. When she pauses to change from Reverse to Drive, Amy discovers Ryan leaning in at the passenger window to restate how much he enjoyed their first date. Of course Ryan was startled, but the air biscuit was all it took. Surprise gave way to laughter and then it was love, not at first sight, but first fart. Ryan fell in love with Amy the moment he saw (and smelled) her humanity. They’ve been married 15 years.
When it’s handled in the right way there’s not so much an ICK factor there as you might have thought, huh? You can see the entire romance blossom from that one little fizzler.
But what do I know. I’m a stinker for romance.