He went first. “Well, you know me and Kaz have been together for a while now…and…well, we want you know that…” and then he sputtered into nervous laughter as we all leaned in.
Kaz took his hand reassuringly. “Tony and I…we’ve been talking about it for a while, and we’ve decided not to put it off any longer. We want you to be the first to know. We’re farting in bed.”
With that, a yelp of glee went up. Some of the females in the party squealed like cats in rut (although one of them had to be taken to the toilets in floods of tears later on in the night; she’s been with her bloke for four years, and he still refuses to even discuss the possibility, the poor cow), while us males thumped Tone on the back for doing the decent thing. When I got the chance, I put my arms round both of them and said “I knew there was summat going off between your two…”
Let’s face it; in times like these, what is the one act that truly binds a couple together? It’s not marriage any more; couples are getting divorced quicker than the pattern on the bequeathed dining set goes out of fashion. Sex? In a world where a frenzied rubbing-together of genitals in a club toilet is seen as an acceptable part of a Friday night? I think not. No, nothing says “I want to spend the rest of my life with you, O Soulmate, enjoying the rich bounty of our love and sheltering each other from whatever misfortunes Life has to throw at us” than ripping one off under the quilt without fear of reprisal.
According to medical surveys, human beings fart on an average of fourteen times a day. Until they start a new relationship, when it decreases to one. That lasts for about 5 minutes. In a bathroom. With the taps on at full pelt and the window open, with you wrenching your arse cheeks apart and jumping up and down, before pegging it back to the boudoir. Then, in the morning, when one has to leave and the other stays in bed, and words of love are softly exchanged, both of you think “Thank fuck for that” and let off a gargantuan chuff – one in an empty bed, the other just outside the front door. We’re happy to open the skeletons of our closet – all the wrong shags and abusive relationships we put ourself through, our credit situations, our drug histories – and yet we find it hard to confess that we need to expel a compound of carbon dioxide, methane, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen, just like every other animal in the world.
Obviously, this is no way to carry on. I blame the media, myself; their silence almost suggests a conspiracy. Why hasn’t Cosmo or Men’s Health commented on this subject? EastEnders has covered adultery, teenage pregnancy, same-sex marriage, mixed-race relationships, child abuse and almost every relationship ailment under the sun; where was the episode where Ricky accidentally took the bedsheets off with a trouser-trump, leaving Bianca to deal with the horrible truth about her partner? Why has Trisha remained silent on the matter? What has she got to hide?
If you’re in a long-term relationship and you still haven’t reached the FIB stage, I strongly advise you to have a word with yourself, because you’re storing up a gutful of misery that could spill out at any moment. I had a friend who managed to overcome this barrier, and could quite happily let it all out without guilt. In fact, it got to the point where, when the mood took him, he would lie in bed with his paramour and spit into the air, forcing her under the sheets, where he would let rip with gusto. My advice; don’t be like him. There’s such a thing as going too far.
In the meantime, I’m looking forward immensely to Tone and Kaz’s forthcoming party, where they will celebrate their commitment to each other with a buffet of mushy peas, beans, curry and cider. When Kaz places her hand on Tone’s when he holds that knife, and look into each other’s eyes as they ceremonially cut a wheel of cheese, I don’t think I’ll be able to hold back the tears.